The Sun and You
Running and Being Active in the Sun
I have to admit that it has been a long time since I had to run during the hottest part of the day.  Yesterday, I wanted to put in 6 miles and since school is out, my running schedule has been a little different.  So, I decided to run with my youngest daughter while she enjoyed riding her new bike! The run started out great and my daughter loved shouting at me to run faster while we watched the rabbits dash back and forth along the trail.  It was pretty cool!  We were cruising along until we hit mile 3.  The sun felt like it was literally 10 feet away from us and it just got HOT! There was a nice breeze but the temperature was 83 degrees and that SUN was beaming!

We started to head back sooner than later and once we hit 4.5 miles, I was done and toast! With darker skin, I am sure I absorb more sun than someone with lighter skin and I could feel it burning!  I knew I had been bad and had exposed my "unprotected" skin (yes, I will admit it)! I had to end my run and yes, my 9 year old daughter kept telling me "I told you to put on sunscreen, Mom!".  UGH!!!

  Either way, too much sun can be dangerous and if you do not use sunscreen, it can definitely do more damage than good! According to a 2006 Runner's World Article titled "Overexposure", Peter O'Neill, M.D. states that if you run or exercise outside with your body exposed to the sun, your skin gets damaged and can increase your risk of skin cancer. But, check this out (I have to admit that I fall in this category), there was 2005 study reported that 85 percent of outdoor athletes didn't use sunscreen at all.  These are the same health nuts that carry everything else but the sunscreen!  It is amazing how we can lather it on our kids but we tend to forget ignore ourselves.  After yesterday's run, I don't think I will ignore my skin again!

According to WebMD and other skin experts, sun exposure causes most of the skin changes that we think of as a normal part of aging. Over time, the sun's ultraviolet light damages the fibers in the skin called elastin.  When these fibers breakdown, the skin begins to sag, stretch and lose its ability to go back into place after stretching.  The skin also bruises and tears more easily--taking longer to heal.  So while sun damage to the skin may not be apparent when you're young, it will definitely show later in life!
Check out consumeresearch.com for the top 5 Best Reviewed Sunscreen products and grab yours quickly before heading out into the sun!

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 30
Est. cost $10 for 3 oz.
TARGET: Est. cost $8.09 for 3 oz. / $6.33 for 3 oz (SPF 55)

No-Ad Sunblock Lotion SPF 45
Est. cost $8 for 16 oz.

Blue Lizard Sunscreen Sensitive SPF 30+
Est. cost $15 for 5 oz.

Banana Boat Sport Performance Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 100
Est. cost $12 for 4 oz.
TARGET: est. cost for Family size $9.99 for 12 oz (SPF 50)

Badger SPF 30 for Face & Body
Est. cost $15 for 2.9 oz.

So, do NOT do what I did and expose yourself to the sun! I can still feel my shoulders and upper back as I type this blog entry right now!!!
Get protection for your skin because this is all we have! 
Run Happy and Be Safe

 Nicol