Best sun protection tips for runners

Spring is here and summer is on the way. 

Running doesn’t stop cause it’s getting warm. Actually, for many, it usually increases while bringing others out because it’s getting warmer outside.

It’s important to protect and take care of your skin now that you are spending more time outdoors.

Sun protection is extremely important for runners. Outdoor runners expose themselves to more of the sun’s dangerous radiation than most people. This can add to your risk to skin cancer and can eventually cause your skin to age quicker. 

If you are going to run outside, protect yourself and your exposure to the sun. 

Check the weather

Checking the weather is pretty common for outdoor runners typically to see what the temperatures will be and if rain is in the forecast.

By checking the weather, it will help you determine when could be the best time to get your run accomplished. 

Avoid running during the peak of the day

Avoid the hottest times of the day, the three-five hours around noon. It’s probably better to run early in the morning or a couple hours before sunset. You will be steering clear of harsh, direct sunlight.

Apply your sunscreen

Make sure that you apply sunscreen on your exposed skin before heading outside.

It’s best to put sunscreen on about 20 minutes before going out for your run. Also, reapply it every two hours you spend outside.

Most people use sunscreen only on sunny days. While that is good, runners should apply sunscreen on cloudy days too.

Which sunscreen should you buy?

When you buy sunscreen make sure it’s a water-resistant sports formula. You don’t want it running down your face when you start sweating.

Do not run shirtless

I know it is tempting because it can get hot out there even if it’s short interval runs. However, the more skin you keep covered, the safer you should be from the effects of sun rays.

You can invest in other types of clothing instead.

  • Wear lightweight cotton shirts and shorts or leggings
  • Go for tightly-woven garments to prevent a large percentage of UV rays from getting to your skin

Protect face and head

woman running wearing a hat to protect her eyes and scalp from the sun

You also need to protect your scalp and the area that surrounds your eyes. 

Since your eyes are sensitive, some doctors don’t recommend using sunscreen around them. If you do, make sure to pick a safe formula to use under your eyes. You also can wear a pair of shades to help protect your eyes.

A running hat is perfect to protect your scalp and provide extra protection for your eyes.

Consider lip balm

Your lips are probably one of the last things you are thinking about. However, they can sunburn too.

You can always use sunscreen on your lips, but most of us tend to forget about them when we apply sunscreen. Also, some people don’t like how it feels on their lips.

Therefore, you can pick a lip balm with SPF from your drugstore. You might need to try out several products until you find your favorite. I like Burt’s Bees as it does not leave a flavor on my lips, it protects my lips and it flat out works. 

Choose your location carefully

I am a huge fan of running on the street. However, it might not always serve you well if there are no trees for any shade breaks. 

Look for areas that can provide some coverage from the sun. 

You might find neighborhoods or trails tree lined. Or you can choose forest trails that provide a canopy of trees to protect you while being surrounded by nature. 

Drink water and stay hydrated

Long exposure to the sun might lead to dehydration. Also, when you’ve been running for miles, your body will lose a lot of water due to your sweating. 

Either way, you’ll need to replenish your system. It’s important to bring a running water bottle or hydration pack on your runs and drink every time you rest.

When you’re done, you also spice of your fluids with infused water. It can make plain water go down with ease.

How do you protect your skin when running?

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