There’s no more private place to take an important medical test than the comfort of your own home. Thanks to Home Access health tests, you can do exactly that, testing yourself for diseases such as HIV-1, Hepatitis C, and a full FDA-Cleared Cholesterol Panel. Just imagine — no booking an appointment, no boring waiting room magazines and, best of all, no needles. What’s not to like?; $15-$60, HomeAccess.com.
Everybody knows that jumping is good for you. But for those looking for a bigger challenge, there’s the Sklz Hopz vertical jump trainer. This strap-and-harness contraption uses resistance bands to make it harder for you to defy gravity. As if it wasn’t hard enough already… A great way to improve your performance for volleyball and basketball, or to simply take your fitness to the next level; $59.99, Sklz.com.
I’m often asked: “Is there a safe way to tan?” There’s no safe way to tan with ultraviolet radiation. A tan is the skin’s response to injury from ultraviolet radiation, whether from the sun or indoor tanning devices. Tanning occurs when the ultraviolet rays cause the skin to produce more melanin, which darkens the skin, as a response to the injury. Chronic exposure to the sun changes the skin’s texture, causing wrinkles and brown age-spots and increases your risk for all types of skin cancer, including melanoma. People are often tanning in an effort to improve their beauty, but in effect are doing the opposite. Protecting yourself from the sun means:
Wearing sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30 that provides broad-spectrum protection from both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays.
Re-apply every 2 hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating. Look for products containing titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. Next summer, you’ll see several changes to sunscreen labels that will make it much easier to choose a sunscreen.
Minimize sun exposure from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
Protect your lips with lipstick or a lip balm containing sunscreen.
Wear a long-sleeved shirt, wide-brimmed hat and ultraviolet blocking sunglasses.
Avoid tanning salons. Studies have found a 75% increase in the risk of melanoma in those who have used these devices.
Spray tans are considered safe, but continue to use sunscreen.
› Dr. T.J. Giuffrida is the Director of the Dermatology & Skin Cancer Center in Coral Gables. He specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer and offers Mohs Surgery for the treatment of skin cancers.
“Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.”
— Mark Twain
Guess what? Sex is good for you! Research has shown it functions as a pain reliever that’s 10 times more effective than Valium, calming everything from headaches to arthritis with no side effects.
Contrary to what your mom always said, cracking your knuckles does not cause arthritis. In fact, it can even be good for you: the process stimulates tendons and relaxes stiff muscles.
There’s a time for stretching — and it’s after your workout, not before. Stretching can actually cause muscles to tighten or weaken, which is bad news before exercising. Have a quick jog to warm up instead.