April brings more than showers…
With the 122nd Boston Marathon commencing on April 16, 2018, and the warmer weather encourarging everyone to get outside and be active, we thought we’d discuss skin safety practices for those that take to the course of spending a portion of their daily routine running outside.
The quintessential runner’s uniform usually consists of a light-weight tank-top and shorts. These articles of clothing are often breathable and non-restrictive, but provide very little coverage and protection for your skin against the constant presence of the sun. A little effort is neccesary in order to keep your skin safe while getting your running-fix.
Sick of the Cliche Battle Cry?
Don’t get sunburned.
You’ve heard this 1,000,000 times over, but there’s still the mindset of ‘”but it will turn into a tan.” This is a harmful line of thinking. Did you know your risk for skin cancer doubles if you’ve had more than five sunburns?
Don’t count of the clouds to be your protection either. Just because it’s overcast doesn’t mean that the sun’s rays aren’t penetrating right into your skin. (In fact, 80% of harmful UV rays find their way into your skin even in cloudy conditions.)
The Protection Method
There are a number of ways to make sure your run is as skin-safe as possible:
- Use sunscreen.
And use it often. Apply it every two hours for maximum protection. (Hate the sunscreen sweating into your eyes? Check out SunBum’s professional line — meant specifically for athletes, it does not move from you apply it.)
- Remember your lips.
Use a lip balm with SPF in it. Your lips are an easy target, and one of the most common spots on your body for developing skin cancer. And while we’re at it, don’t forget to protect the top of your ears too!
- Get the proper headgear.
In general, it’s a good practice to wear hats, headbands or bandanas to protect your head. (This is even more important if that lush head of hair isn’t lush anymore…)
- Wear sunglasses.
Shield and protect your eyes from the glare, plus the sunglasses frame will help protect any skin that is being covered.
- Invest in protective clothing.
Purchase running gear that is rated for sun safety. Also, consider “cooling sleeves,” which are being utilized more and more by runners and other athletes. (Cooling-sleeves help wick away moisture and create a barrier preventing UV rays from hitting your skin.)
- Plan your timing carefully.
This is a big one, as the timing of your run can greatly influence the power permeating from the sun. A general concept would be to run early or late. Planning like this will help you avoid the highest intensity of the sun, which usually occurs between 10am and 4pm. (If possible, it’s always a good idea to seek shade while you’re running.)
Have fun while you run. Stay safe and protect yourself from the damage the sun can cause, and, of course, don’t forget to stay hydrated!