Sun exposure, skin cancer and hidden dangers of sunscreens

It is amazing how much of public opinion on any subject is formed by marketing efforts of manufacturers and promoters of a specific product, as opposed to scientific facts.   For decades, we have been preached that sun exposure is bad and a direct trigger of skin cancer and have been advised to put on high-SPF sunscreen any time that any patch of our skin gets exposed to sunshine for any period.  We have been marketed sun blocking lotions for any age (including those that were said to be safe for infants) because- God forbid they get some sunshine on their ultra-sensitive skin!

The opinions formed by marketing and PR departments of giant manufacturers are extremely hard to change.  Even when they have very little basis and represent pure manipulation of pseudo-scientific facts for the benefit of a company offering some solution to a problem that it seems to have invented itself.  I see it all the time with people STILL trying to use awfully unhealthy margarine instead of, say, high-quality butter, because for several decades they’ve been told this is better for them and they remain oblivious to current research, debunked assumptions and inconsistencies between the results they were promised and what they actually get.  Masterful marketing seems to always trump all common sense.

Similarly oblivious to actual scientific data and common sense are people who rely on promoters of sunscreens and sun blocking lotions to educate them on “dangers” of sun exposure and kindly offer a solution.  Before you form your opinion on this, however, let’s get our facts straight, shall we?  Let’s look at what sun rays do for you (and where you’d end up if you ignore this), whether they actually cause cancer and what ingredients a bottle of sunscreen really contains.

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Bench Press the Right Way

Bench press seems like an easy exercise to master – you lie down on a bench and push the weight up.  What can be easier, right?  After all, compared to other big compound exercises, such as deadlifts and squats, bench presses appear to be on the list of most gym enthusiasts who attempt them regularly, regardless of skill or experience.

Well, there is just bench pressing and there is bench pressing properly, to get the best results.  The former may take many shapes – exercise machines, inclined or declined benches, light weights, smaller bars and no regard to proper form (which is what you usually see in most mainstream gyms).  But then again – this is a waste of time (and, sometimes, an invitation to injury).  The latter requires understanding proper biomechanics and a dedication to learn and consciously use a set of certain strict principles that would propel your progress.  Hopefully, you prefer to stick to the latter so this is what we are going to discuss in this article – principles of proper bench press.

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Is coffee bad for you?

The attitude toward coffee seems to have changed several times over the last few decades and  even now the range of these opinions is quite wide – some people would not touch coffee, blaming it for every possible symptom they experience, while some others swear by it and consider it a health elixir.  Some people consider caffeine bad and only drink coffee if it is decaffeinated, while people in some cultures drink 6 cups a day and seem to be doing OK.  Your head must be spinning by now and you might be wondering what to believe – but then again, if you have been reading this blog for any period of time, you realize by now that conventional advice and articles you might read in magazines are not always correct and are often influenced by marketing, as opposed to scientific evidence.

This article will help you debunk a few coffee myths and help you better understand how it influences your health (perhaps surprising you with a few little-known facts).

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