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Sun Damage and Your Skin; Losing Weight With Your Dog;

Aired July 2, 2005 - 08:30   ET


SANJAY GUPTA, HOST: Good morning, and welcome to HOUSECALL. I'm Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
Well, today's show is the final installment of our three-part series to get you summer ready. Now that summer's in full swing, we're here with your summer survival guide, from keeping your workouts fresh to foods you should be eating and how much water you really need. We're going to give you all the information you need to have a fun and safe summer.

So let's start with your skin. As Elizabeth Cohen reports, the sun can do damage faster than you might think.


ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Thirty-six- year-old Grace Desenna wonders how it all happened.

GRACE DESENNA, FORMER SUNBATHER: You look in the mirror, it's like: How did this happen to my face?

COHEN: Grace is talking about sun damage.

DESENNA: And I think I first started seeing some brown spots about 32. I spent lots of time in the sun, you know, growing up on the beach, but I hadn't really been sunbathing, you know, for six or seven years.

COHEN: But the sun's damage had already been done.

ANDRIENNE DENESE, ANTI-AGING SPECIALIST: Sadly, 80 percent of sun damage occurs before you turn 18-years old, which is quite remarkable. It just really gives a very important message to parents to watch out for their kids.

COHEN: Dr. Adrienne Denese says your skin is one of the first telltale signs of age. And unfortunately, what you see when you reach your 30s is what you get, the result of how you lived your life when you were young.

DENESE: And force, laxity, darker, dark spots on your face, dark circles even under the eyes, the blood vessels, red capillaries around the nose area, they all ultimately have to do primarily with sun damage.

COHEN: In her book, "Younger Skin in Eight Weeks", Dr. Denese outlines skin saving techniques. Her best advice? Act now. Wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.

DENESE: During the summer, you have to be especially watchful. I think SPF 30 is imperative every single day, even if it rains, put on your SPF 30. Find one that you like.

COHEN: If you want a safe way to get that "Baywatch" glow, try a self-tanner.

DENESE: There's certain products on the market are safe. There's a chemical in there that interacts with proteins on the skin.

COHEN: These days, Grace is working to undo the damage done by the sun's harsh rays, treatments involving microdermabrasion and chemical peels.

DENESE: The abrading agent is salt as opposed to aluminum oxide. We achieved some modest results in terms of pigmentary changes, but I don't want to mislead anybody for pigmentary changes, you have to go deeper.

COHEN: And deeper into your pockets. Each procedure is about $200. Expensive yes, but for some the results are worth every penny.

DESENNA: I just noticed a lot of smoother texture, less discolorations. And I just feel fresher and cleaner after I get it done. It's a nice feeling.

COHEN: Elizabeth Cohen, CNN, Atlanta.


GUPTA: Wow, Elizabeth, thanks.

As Dr. Denese pointed out, by the time you see skin aging from the sun, the damage is already done. It's too late. And of course, that damage can also cause skin cancer, something we're going to be talking about in detail next weekend on HOUSECALL.

But the best advice from experts on avoiding any kind of sun damage is to simply wear sunscreen and stay out of the sun during the harshest hours. Simple advice. Of course, there's a lot more than just avoiding the sun to help you look great and feel great.

So to get some help, we're joined from New York by ELLIE KRIEGER. She's a lifestyle expert and author of "Small Changes, Big Results."

Welcome, Ellie.


GUPTA: Listen, you know, as I was watching that last piece, one of the things that occurred to me is they have these spray-on tanning salons where they just basically try and give you a safe tan through that salon. What do you know about those and what do you think of them? KRIEGER: I think these are a great idea. I mean, many people have avoided these self-tanners because sometimes they would go on blotchy or they'd be difficult or inconvenient to apply. But these spray-on tans are convenient and go on evenly. And people have gotten great results. And it helps them get that glow without the sun damage.

GUPTA: Lots of e-mails coming in on this topic. I guess a lot of people talking about the sun. Let's get some e-mails in from - our first one from Adam from South Carolina asks this.

"What are the best tanning lotions to help prevent sun damage from extended time outdoors? Is it better to use a low SPF and reapply through the day or use a high SPF once a day?"

And I think, Ellie, that almost all self-tanning lotions require reapplication, isn't that right?

KRIEGER: Yes. You want to reapply your sunscreen at least every two hours. And if you're swimming or you're extremely athletically active, then at least every hour. So regardless of the SPF, you want to reapply frequently. And if you're going to be out in the sun for more than an hour, you want to use an SPF of 30.

