The temps are heating up and many people are turning to the great outdoors for their workouts. While exercising outside can be beneficial, it’s important to take a holistic approach to your health and remember to protect the largest organ you have — your skin. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, there are more than 3.5 million cases of skin cancer diagnosed in the US each year. Don’t become a statistic. Here are some tips to protect yourself while soaking up the rays.
Prep your skin before you go outside.
Sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes before going outside. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends reapplying after every two hours, especially after swimming or sweating excessively (like when exercising). Don’t be fooled by a label — no sunscreen is truly waterproof, so slather SPF on as instructed and make sure to use at least two tablespoons worth for your entire body (1 ounce).
Avoid peak hours.
If you work a typical 9 AM to 5 PM job, consider working out before or after work. Try not to workout during the time between 10 AM and 4 PM, which is when the sun’s rays are the most potent. Do you work outside? Try seeking shade during your breaks or move your activity inside, especially midday.
Choose smart clothing
Make your clothes do some of the work for you by choosing fabrics that block harmful rays. Pick out densely woven or bright or dark colored fabrics to protect your skin. Some workout clothes even have sun-shielding properties now. Don’t forget to take care of your eyes by wearing sunglasses and a hat. Read more on how to pick out the right type of sunglasses from WebMD.
Be Mindful of Sun-Risk Medications
Some medications make your more susceptible to damage from the sun, including common prescription and over-the-counter drugs, including antibiotics. The Mayo Clinic recommends asking your doctor or pharmacist about the side effects of any medications you’re taking. If you discover you’re on a medication that makes your skin extra sensitive, be sure to take additional precautions when outdoors.
Do you have any tips for outdoor skin safety? How will you be enjoying the sun safely this summer?