Running & Fitness

Summer Fitness: How To Protect Your Skin During a Run

Matt Orlando
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Summer is nearly here and the time for daily runs out in the sun is upon us. However, between the heat and the persistent UV rays, there are a lot of potential risks that come with this activity, particularly for your skin. Sunburns, dark spots, and even more serious medical conditions are all common in runners. So, if you want to make the most of your fitness routine without the potential drawbacks, you need to know how to protect your skin during a run. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Apply the Right Sunscreen

Firstly, you want to make sure that you’re applying sunscreen every time you leave your home, as well as applying the right kind. Sunscreen is essential for blocking the sun’s UV rays and preventing severe cell damage. But while most generic products work fine for outings to the grocery store, you want something more water-resistant for running. This is because sweat can break down the oils in the formula and wash away its protective barrier. As such, you want to find something that’s at least SPF 30 with a specialized rating for sports activities.

Wear Longer Clothing

Also consider wearing longer running garments, such as long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Though this action is easier said than done in the heat, and you definitely shouldn’t do it if you’re uncomfortable, more coverage means less exposure to the wind and sun. This means that you’ll minimize your risk of developing a painful burn. Fortunately, you can find breathable running clothes that provide full coverage at your local sporting goods store.

Bring Along Accessories

Another way to protect your skin during a summer run is to keep a hat and a set of sunglasses on hand. Constantly squinting as you run can weaken the skin around your eyes and make these areas more susceptible to damage. It can even make you look older prematurely. Additionally, because you can’t apply sunscreen on top of your head, wearing a hat ensures that you’re protecting yourself from sustaining a burn where your hair parts. These accessories can have a large impact on your general comfort as you run as well.

Leave at the Right Time

One of the best things you can do to protect yourself is to choose your running times carefully. There are certain hours where the sun is at its highest point, causing it to beat down on you in a harsher manner. By leaving before 10:00 a.m. or after 4:00 p.m., you’ll receive less sun exposure overall. This can make a significant difference in your skin’s long-term health.

It’s impossible to focus on your run when you’re worried about your skin. But by using these tips, you don’t have to be concerned about the potential aftermath of sun exposure. Instead, all you need to think about is pushing yourself one step closer to your goals.