GUPTA: Yes, I keep hearing that number of 30 or more. So, I think people can probably write that one down now. Another concern during summertime as well, Ellie, as you know, is the heat. Besides making you feel miserable at times, it can also be deadly, causing conditions like heat stroke or heat exhaustion. Exercise in the heat can bring on heat cramps, which usually affect tired muscles in the calves, thighs and shoulders. Also watch for dehydration and even a heat rash. That's going to make your skin itch intensely and maybe even sting from overheating.

Lots of questions coming on this topic. Let's get to one from a viewer in Colorado.

"What are the symptoms of heat stroke? Should one follow up with a doctor after a bad spell of heat?"

What do you say, Ellie?

KRIEGER: Well, the symptoms of heat stroke are pretty serious. You would start to feel extreme fatigue, lethargy, have nausea, vomiting, any of these symptoms, actually, maybe not all of them, headaches, dizziness. Ultimately, you might feel somewhat disoriented.

So if you have any of these -- and it can really creep on you over the course of a couple of days. It doesn't necessarily follow an event -- direct event, although it does as well. But it can creep up on you. And if you feel this way, it is always, of course, a good idea to call your doctor.

GUPTA: Do you have any sort of tips on when you should not, absolutely should not exercise outside, based on humidity, or temperature or something else?

KRIEGER: Well, I think it really depends on your level of conditioning and how acclimated you are to a warm environment. If it's extremely humid, if it's high humidity, it's very difficult for your body to dissipate the heat. So if it's extremely humid, you want to watch out.

Of course, it's really a good idea to exercise at the coolest points of the day. And that's the morning and the evening. I mean, it's just kind of smart common sense stuff, but it really can make a difference.

GUPTA: That's right, although it's hard to find a cool time of day here in Atlanta, as you know, Ellie. We're talking to Ellie Krieger. She is a lifestyle expert and a registered dietitian.

We got tips for exercising in the heat and ways to chill out. That's coming up on HOUSECALL.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Whether you're hitting the trails or the gym, find out how to stay cool.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my good girl, yes, you need some water!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And motivated, coming up.

Plus, are you drinking enough water or maybe too much? We'll give you the 411 on how much H2O you really need.

But first, take today's "Daily Dose" quiz. What SPF does your typical white T-shirt provide? That answer coming up.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Before the break, we asked, what SPF does your typical white T-shirt provide? The answer? A dry, white T-shirt provides an SPF of seven. Not much. And if it's wet, it barely gives any protection. Try going darker, like green. It ups the SPF to 10.

GUPTA: That's really interesting.

And protecting yourself from the sun is an important factor while working out at any time of year, an important point. But in the summer, of course, how you dress can play a big role in how you feel while exercising.

Other ways to burn calories without burning up this summer, drink up. Your thirst mechanism can underestimate your fluid loss in hot conditions. Also, wear light-colored breathable clothing. And of course, rub on that sun screen.

Think about changing when you exercise to a cooler time of day and take time to adjust to the heat. Increasing your workouts in increments may allow to you eventually work out longer.

Helping us stay cool and be cool and fit this summer is Ellie Krieger. She's a registered dietitian. She's also author of "Small Changes, Big Results."

Lots of people, Ellie, are concerned with overheating while working out. And let's hear from one such person.

Alison from Virginia writes this: "When it's extremely humid in the summer I'll only run for about 15 minutes because I just can't take the heat any longer. Should I just not run at all and walk instead, or push myself to run for a full half-hour?"

What would you tell her, Ellie?

KRIEGER: Well, I always recommend listening to your body. So, if you feel like you can't take it anymore, don't push yourself past that point.

What I would suggest is that you bring down the intensity of your workout. So, don't give up your workout, but just bring it down in intensity. So maybe you want to do a little walk/run, or even just a quick walk, so that if on a scale of one to 10, if one is sort of very easy and 10 is can't take it anymore, you're working out somewhere between a six and an eight on that scale. And that's a good guide in terms of your workout. And then if you're doing that, you'll probably be able to go a little bit longer.

GUPTA: Right. And don't forget to take your water with you as well. I find that, that helps a lot.

And staying motivated in all of this heat can be hard as well. Jackie in Georgia wants to know this. "How can I motivate myself to go to the gym at least five times a week? I used to work out that much, but have burned out and now go only twice a week."

Ellie, I don't know if you can help her. I think we've all hit that wall at one time or another. How do you inspire people? How do you motivate them?

KRIEGER: Well, one of my answers is don't go to the gym five times a week. Get outdoors. I mean, yes, it's hot now. But OK, you go in the morning. Go swimming. Change it up. Get into the outdoors. I find the outdoors to be actually very motivating.

So sometimes dragging yourself through the same workout does get old. First of all, going outdoors, exploring some different things, going kayaking, going swimming. Or if you want to stick to the gym and you feel more comfortable in that controlled air, take a different kind of class. Take a hip-hop class. Do something different. And that's going to help motivate you.

