Hey, bRUNching enthusiasts! As the summer months roll in and temperatures rise, it's crucial for us here at TFB Training to emphasize the significance of sun safety. We want to ensure you stay safe, healthy, and protected from harmful UV rays while enjoying your runs. We share skin cancer prevention tips for runners and welcome in a special guest to help.
On the podcast, we had the chance to sit down with Niki Kozak, a metastatic melanoma cancer survivor who shared her story of overcoming the odds. While we highlight some of the information she shared with us here, definitely head over to her website for a wealth of knowledge and some really awesome memes!
So let's dive in and keep ourselves sun-smart this season!
Get to Know the Risks:
Skin cancer is a real concern, especially when we spend extended periods outdoors under the scorching sun. While we have heard of the potential risks of excessive sun exposure such as painful sunburns, it's important to note that the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause long-term damage to your skin cells, increasing the risk of skin cancer over time.
Embrace the Sunscreen Routine:
Applying sunscreen should be a no-brainer for all runners venturing out into the summer sun. Before your run, generously slather on a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Don't forget to cover all exposed areas, from your face and neck to your ears, arms, and legs. And remember, reapplication is key, especially if you're sweating profusely. Aim to reapply sunscreen every two hours to maintain optimal protection.
Chase the Shade and Run Wisely:
When planning your summer runs, try to schedule them during the cooler parts of the day—early mornings or late afternoons—when the sun's rays are less intense. Look for shaded routes, such as trails with abundant tree cover or urban areas with tall buildings. Another clever trick is to opt for lightweight, breathable clothing that covers more skin. Think long-sleeved shirts and pants to reduce direct sun exposure.
Shield Your Eyes and Lips:
We can't sufficiently emphasize the importance of safeguarding your eyes and lips from the sun's harmful rays. Invest in a reliable pair of sunglasses with 100% UV protection to shield your eyes. Not only will it make your runs more comfortable, but it'll also protect your delicate eye area. And don't forget to apply lip balm with SPF to prevent sunburn and potential skin cancer development on your lips.
Bare all with your doctor:
Develop a habit of regular self-examinations to keep tabs on your skin's health. Familiarize yourself with your skin's baseline appearance, and watch out for changes like new moles, alterations in existing moles, or unusual growths. If anything concerns you, don't hesitate to seek a professional evaluation from a dermatologist.
American Academy of Dermatology Association (n.d.). Skin Cancer Prevention Tips. Skin Cancer Foundation. (n.d.) Preventing Skin Cancer Mayo Cinic. (n.d.) Skin Cancer Prevention