Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Sun Protection

I see more people out running or walking on the parkway.  Bikers are taking to the streets as well for outdoor exercise and not just during the early or later hours when sun exposure is less damaging.  It's important to take all precautions to protect oneself from sun exposure.  Of course, the first one is clothing.  UV protection is now built into a lot of athletic clothing, but a simple long sleeved shirt will provide a lot of protection.  A wide brim hat and sunglasses are essential.  Sunglasses should be wide enough to block the sun from more than one angle and should be rated to block 90-100% of UV rays.  My optometrist checked my $25.00 sunglasses for effectiveness which leads me to think "pricey" is not necessary for protection. I have posted previously about sun damage so you know that a product of SPF 50 filters about 98% UV-B rays. Here are a few additional facts to remember.

  • Nothing is 100%. 
  • Nothing protects all day for those exercising outdoors. 
  • Nothing is waterproof or sweat proof.  The U.S. FDA defines water-resistant as" maintains it's SPF for 40 minutes when wet".
  • On a cloudy day, about 40-80% of the sun's rays reach us.   We still need protection.

Check the package for other details such as how often to apply and how much.  The sun is to be taken seriously.  Unfortunately for many, it takes a skin cancer scare for action.  Don't go there!

Resources: ACSM Health and Fitness Journal May 2016 Sun Exposure and Exercise The Good, the Bad, and the Behavior Change by Jeff Lynn, Ph.D: Jordon Urda, Ph.D: and Patricia Pierce, Ph.D..FACSM

American Academy of Dermatology website