Spring is finally under way! That means more chances to enjoy the outdoors and improve your health. But spring can also bring some health challenges and misconceptions. Let’s take a look at five common spring health myths and why they’re more fiction than fact.
Myth 1: The temperature change makes me sick.
Those who do get sick early in the season are not victims of abrupt temperature changes. Symptoms are likely caused by exposure to allergens that reappear in our environments with the season change.
Myth 2: I didn’t have allergies as a kid, so I’m too old to start getting them now.
Though many people develop allergies in childhood, it’s never too late for them to appear.
- Watch for symptoms ranging from itchy, watery eyes to coughing and sneezing to difficulty breathing.
- If you notice these symptoms for the first time when you haven’t had them in previous years, see your doctor about an allergy consultation.
Myth 3: I need to get my skin ready for the sun by using an indoor tanning bed.
Many people think you should get a “base” tan before you head out to the beach. But there’s little evidence to show that a base tan protects you against sunburn. Melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, seems to be increasing in people under 40, especially women. 1
- The risks of long-term tanning outweigh the unproven benefits of a base tan.
- Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 30. 2
- Be sure to reapply sunscreen often.
Myth 4: Now that it’s nice outside again, I can go back to my regular running routine.
Many people think they can pick back up where they left off when it comes to working out. If you’ve taken a long layoff from running, trying to return right away to your previous speed and distance can put you at risk.
- Injuries like stress fractures, shin splints and muscle strains can happen.
- Start slowly and increase your endurance a little at a time over a few weeks.
- And don’t forget to stretch before your run!
Myth 5: The ticks won't be out until late summer.
Peak tick season really begins around the same time that most of us head outdoors to enjoy the spring weather! Ticks can cause serious illness, like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
- Avoid heavily wooded or grassy areas and use DEET-based repellents.
- When you come in, check your clothing and body thoroughly for ticks, or have someone else check you.
- If you develop a rash or fever within a few days of discovering a tick, see your doctor.
QualChoice Can Help
For help with improving your diet or other well-being goals, call 501.228.7111 or 800.235.7111 and ask to speak to a QCARE Health Coach.*
*Programs vary by group and benefit plan. Check with your health plan administrator to see if QCARE benefits are included with your plan.