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Protect Your Skin When Running in the Sun

Protect Your Skin When Running in the Sun

You want to enjoy a warm and clear day by running outdoors. You wear as little clothing as possible because you enjoy the feel of the sun on your skin. Ironically, while your workout is improving your endurance, circulation and muscle tone, the solar rays are destroying your skin, putting you at risk for skin cancer. You can protect the health of both your skin and body by following a few guidelines.

Avoid running in the sun from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The sunlight is at its strongest and most dangerous at that time of the day. If you must work out at those times, run in the shade as much as possible. You can use your shadow as a guide. If it’s longer than you are tall, then your exposure to damaging ultraviolet rays is lower. It it’s shorter, then your exposure is greater.

Slather on some sunscreen with an SPF, or sun protection factor, of 15. The number represents the multiple of your normal time that you can be in the sun. In this case, you can be in the sun 15 times longer than you normally would. Your normal exposure time depends on your skin type. If you tan easily, that time is around half-an-hour. If you’re very pale and cannot tan, that time may only be 5 or 10 minutes.

Protect Your Skin When Running in the Sun

Wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants that are lightweight and breathable. While it feels great to run with nothing on but a pair of shorts, you expose more of your skin to potential harm – there’s a reason that desert dwellers cover every part of their body. While you’re at it, put on a hat to protect your head, and wear some sunglasses to safeguard your eyes.

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