Summer’s nearly here and with it, the pleasure of exercising outside, in the fresh air and under the sun. But such a workout comes with added risk; a recent survey by OnBuy.com showed that 67% of Brits do not apply SPF to their skin in prep for their daily outside exercise. What’s more, the British Skin Foundation estimates there are 100,000 new cases of skin cancer each year.
To help Brits stay safe when taking their daily outside exercise, Golfsupport asked for expert advice from personal trainer Sana Shirvani on how to prepare for working out in the sun. And here it is; our 5 tips for protecting your skin when exercising outside.
Make sure you are applying 30 SPF sunblock every time you head out to work out. It doesn’t matter whether there are blue skies, it’s overcast, or if it’s raining; you’ll still be exposed to high doses of UV light. According to a study published by the Journal of Clinical Oncology, regular sunscreen use decreased the incidence of melanoma by 50-73% in study participants. Different formulas will last for different amounts of time, the general rule is to reapply every two hours, but when working out you should do it more frequently due to sweating.
AVOID PEAK HOURS
The sun is closer to the horizon before 10AM and after 2-4PM depending on where you are in the world. Conversely, the sun is strongest and most harmful when it’s highest in the sky, roughly between 11am and 3pm in the UK. You want to avoid exercising in these peak hours as this is when you’ll be exposed most and it will dehydrate you faster, especially if you’re trying to get healthy and build your fitness.
EAT & LIVE WELL
Increasing your immunological defences can also help safeguard your skin from damage. Schedule rest and recovery each week, get at least eight hours of sleep, and fuel up on antioxidants. Focus on eating a balanced diet that is varied in colour. The more colours, the wider the array of damage-fighting antioxidants you’re getting. This will help with your skin and your recovery from exercise, so you are able to do more and get fitter.
CHECK YOURSELF FOR MOLES REGULARLY
No matter how careful you are, check your body for new or changing moles every month, especially if you’re regularly out exercising, and visit a dermatologist once a year or more (depending on your personal risk level) for a skin-cancer screening. It’s never too early to have someone take a look at your skin. If all is well, great. If it isn’t, then it’s essential that it’s caught early.
SOME GENERAL TIPS ON EXERCISING IN THE HEAT HEALTHILY:
More generally, to stay healthy when exercising in the heat you should do the following:
KEEP HYDRATED: In the summer heat, keeping yourself fully hydrated is arguably the most important part of the whole process, so it’s crucial to take a drink with you and also remember that just because you don’t feel thirsty doesn’t mean you don’t need to drink!
DON’T OVER EXERT YOURSELF: It’s incredibly important to be aware of your fitness levels and not to stretch yourself too far. If you try to do too much, especially in hot weather, you will end up causing yourself an injury.
STAY NEAR HOME: If something were to go wrong, like an injury or a sudden illness, you will want to be within a short distance of home, especially if it’s hot, as you will be exposed to the sun and heat for longer, making any injury or illness worse.