In general, outdoor exercise is a good thing. But did you know that if you exercise outdoors, you are at a higher risk for skin related cancers due to sun exposure? Increased amount of time in the sun, lack of protective clothing, and unavoidable excessive sweating can contribute to increasing your risk of skin cancer while exercising.
As an athlete or avid exerciser, there are many ways that you can protect yourself and still enjoy the outdoor activities you love. Here are a few of our tips!
- If possible, avoid exercise between 10am and 4pm when the sun’s rays are most intense.
- Aim to wear wraparound sunglasses that block 99-100 percent of UV radiation. This will protect your eyes, eyelids, and surrounding areas.
- Always try to layer with a wide brimmed hat
- When choosing a sunscreen, aim to use broad spectrum which includes UVA & UVB protection with a SPF of 30 or higher and is water resistant or sports specific.
- Use caution when near water and sand as they reflect the rays of the sun.
- Since up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV radiation can penetrate clouds and harm your skin, remember to protect yourself on overcast days.
- It’s a good idea to carry sunscreen with you, and reapply every two hours, especially when you are sweating heavily.
- Don’t forget to add sunscreen evenly and in hard to reach places like the back of the neck, backs of your hands and feet, scalp, and behind your ears.
- Always check the UV index. The UV index ranges from one to 11. The higher the UV index, the stronger the sun’s rays. Be extra careful outside when the UV index is high.
So next time you are headed outdoors for your exercise or sports events, remember the basics. By preparing for the day ahead you can protect yourself for years to come from the sun’s harmful rays. How do you protect yourself while outdoors? Share your comments for readers below!