Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Hidden Danger For Runners...

You're outdoors on a nice day getting exercise. What could be bad about that? While you're doing your body "good" by running, you may be ruining the appearance of your skin and putting yourself in danger for skin cancer. Of course, anyone who participates in outdoor sports is at risk for this.

This summer, and ALWAYS, make a commitment to wear sunscreen when you run outdoors. Remember that ultraviolet rays are still busy damaging your skin even on cloudy days. In fact, I got the worst burn of my life on a very overcast day when I was a kid. I will never do that again! However, I know that I still make silly decisions. Last October I went out for a run and came back with a burn. Even if I hadn't gotten a burn, I know there still would have been damage to my skin after being outside in a tank top and shorts for an hour and a half. If you're having trouble making yourself take the time to apply sunscreen, ask yourself, "Do I really want to have ugly sun-damage spots on my skin and look ten years older than I really am?" Even if you escape skin cancer, the sun will likely derail your plans for graceful aging.

Choose a broad spectrum sunscreen and reapply every two hours, even if the sunscreen claims to be sweat resistant. Check out this article for information about new FDA guidelines for sunscreens. Be sure to use an ounce of sunscreen to achieve the full benefits of skin protection.

In addition to sunscreen, don't forget other protective measures. Invest in some running sunglasses, such as my favorite, Tifosi. A hat or visor are also really good ideas to keep the sun off of your face. Hats are best if you have any exposed scalp.

We are so fortunate that we live in a time when sunscreen is available. Let's take advantage of this great invention and protect our skin.

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