The ‘Healthy’ Glow

tanning bed It’s spring, which means summer is just around the corner and women are getting ready to get their bikini bodies. But what if women, with their exercise schedule and healthy diets, are backtracking and while they think they are being healthy in their efforts to maintain that perfect beach body, are really just harming their health more?

If you go to a gym, you most likely utilize most of the facilities and activities that they have to offer. Work out equipment, maybe some private classes with a personal trainer or being part of a weekly class, if they have a nutritionist on staff, you most likely consulted with them about maintaining some healthy eating habits or have gotten a quick snack from them. Just before taking your shower, getting back into your street clothes and going home, how many women hop into the tanning bed for that healthy summer glow; because lets face it, who wants to be a color just a few pigments darker than chalk? But what you don’t know is that tanning beds, a $5 billion a year industry, are harming you more than you may think.

Personally, I used to frequent tanning salons because I suffered from chronic insomnia and I found that while accompanying a friend of mine on her tanning trip and deciding to try it out for myself, that a tanning bed was the only place where I could fall asleep. While I didn’t strive for the perfect tan, I do know women who became absolutely obsessed with tanning, making appointments at two or three different tanning facilities just so no one told them that they were tanning too much because they would go to a variety of different places. It looked as if they were going once a week, but they were really visiting these facilities three times a week or more!

Tanning, while incredibly bad for your skin to begin with, as the ultraviolet radiation can cause wrinkles, dark spots and premature aging; indoor tanning can also put you at a 55% higher risk for Melanoma.

Dermatologist Louis Barich, MD, has reported that “Essentially, 20 minutes in a tanning bed can do as much damage as five hours of natural sunlight.”

So before hopping into that tanning bed for that healthy glow, go outside and get some fresh air instead–but be sure to put the sunblock on! While being pasty white may not seem very attractive to you, think about how you would feel about wrinkles, dark spots and ultimately, skin cancer.

12 thoughts on “The ‘Healthy’ Glow”

  1. Thank you for this insightful post.

    I’ve often wondered about, and even done some research into potential dangers of tanning salons. I once heard of an instance where two teenage girls were tragically killed in an automobile accident. While the coroner was performing toxicology tests, he observed something he had never seen before — the internals of both girls were ‘singed’, as though they had been cooked. Upon further investigation, the prevailing theory about the mysterious internal burns was that the damage was most likely caused by tanning beds, as both girls were regulars at the tanning salon.

    As the mother of a college-age daughter, that story scares the you-know-what out of me.

  2. It’s just a really sad trend. A lot of white folks –young women in particular–are not happy with with natural skin color. Excessive tanning, and that is pretty much what is going on at tanning salons, is not only highly dangerous, but will age the skin remarkably. All these young girls in another 10-15 years are going to deeply regret the heavy tanning they did as youngsters. The problem needs to be addressed at the top. Pop culture reinforces the ideal look for these girls: tanned, thin, and with augmented breasts. It’s not healthy–physically or mentally–to place these impossible ideals on our children. Pictures of heavily tanned people reaching their 40’s and 50’s might set them straight, but somehow I don’t think so…

  3. Its frightened but true. Now -a-days its very difficult for women to go out. And if it is in their tight fit bikinies, then its very dangerous. Women are very particular about their fittness and shape. In my opinion its not the fault of women but the generation itself, which doesnot respect the women.

  4. I used to work with a girl who tanned 3 times a week. She’s now trying to conceive and unable to do so. Doctors have told her that her tanning so much could have resulted in her being infertile.

  5. If only I could direct this blog to my sister and open her eyes a little. She bought her own tanning bed and put it in her garage. She uses it for 40 minutes every two days, 4 times a week basically. It worries me but she’ll make her own mistakes, I suppose.

  6. In Australia New South Wales, there will be a new law in effect (I believe in 2009) that will forbid fairskinned people and the under 18s to use tanningbeds. I have never used them and use decent protection when out in the sun. If I want a tan I’ll use a selftanner.

  7. This is the trend that cant be stopped. Actually, its growing. Arent these people using their heads at all? There are so many articles, TV shows and organizations who provide negative sides of this – isnt anybody seeing that?

  8. I used to tan once a week in the winter because I felt blue from the terrible winter weather. I did some research, however, and I decided I’d rather eat healhty and exercise to stay happy!

  9. I have used tanning beds in the past doing a pre-tan before a vacation so I didn’t blister as well as tanning naturally each summer because I love being outdoors. I believe that as with anything else in life moderation and common sense are key.
    You can get obsessed by and overdo anything but I don’t believe it’s the government’s job to keep people from acting silly. If you lack the common sense to be moderate in your activities, why should everyone else be punished?
    If they are going to ban certain people from using tanning beds, then where is the ban on alcohol for alcoholics and the ban on cigarettes for smokers with lung disease that continue to smoke? Where does government interference with people’s private lives stop?

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