UV Dangers For Runners a Hat Can Solve
All those who run, know that in order to improve and break your PR, a runner needs to train. Training can be done in a gym on a treadmill at home, or outside. Most runners will admit that running outside is part of the fun of being a long distance runner.
Those who train for marathon (26.2) will eventually will be running for several hours per week. Those who have set a half marathon (13.1 miles) will also be training for dozens of miles per week. There are far more runners who are training for the 10 Km or 5 Km races. In fact there are millions of participants in such races all around the country.
Running unlike other professional sports (baseball, football, golf) require very little gear. But even though there is not much to buy, high quality running gear is not cheap at all. Runners need to invest in a pair of good running shoes. Comfortable running clothes, which are usually Dri-Fit and sweat wick, and a running watch. Today running with an iPhone running app, or a professional GPS and heart monitor is very common too.
Personal Protection Gear For Runners
If you are running at dusk, dawn or night you would probably invest in a LED light or a reflective running vest (if you don’t have one yet… Click here and get it ASAP), they are lifesavers!
But what about running during day time? What kind of protection does a runner needs when running at mid day? One of the treats which a runner might not want to ignore, is the risks from UV radiation. The main problem is UV radiation absorbs silently in our skin and unless we see tan lines or kin burned we tend to ignore it, or overlook it.
But the worst part is that most runners think that UV dangers is relevant only in the summer, and they run for hours during winter without any ultraviolet protection.
UV Invisible Dangers
During summer earth is getting UVB + UVA. The UV-B is easy to feel and now it’s existing. UVB tans our skin, it it the radiation which cause skin burns if we stay in the sun too long or at mid day. UVA is there too, but it is mostly unfelt. These wavelength are longer and penetrate to deeper skin layers. UVA do not leave an outer trace, except colors fading under the sun.
At winter there is less UVB (due to the earth tilt) so we can be outside for hours and not get tanned or skin burnt. But there are the same quantities of UVA, the longer dangerous ultraviolet rays are present at winter and summer at the same level.
There are two ways to protect the skin from UVA. UPF clothes and UV ‘broad spectrum’ creams.
UPF Running Hats
Wearing UV protective clothes for runners, is important at winter just like summer. Even with zero tanning, or on a cloudy day, the UVA rays are absorbed in the skin. December = July. For this reason a runner should be running with a UPF running hat! Not just a visor.
See here Under Armour Men’s UA Shadow Cap.
The hat protects the top of our head, which has delicate and sensitive skin. The scalp skin is usually less tan (because of hair or hats) this means it has less melanin to naturally absorb the sun light. A UPF hat which is made from dri fit materials can protect the head and wick sweat at the same time, most of them are very light weight.
A wide rim is also recommended as it shields the eyes and the sensitive facial skin. The forehead and nose skin are usually tanned easily and a wide rim can protect them at winter or summer from UV radiation. Like this Race Performance Running Cap.
These hats on the right have breathable fabrics and air ventilation so for long distance runners they help remove the sweat away.
The second way to protect the skin from UVA is applying ‘broad spectrum’ creams. They need to be applied generously and reapplied every two hours. Note that regular SPF creams no matter how high their grade is, DO NOT FILTER – UVA. You must look for those who have UVA+UVB protection clearly stated on them.
So make sure you have your UV protection gear when training or competing!
Go get them champ!