What’s better than working out outside? There’s fresh air, interesting views, and UV rays that can give you cancer or, at the very least, turn your skin to shoe leather. Want to protect your skin from the sun? Check out the following tips for keeping your skin healthy in the sun that go beyond “slather on sunscreen before you head outside.”*
Exercise Earlier or Later
With some variation based on your specific location, the sun is generally strongest between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you generally run, play sports, or otherwise exercise outdoors during these hours, consider switching it up and getting your workout in when you won’t be getting quite as large a face-full of UV rays. Plus, it will be cooler, so your workout will feel a bit easier and you’ll lower your risk of winding up having to deal with heat stroke or dehydration.
Be Conscious of Clothes
You might be most comfortable exercising in your tiniest shorts and thinnest tank top, but clothes made from tightly woven fabric can more effectively help to protect your skin. Note, too, that darker clothes may protect your skin from UV rays better than lighter colored clothes and that dry clothes are more effective in shielding skin than wet clothes. An even better option is investing in exercise gear especially designed to block UV light, including a hat and a pair of sunglasses.
Use an After Sun Product
Stay out in the sun a little bit too long? An after sun product with aloe vera, vitamins, and moisturizers can help reduce the discomfort that comes from sunburn while simultaneously aiding in the quick repair of damaged skin. By helping your skin heal faster, you may be able to cut down on wrinkling, discoloration, and other cosmetic effects of sun damage. Check out this list of chemical-free after sun products.
Check In With a Dermatologist
If you’re a long-distance runner in the range of 50 miles or more every week, or if you otherwise spend a significant amount of time outside, you’re likely going to be exposed to the sun even if you’re super conscious about mitigating its effects. To make sure that your skin stays healthy, consider scheduling yearly skin cancer screenings and have any new moles, spots, or other skin changes checked out ASAP.
*Which you should already be doing. If you don’t already apply a waterproof, high-SPF sunscreen half an hour before starting your outdoor exercise (and reapply it every 2 hours if you’re sweating a lot), start right now.
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