Why sun protection is important for runners.
A majority of runners are continually putting themselves at risk for over-exposure to the sun every time they head out without sun protection. While you may be serious about your running routine and want to see some good results, the sun's ultraviolet rays can damage your skin, causing sunburn, unsightly dark spots, wrinkles, and, in some cases, skin cancer.
Whether you are into recreational or competitive running, compete in team sports or love to walk, swim, or play golf or tennis outside, it's essential to make sun protection a daily habit. When you consider how long you might be out on those bright summer days, cloudy days or even in the sunny winter days, it's worth taking measures to ensure you stay protected from the sun's harmful rays.
According to the Cancer Council, two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they are 70, with more than 750,000 people treated for skin cancers in Australia each year. Protecting your skin should, therefore, never be toyed with as it's vital to your longevity and overall health.
Contrary to what most people believe, dangerous days aren't just the ones that are hot and sunny. 80% of UV passes through clouds, so it's not necessarily safe on cloudy summer days either. This means that it's possible to get sun damage on overcast days when you're not even thinking about the sun.
And for those who say that an added tan is extra protection, well, that's just not true. Any degree of tanning is your skin's defensive response to sun damage or excessive UV exposure. The body will naturally produce more color to shield your genetic material from having UV absorption, and a tan is, therefore, a sign you've been exposed to harmful rays
We don't necessarily associate short periods of time in the sun as being a risk, however, UV exposure all adds up. Your skin is like a memory bank; it remembers all the time it's been exposed to the sun's UV rays making it extremely necessary to think of ways to limit your sun exposure while running or when you're outdoors.
Here are some sun safety tips for runners or anyone who has an active, outdoor lifestyle:
Sunscreen is the last line of defense in protecting your skin from harmful sun rays, as well as preventing dark spots and other cosmetic damage.
KINeSYS Performance Sunscreen is formulated for being active and sport. The formula is lightweight, non-greasy and fast-absorbing while being sweat and water resistant allowing your skin to breathe and sweat as usual, so you never have to worry about clogging up your sweat pores and overheating.
Our spray sunscreens are available in SPF 30 and SPF 50 fragrance-free spray sunscreens, including a convenient 30ml travel-size sunscreen that is perfect for people on the go as it fits easily into a running belt or pocket.
They are the best sunscreen options for those who prefer a sunscreen that is convenient to apply, especially when covering those hard to reach places like the middle of your back.
- Clothing moves – You may think you have covered all exposed skin, but it’s vital to get under seams.
- Keep sunscreen in your bathroom and apply before dressing or in your underwear; this way you have less chance of missing areas.
- Don’t forget the legs!
- Reapply every 80 min.
- UV exposure all add up. Don’t dismiss incidental sun exposure, like chatting with friends after a run; or a run on a cooler or cloudy day.
Wear a cap or visor
A cap does a fantastic job at protecting the top of your head and also offers added protection for your eyes and face, often at the most risk of skin damage. If you prefer a visor, or you have thinning hair, make sure to spray KINeSYS Sunscreen on the scalp or hair part.
Cover up what you can
Limiting exposure is crucial. While it is tempting to dress minimally in the heat, doing so will only increase the surface area of skin exposed to the sun. Swap your singlet for a cap-sleeved shirt with breathable UPF50+ fabric that not only protects your upper torso and shoulders from the sun's harmful rays but also wicks away moisture for maximum comfort and protection.
Slide on a pair of close-fitting sunglasses, rated category 2 or EPF 9+ to reduce eye damage which can result in cataracts and other eye conditions that block your vision. Wearing sunglasses that wrap completely around your eyes and a hat can reduce up to 98% of UV rays.
You don't want to run during the high UV or intense sun hours. To find the times to avoid in your area visit the Bureau of Meteorology for the UV Index forecast. If you have to run between during peak UV times, try running in the shade and take extra precautions to protect yourself, including those above, as well as taking plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
Look after yourself, look after your skin health and book a skin check - it could save your life.
To Wrap Up
While the top priorities for a runner will remain to be endurance, performance, speed, discipline, among others, it's also important to follow sun-safety precautions when working out, training or playing in the sun.
As a leader in the active suncare category, KINeSYS provides the highest quality sports sunscreen to give you maximum protection against the sun.