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A healthy body is important for athletes and sports enthusiasts as this means that they can perform their tasks to the utmost of their ability during sports activities. During the summer, however, one should take into account the amount of time they are outside underneath the heat of the sun. Too much sun exposure can be harmful to skin, which is why it is important that one prepares their skin during prolonged periods under the sun.
The sunlight that reaches the earth has ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, which are the main causes of skin damage. UVA and UVB rays affect the skin’s sensitivity to sun exposure in different ways. UVA rays are more dominant than UVB rays and can cause long-term damage to the skin since it penetrates deep into the skin’s layers. UVB rays are more intense during the summer season, most especially during the middle of the day, and can cause skin cancer.
It is important to prepare the skin before venturing outdoors. Protect your skin from the rays of the sun by making sure to apply sunscreen on any exposed skin, including the limbs, the face, and even the ears. Use a water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen that is SPF 50 or higher, and reapply every two hours especially for extended outdoor activity. One should also try to go under the shade as much as possible. Cover up where you can with wide-brimmed hats or visors, and wear comfortable clothing that is lightweight like cotton, hemp, or linen and are light colored.
|Kim Woo Bin for Merrell (2016).|
There are many sports clothing companies that have already thought of the athletes and sporty people that love to stay outdoors. Clothes that have UPF, or ultraviolet protection factor, on the label should be the prime choice for outdoor athletes. The higher the UPF rating, the fewer UV rays reach the skin. Clothes with a UPF of 50, for example, allows just 1/50th of the sun’s UV radiation to reach the skin. Light-weave UPF clothing can protect the body without impeding on the workout or activity.
Protective clothing extends not only toward protection from the sun but protection from overworked muscles as well. Athletes that train under the intense heat of the sun are at risk of both burning their skin and burning the muscles used. Ensure that you are protected from muscle overuse by using KT tape. KT tapes are made of 100 percent cotton fibers with specialized elastic cores that help reduce the pressure, discomfort, and pain from using the muscles during training. This tape alleviates the swelling and muscle inflammation from lymphatic fluid buildup in the muscles while also supporting it by improving the muscles’ ability to contract.
|Han Ji Min for Dazed (March 2019).|
The eyes are the next part of the body that need to be protected during the summer season as they are also vulnerable to ultraviolet rays from the sun even when the effects aren’t felt right away. Short-term effects of overexposure to UV rays include excessive blinking, swelling, or difficulty looking at strong sunlight. Overexposure can also cause sunburn of the cornea known as photokeratitis, also known as snow blindness or welders’ flash burns.
Photokeratitis, or ultraviolet keratitis, is a painful eye condition caused by exposure of insufficiently protected eyes to the ultraviolet rays from either natural or artificial sources. This is why it is important to protect the eyes during scorching hot weather during the summer season. Sunglasses protect the eyes from 5 to 10 percent of visible light that absorbs almost all UV rays. These glasses should have large lenses and should always be worn.
Be Cautious of Some Medications
There are a few medications that you should be aware of that make you more sensitive under the sun, so make sure to be extra vigilant when outdoors when these are being taken. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen are a few to take note of.
|Missha All-around Safe Block.|
Prolonged exposure under the sun is how one gets sunburned, so make sure to take a break every hour or so. Since sports require that you train your body for hours on end, make sure that every training session outdoors is timed accordingly. Since sunscreen needs to be reapplied, taking a break will help remind you on when to dab on a new protective layer of SPF lotion onto the skin.
Although there are many things to consider when it comes to sun protection, it is imperative that one is reminded of the good things that the sun can offer. Sunlight is known to be a great mood enhancer—no wonder why others tend to say “Go out in the sun” when they see another feeling blue. The sun is also a great source of vitamin D, which is a vitamin that helps maintain bone strength. Lastly, don’t forget the important thing of all during the summer, and that is to enjoy and make great memories!