THUNDER BAY- Many Canadians have a love-hate relationship with the sun. Even though limiting sun exposure reduces the risk of skin damage and related cancers, for outdoor fitness addicts staying in the shade isn’t always the best option. Many athletes are not willing to skip a workout to avoid the sun while it is at its strongest. Runners, swimmers, sailors, and cyclists need to take extra skin-safety precautions to protect themselves against the effects of many outdoor workouts.
“Sun screen is very important to wear even on cloudy days to prevent skin cancer, always use a minimum of SPF 30,” says Rexall Pharmacist Lauren Blatt in Thunder Bay.
The sun can be hard on your skin
Despite long winters that keep us indoors, more and more Canadians are diagnosed with skin cancer. The Canadian Dermatology Association says one in six Canadians are expected to develop skin cancer in their lifetime, which makes it one of the most common forms of cancer. Exercisers who train and compete regularly outdoors should have annual skin checks with their doctor in an effort to spot early warning signs of cancer, especially if they are over 40 and with a history of early sun exposure.
If your health isn’t enough motivation, consider a new study of 903 Australian adults 22 to 55 years of age who either applied sunscreen daily or used it at their discretion. Silicone moulds were taken of their hands before and after the study and sunscreen bottles were weighed regularly to monitor compliance. Those who used sunscreen regularly over the four-and-a-half years of the study had smoother skin and 24 per cent less skin aging than those who used sunscreen irregularly. So how do you stay protected without relegating yourself to a lifetime of treadmill workouts?
Sun Health Importance
Here are a few sun safety tips designed for outdoor lovers: Look for sunscreens with a wide spectrum of UVA and UVB rays and wear an SPF (sun protection factor) of 60 for those who spend a lot of time in the sun. Apply Sunscreen about thirty minutes BEFORE workouts to give the product plenty of time to dry. Many people do not apply enough sunscreen so lather it on! Reapply every couple of hours and make sure to cover the easy to forget places such as ears, face and feet.
Sun Screen is available in many different forms such as lotion, gel, and sprays. Some are lighter than others so finding a sunscreen that feels the best on skin this will increase the chances of wearing it. Aim for a sunscreen that is waterproof, even if a trip to the beach isn’t on the schedule, it offers protection while sweating.
Sunscreen isn’t always enough to protect families and athletes everywhere, protective clothing and hats with large brims offer protection of the face and eyes. Invest in a good pair of sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection to keep the sensitive skin from getting damaged.