Check out my sunburn! Added bonus: backpack-strap tan line!
We have a friend visiting this weekend, which usually means doing all kinds of fun outdoor things that we often don’t make time for. We went to Multnomah Falls on Friday, and Saturday we took the Timberline ski lift up Mt. Hood and hiked around for a few hours. It did not occur to me to put on sunscreen, we actually took sweatshirts thinking it might be cold at higher elevation. It was not cold, it was hot and totally exposed above the tree-line, and now I have my second sunburn of the season. (The first one was gloriously awkward, I went to the Columbia river and lounged in a raft all day and never turned over, so the front of my entire body was bright red, with a nice clear line dividing red front and white back.)
Okay, I know I should be worried about skin cancer. I’m more worried about climate change, honestly. Everyone go outside and experience the planet before everything is extinct.
If you’ve read this blog before, you’ll know that my general advice tends to be moderation. Not surprisingly, I feel the same way about sunburn. Yes, sunburn adds cumulative damage, but the long-term impact of sitting inside all day every day is much worse. It's all a balance. Being in nature is so good for both mental and physical health. It can even improve your vision (or at least prevent it from getting worse). Here's a fun list of 7 reasons being outside is good for you, with studies to prove it.
So, the moral of the story: go outside! But remember your sunscreen.