Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Great Indoors - Fearful Of Skin Cancer And The Sun's Damaging Rays, Some Fitness Fanatics Are Heading Inside

Diane Dalpe, an aspiring health nut from Arlington, was confused. ‘All the advice says, walk, walk, walk,’ she said, ‘but then the doctors tell you to stay out of the sun.’ Dalpe, 56, could head outside in a wide-brimmed hat, pants, long sleeves - and apply the recommended shot glass of sunscreen - but, she admitted, ‘it gets to be a little ridiculous.’’ What’s a person to do? Exercise in the great indoors, that’s what. True, she misses out on the scent of the flowers and freshly cut grass, the sounds of the birds, the feel of the fresh air. But that’s what those nature programs on TV are for. ‘It’s an Earth experience,’ Dalpe says of the gardening and outdoors shows she watches from the comfort of her home treadmill. There are no statistics on the number of people who’ve decide to exercise indoors exclusively to avoid the sun’s aging and cancer-causing rays. But local dermatologists report growing concern about outdoor exercise among their sports- and fitness-minded patients. ‘It’s a real issue,’ said Dr. Jeffery Dover, a director of SkinCare Physicians in Chestnut Hill. ‘I talk about [sun damage] all the time with my patients who run. Some of them are very smart about it,’ following sunscreen guidelines and other advice, ‘and some are not, and they don’t look so good.’

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