Staying Fit Without Feeling the Burn – Sunburn That Is

Mother applying sunscreen to son. Sunny summer day on beach. Nikon D850

Exercising on a continuous basis is often a habit for those who do it. It becomes part of a daily routine, but the body does need to re-work exercise style every so often to work the muscles in different ways or work muscles that may not be utilized during any particular exercise. As the weather warms up, incorporating some outdoor exercises like swimming and hiking into a fitness routine becomes appealing. Make sure that precautions are taken to protect your skin from harmful sun rays if exercising outside, or you could be feeling the wrong kind of burn.

Before venturing outdoors for some physical activity, there are some things you should know. It is a good idea to check the weather channel or online sources for the UV index of the day. This number will range from one to 11 with 11 being the highest and one being the lowest in the strength of sun rays. If going out with a high UV index, you should be extra careful about covering your skin with clothing and sunscreen. Up to 80% of the sun’s UV radiation is able to reach you through cloud cover as well, so taking caution on overcast days is equally important. It is also good to know that the sun’s rays are most intense between 10am and 4pm. If exercising between those timeframes on a high UV index day, you may want to consider long sleeves and long pants, which leads us to prepare for exercise outdoors.

In the summer, the heat can be unbearable at times, which makes it hard to layer on clothing to protect from the sun. Instead of actual clothing, cover the skin with some good old sunscreen and reapply continuously because you are likely sweating it off pretty quickly. Look for broad-spectrum sunscreens with an SPF of at least 30. After applying sunscreen in even the trickiest of places like the ears and back of the neck, take time to protect the eyes with wraparound sunglasses for full coverage and a wide-brimmed hat for good measure.

Enjoying the outdoors by breathing in the fresh air and enjoying the scenery is a lovely way to get some steps in for the day, get the heart rate elevated, and maintain overall health and fitness, but exercising outdoors also poses some dangers. By being proactive and taking the time to cover up with sunscreen, clothing, and accessories like hats and sunglasses, you are ensuring that your skin remains healthy. Keep the harmful effects of the sun at bay by practicing these safety tips and feel the burn in your muscles and not your skin.