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Protect Yourself from Sun Exposure While Exercising

The warm summer sun has finally arrived in the Northeast, and people are heading outdoors to soak up the rays! For those of you who exercise outdoors, there’s some precautions you should take to protect your skin.


Did you know that skin cancer is the number one diagnosed cancer in the world? UV radiation in the form of UV-A waves (long rays) and UV-B waves (short rays) are harmful to your skin over time. UV rays are responsible for both initiating skin cancer and promoting its growth.


Outdoor exercisers are particularly at risk because of the amount of time they spend in direct sunlight. Follow these precautionary measures to protect your skin, year round.


Try These 6 Sun-Protection Tips


  1. The most effective way to protect yourself is to cover your skin with lightweight clothing. Look for clothing that has a UV protection factor (UVF), which means the articles have the ability to protect from the sun’s harmful rays. Higher UVF ratings are more desirable. Also, you should know that if the garment is made of cotton, when it becomes wet, the clothing loses most of its protection. Darker colors offer more protection than lighter clothing.


  1. Wear a sweat-wicking hat. The brim will offer shade to your face and the extra layer on top of your head helps wick away sweat and is breathable, ensuring you won’t overheat when you workout.


  1. Apply sunscreen, SPF15, or higher, at least 15 minutes before heading out to exercise. If applying to the face and head, use a sunscreen that is for sports and “sweatproof”. This will prevent it from running into your eyes and causing discomfort while exercising. Repeat sunscreen application every two hours, at minimum.


  1. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes. Invest in a pair that has lenses which cover the entire eye, including the sides. Choose sunglasses that have a 90% or 100% UV-A and UV-B protection rating.


  1. Seek shade when possible. If you are running and stop to do jumping jacks or ab work or to rest, do so under a tree.


  1. Avoid the most intense peak UV hours of the day, which are from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The temperatures are rising and the summer heat has arrived, but this doesn’t mean that you have to stay indoors to exercise. Follow the tips provided above and get out and enjoy the season!

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