Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Skin Care Tips for Runners

What a glorious morning for a run! 11 miles in and feeling great. I got talked into running a half-marathon by my daughter Rana. She promised to fly to MN over the Fourth if I would run the Original 13 Half-marathon with her. (I was planning on taking it a little bit easier after running the Fargo Marathon in May.)I had cool temps, lots of sunshine and little wind. Just perfect for running!

Being in the sun for almost two hours today got me thinking about what we Runners can do to protect and care for our skin.

Here are some tips to help keep your skin healthy and happy.

1. Wear sunscreen! You've heard it before but it is so important. Wearing sunscreen is important because the sun's  rays can hurt you, causing painful sunburns that damage the tissues beneath the surface of your skin. Damaging your skin's deep elastic layer makes it look old and can lead to premature wrinkles.  Wearing sunscreen also helps protect your skin from cell damage that causes skin cancer. Doctors have found that being in strong sunlight a lot (especially if you are fair) and having many sunburns-particularly when you are young-can cause real problems many years later.
(Don't forget to put some on your ears, lips, the part in your hair if you don't wear a hat.)

2. Wear protective clothing. Along with wearing sunscreen it's also important to protect your eyes. Put on some sunglasses. A hat can also add some protection from the sun. I wear a great hat made by Golite.

3. Avoid running at peak hours. While it might be nice to get out for a  run over lunch, during the summer it’s best to avoid running between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Instead, it's a good idea to  run in the early morning (my favorite time) or early evening, when the sun's rays aren't as strong.

4. Avoid chafing. Running in the summer heat and getting pretty sweaty can increase the amount of chafing. To avoid this try an anti-chafing stick like Body Glide. Also, be sure your running clothes fit properly; ill-fitting and loose clothing can lead to chafing. Wearing clothes with wicking fabrics will help too.

5. Taking care of sensitive parts. Sore nipples has never been a problem for me but you've probably seen pictures of that guy in a bloody t-shirt at the finish line. Gals can experience this  too—especially if you wear a too-tight sports bra. One that fits well is less likely to allow jiggling, stopping the chafing before it starts. Using Aquaphor Healing Ointment  can help. ($6; drugstore.com).

Use these tips to have a happy, enjoyable summer training season. Are you training for anything coming up?

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