GUPTA: All very good suggestions. And in our efforts to keep you motivated and fit all summer long, we enlisted the help of step aerobics creator and trainer Gin Miller. So far now, Gin's given you a walking plan and a weight workout. Well, she's back now with a plan that's versatile enough to keep you challenged for the rest of the summer.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) GIN MILLER: Hi, I'm Gin Miller and we're in month three of our program. Now I want to you continue to challenge yourself, motivate yourself, and set new goals. You're doing great.

Now if you remember, in our first workout, we established walking as a cardiovascular program to keep your heart and lungs healthy.

Then in our second month, we introduced strength training and the importance of strength training with good technique. And now, we're going to combine what we've learned for a circuit workout. That means you'll warm up. You'll be walking. And when you stop, quickly do some strength training sets and then start walking again.

You'll walk, you'll strength train. You'll walk, you'll strength train. It's a great way to combine it. And it's a great circuit.

Using a bench during your workout routine is a great way to add strength training exercises without a lot of cost. For instance, a triceps dip is a wonderful exercise using your body weights. It firms the back of the upper arms, as well as engages the core muscles of the trunk.

Any time you do dips you're working your whole torso, your upper trunk and your arms at the same time. And it's a body weight exercise so you don't need much to get it done.

Remember to cool down properly and do some slow stretches. And don't forget that water before, during and after your workout.


GUPTA: Make sure to check out Gin Miller's full three month program by clicking on to And look on the lower right for walking to fitness. Don't click over yet, though. We've got still HOUSECALL coming up after the break.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Eating your way to a healthy summer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Forget about all those mayonaissy salads and all the chips and dips and fried foods. And go for a healthy summer picnic.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We head outside to show you a delicious way to stay slim this season. But first, more of this week's medical headlines in the pulse.


CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): A new study by the Public Library of Science shows stopping smoking can reduce and even reverse cardiovascular disease. Researchers looked at markers of inflammation in the blood, known to lead to heart disease. They studied more than 15,000 people, including nearly 3,500 ex-smokers and found it took up to five years after the smokers quit for the markers in their blood to return to normal. And the debate continues on annual physicals. A study by doctors at the V.A. Hospital in Denver show 65 percent of the primary care physicians surveyed considered a yearly exam necessary. And 88 percent reported performing them.

Most of the doctors say not only does a physical improve their relationship with the patient, it provides time to talk about preventive health behaviors.

National guidelines, on the other hand, suggest no evidence exists that annual physicals are useful for adults with no apparent health problems.

Carol Lin, CNN.



GUPTA: We're back with HOUSECALL. Now water is imperative to your health. Everybody knows that. Every one of your systems depends on getting enough. If you don't, you could get dehydrated, which means you're not getting enough water for your body to function normally.

And even mild forms can put the very young and the very elderly at risk. So watch for symptoms, like being thirsty combined with decreased urination, plus feeling tired, light-headed, or dizzy, even confused.

Your mouth may also become dry. So, how much water do you really need in these hot months of summer? Well, Ellie Krieger is back to answer that question and a lot more. She's a registered dietitian and an adjunct professor at New York University as well.

Ellie, it used to be that experts and our mothers told us we needed eight glasses of water a day. Now, is that above and beyond anything that you think we actually do need?

KRIEGER: Well, the funny thing is no one really knows where that number came from, so it's not really backed in science. And how much water you need is completely variable, depending on so many different factors.

What the National Academy of Sciences have said is that in temperate climates in sort of -- with moderate activity, the average woman needs nine cups of fluid a day, nine eight ounce cups. And the average man needs 13 of fluid a day.

Now that fluid doesn't have to only come from water. It can come from juices, milks, any kind of fluid that you drink. Even your latte or your iced tea counts as fluid. So, it really depends on so many different variables.

Generally speaking, your thirst is a good indicator under normal conditions. GUPTA: All right, well let's keep on topic now. Another question coming in. Mary from Illinois writes this: "When playing sports in hot, humid weather, is it a good idea to drink a lot of water or Gatorade before the match begins or just during breaks?"

And Ellie, let's break this down. Does everyone need to be drinking sports drinks in hot weather?

KRIEGER: Well, sports drinks are designed for consumption during bouts of activity, first of all. And really, they're only helping your performance if you're doing continuous activity for more than an hour, for an hour or more.

So, if you're working out for less than that, you don't really need a sports drink. Water will do just fine.

GUPTA: And I think another part of Mary's question as well: Should you drink before or during exercise?

