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Safely soak up the summer sun this summer

By Luke Belval
On April 17, 2014

Summer is right around the corner. With summer comes beach season, perhaps the time of the year when people care most about how they look. With this new focus on body image, people will often go to extremes to look ripped, tan or lean. You should always be aware of the risks of anything new you try, and I will try to highlight some of the biggest risks individuals take to make themselves "beach ready."
Tanning is a controversial modern trend. Tanning beds have come under fire because the UV radiation that you are exposing yourself to increases your risk of melanoma, the most common form of cancer in the U.S. Even the alternative, spray tanning, has been scrutinized recently for the chemicals within the spray. When it comes to exposing yourself to the sun, you should keep it within the context of outdoor activities and always wear sunscreen. You can still get a tan with sunscreen, but it may help you avoid harmful side effects.
Another common practice to get "beach ready" is the use of diet pills. Nearly everyone has seen the ads for Xenadrine or Hydroxycut. These pills are stimulants that increase your metabolism, but may have dangerous side effects. In fact, the active ingredients often mimic the effects of methamphetamines. These dangerous substances can lead to the development of cardiac problems.
On the surface, working out may not seem like an unsafe practice to look good in a bathing suit. But some individuals who take exercise to the extreme, especially over a short period of time. When you try to become Hercules in a day, you risk severe muscle damage, or even a disease called rhabdomyolysis. Rhabdomyolysis causes parts of your muscle to enter your circulation and can become fatal. When you are looking to get in shape, you should gradually introduce exercises and increase intensity, allowing your body to adapt.
The fact is, the occasional day at the beach is not worth your health later in life. When it comes to anything in health and fitness, there is no short-term fix that doesn't have its consequences.

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