How many times have you left the house for a run without thinking about the sun? Probably too many to count because, let’s face it, once you’ve pulled on your running gear and have your route in mind, it’s far too easy to hit the road without thinking about your skin.
Yet the biggest danger that runners face is to be nonchalant about protecting their skin from the sun. Sun damage can have life-long implications, such as premature ageing and skin cancer, and prolonged exposure to heat can lead to dehydration and heat stroke, which can be sudden and deadly.
Do I need to wear sun protection in winter?
YES, always! Living in South Africa, we should, as a rule, be protecting our skin daily. No matter the time of year, you should always apply a face cream which has an SPF factor of 15 or more. When the sun is hidden by clouds, it’s easy to think that harmful UVA rays are also blocked but they remain at a constant level throughout the year.
If you’re running long distances, sweat can cause sun cream to reduce in effectiveness, which is where a running cap comes in handy – not only does it shield and protect your face, it can catch those annoying beads of sweat before they get in your eyes.
What should I be wearing while I’m running?
Investing in protective UV clothing is a clever way to ensure that your body is always safe from the harmful rays of the sun. A hat and sunglasses are imperative for shading the face and eyes as well as offering protection when sunscreen fails.
If you can’t find the right protective gear, we suggest running earlier or later in the day, when the heat and strength of the sun are at their lowest.
Having too much sun can be soothed with after-sun products such as Aloe Vera gel, but the sun’s effects will always be long-lasting so stay its better to stay protected from the start!
Also read: Eat Your Way to Better Sun Protection.