KRIEGER: Both. So you want to drink about two cups of water about two hours before. You want to stay hydrated all day before, actually. But about two hours before, drink about two cups of water. And then throughout your activity, every 15 to 20 minutes, try to drink a cup of water. And you can kind of space that out, if you want to drink a larger gulp every 10 minutes or something like that, but that's the general rule of thumb.

GUPTA: All right. And another important component of both staying cool and staying hydrated is eating. It's food. So Ellie headed outdoors and showed us when you're having a picnic, or a cookout, making healthy choices can be both easy and delicious.


KRIEGER: Summertime is definitely picnic time. But for your next picnic, forget about all of the mayonaissy salads and all the chips and dip and fried foods, and go for a healthy summer picnic.

For example, look here. Instead of chips and dip, if you just do some precut peppers with some hummus dip, that's a great way to start your picnic. You get all that crunch. And with the dip, the hummus gives you protein and healthy fat. And you don't even have to do all the cutting and chopping, because a lot of this comes already pre-cut. You just have to grab it off of the shelf of your supermarket.

And instead, for a main dish, instead of like a fried chicken or a deli sandwich, try something a little healthier and also really easy. These wrap sandwiches made with whole wheat wrap bread, stuffed with lean turkey and also spinach that you don't even have to wash. You buy this pre-washed spinach. And you just wrap it up and cut it up like this. It's beautiful. It's fun. And it's very, very healthy also.

And then really take advantage of the produce of summer, of all of the beautiful summer fruits. For example, strawberries, beautiful red strawberries, loaded with antioxidants. Eight of them have more Vitamin C than an orange. And they're fun to eat. Kids love them. Watermelon is also a really fun, healthy way to go in the summer. So you can have your picnic in a healthier way. So enjoy!


GUPTA: Got to tell you, I'm feeling pretty hungry there. Thanks, Ellie. She's really good. We're bringing her back inside after the break. Stay tuned.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I first got Halley, I lost automatically like five pounds because I was hiking and walking all the time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A new study shows walking your day dog may be your key to weight loss. Stay tuned for some Fido fitness.



GUPTA: Welcome back to HOUSECALL. Getting motivated to work out is hard, but our bod-squad takes a look at how man's best friend may make a great weight loss partner.


HOLLY FIRFIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Your best workout partner may be the one with four legs -- your dog. Tiffany combines her cardio workout with some canine companionship. She runs with Reno, her Labrador.

TIFFANY CARRINGTON, OWNER, DOG RENO: She loves it. It gives her exercise and makes her more relaxed. And she just loves to be out here in nature. And it's also great exercise for me and gives us a chance to just kind of bond and be together.

FIRFIR: Border collie mixes Halley and Connor motivate their mom, Robin, to exercise outdoors.

ROBIN: When I first got Halley, I lost automatically five pounds because I was hiking and walking all the time. So it really forced me to get out and be more active.

FIRFIR: So the extra nudge your dog gives you may help you both slim down. A recent exercise study of people and their pets found that after one year of working out together and watching their weight, people shed five percent of their body weight. And their dogs shed 15 percent of theirs.

JOAN BEAULIEU, DR., VETERINARIAN: Animals get a lot of exercise, which they need to keep them healthy physically but also mentally. And so I think it's real healthy for people and their animals to run together.

FIRFIR: For some folks keeping fit with Fido involves a bit of multitasking.

Holly Firfer, CNN.


GUPTA: Holly, thanks. And I'll tell you that Holly and I both have dogs. And it helps us quite a bit.

Our guest today has been Ellie Krieger. Listen, Ellie, a lot of people are sort of thinking about summer, obviously. What do you want to leave them with at the end of this half hour today?

KRIEGER: Well, I have one great suggestion for staying well- hydrated and also eating really well, and that's by enjoying all that summer produce. Summer produce has a really high water content. So it can help you with your hydration. And also, it's so delicious. And you can enjoy it all as well.

So berries, melons, peaches, fruits, vegetables, all of the summer squash, enjoy all of that stuff. And relax and have fun.

GUPTA: It does taste good as well. Thank you so much. For more help feeling and looking good all summer, log onto Search for summer and you're going to find their guide to summer, which includes articles on everything from skin care to travel tips.

Unfortunately, we're out of time today. Ellie Krieger has been our guest. Thank you so much for all of your great tips.

KRIEGER: Thank you.

GUPTA: And thank you at home as well for some great e-mails. Make sure to watch next week when we'll talk about skin cancer, an important topic. It's on the rise. And now even teens are in danger. Make sure to watch that show. It's next weekend at 8:30 Eastern.

Have a fun and safe Fourth of July. Thanks for watching. I'm Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Stay tuned now for more news on CNN.


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