Ask Em – Apr/May 15

With Emily Grantz

In each issue of Extol, Emily Grantz will offer answers to your questions regarding health and nutrition. If you have a question for Em, please send it to and put “Ask Em” in the subject line.


Dear Em:

Spring has sprung, and I’m so ready to pull out my warm weather clothes — but not until I get a little color on my skin. Will popping into a tanning bed a few times really do more harm than good?

Truly Yours,

Blinded By The Light

Dear Blinded By The Light,

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but I’m afraid so. Despite what the tanning salon might tell you, the research out there regarding the use of indoor tanning beds will tell you the damage from UV radiation can cause premature skin aging as well as skin cancer. Also, the International Journal of Cancer has found that the usage of tanning beds before the age of 35 increases your risk of melanoma, the most deadliest form of skin cancer. I think a lot of us out there have used a tanning bed more than once in our lives, but the more informed I became, the less I wanted to go. On top of that, I had a family member pass away from melanoma, and my mother was very apprehensive about my sister and I using tanning beds – and we no longer do, and I suggest you don’t either. Try using a sunless tanner that will give you a natural-looking tan without the health risks from sun exposure. There are lots of products on the market and a number of salons offer the service (not to mention expert application) as well. Hope that helps!

Thanks for asking,



Dear Em:

I’m a 53-year-old man who recently went through a tough divorce and am trying to find my mojo. I haven’t exercised much in the past couple years, I eat most of my meals in restaurants and I’m in a mental funk I just can’t get out of. I want a better life but don’t know where to start. Can you help?


Overwhelmed But Hopeful

Dear Overwhelmed But Hopeful, 

First of all, I am sorry you are going through such a hard time, but like you, most of the people reading this have also lost their mojo a time or two. Getting back into the swing of things isn’t easy after a tough divorce, but there’s no better time than now. Start with something that makes you happy: being with your kids (if you have any), hanging out with supportive friends and family, or maybe getting back to an old hobby that you once enjoyed. Also, get back into the swing of exercising (please get the OK from your doctor first!). It will not only make you feel better mentally, but it will boost your energy, help you sleep better and maybe even lose some weight in the process. As far as eating most of your meals out at restaurants, try picking healthier options – for more examples see my column from the previous issue. And if you haven’t already, try to make peace with your divorce and move forward. If you can’t do it on your own, then maybe see a therapist to help you through this time in your life. Good luck to you. 

Thanks for asking,



Dear Em:

My husband hasn’t been to a doctor in at least a decade and ignores me every time I ask him to go. He rarely gets sick and seems to be in good health, but I’d feel a lot better if he’d get a check-up. What do you think?

Respectfully yours,

Hopeful in Henryville

Dear Hopeful in Henryville, 

Unfortunately, the older we get, the worse we become at taking care of ourselves. First and foremost, your husband should get a checkup to set a good example for your kids, if you have any. Secondly, getting a checkup is a great way to identify problems before they become serious. Depending on his age, starting at 50 or younger if you have a family history, he should have screening tests for colon and prostate cancers. Also, screenings for other diseases, high blood pressure and high cholesterol are important well before 50. Prevention is a lot easier – and far less painful (including on the wallet) – than treatment. Overall, going to the doctor for a regular checkup can help you live a long and healthy life. 

Thanks for asking,



Emily Grantz is a healthcare professional and writer who will share her expertise on these pages of Extol. She has a Bachelor’s of Science in Dietetics from Indiana University-Bloomington and is a registered nurse. Emily’s opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Extol Magazine, Inc., and are not to be taken as medical advice. They are opinions only. 

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