Sun exposure, like air water and food, is natural and necessary to human life. In conjunction with the JCTA’s vision, Best Body Fitness feels that all Canadians should learn to correctly embrace ultraviolet and sunshine as part of a healthy lifestyle – one which acknowledges that moderate ultraviolet light exposure, when experienced in a non-burning fashion, is the smartest way to maximize the potential benefits of UV light while minimizing the manageable potential risks associated with either too much or too little light.
While tanning units may be more intense than summer sun, the duration of exposure is controlled, and thus the total UV output is controlled, to minimize the risk of sunburn. A typical indoor tanning exposure schedule for a 20-minute maximum piece of equipment allows a professional indoor tanning operator to gradually increase the exposure times of a tanner over the course of the tanner’s regimen based on the individual’s skin type. Tanning is not a one-size-fits all. Getting a beautiful UV tan means something different for everyone. That’s because the amount of UV exposure needed to acquire a tan is different for a fair-skinned redhead than it would be for a central European with an olive complexion.
The fairest skin type – known as Skin Type I – cannot suntan and should not use UV tanning equipment (see spray-on tanning). But darker skin types can develop suntans. For those who can develop suntans, the system gradually acclimates you to UV exposure based on your skin type. That’s the reason so many indoor tanning clients come to salons in the winter and spring prior to sunny vacations. In sunny environments many fair-skinned people can sunburn during normal outdoor activities even while wearing chemical sunscreen. But with a base tan their chemical sunscreen becomes more effective and they are much less likely to sunburn. Researchers agree that at least one third of the world is deficient in vitamin D, and some scientists even think a greater percent of people are deficient in vitamin D. Why are so many people deficient, it’s simple really, vitamin D from sun exposure. Now, more than ever, the world’s population lives an indoor lifestyle, avoiding the sun daily.
Vitamin D awareness is particularly important because from around mid-October to mid-March the sun in Canada is not strong enough to stimulate natural vitamin D production. There are more than 100 good reasons to know your vitamin D level and take action to raise them to ideal levels. Most vitamin D experts recommend a vitamin D blood serum level between 100 and 150 nmol/L. It’s an exciting time for the vitamin D community. Doctors are beginning to discover that vitamin D deficiency is a risk factor for many diseases and may make some diseases more severe. They’re also discovering that vitamin D can be an important piece in the treatment of some illnesses and diseases. So get a good, safe tan on and avoid burning!