Why Winter Running Clothes Should Block UV Radiation

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Winter Running Clothes and UV Protection

winter running uv protection

Asics Women’s Favorite Long Sleeve Top (UPF 50)

Every runner knows that the dangers of UV are at the summer, when the sun is up, and the temperatures are high. Every runner knows that when training they get the tanning shades on their thighs from their running trunks and their shoulders get white untanned lines from their running top. But when winter (or even autumn) arrives, joggers begin wearing their long sleeves and long tights, the UV dangers seem to belong to a different era.

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But the truth is that UV risks are not only connected to tanning. Tanning is the way our body defends itself from part of the UV radiation. Tanning can be possible only during summer when the short UV rays (known as UVB) are at their highest reach.

During summer we feel during our long runs the effect of the UVB on our skin. We feel the heat.

During the winter we see the sun light but we feel less of it’s heat warmth, because the UVB rays are shorter, and they do not reach the earth at the same extent.

What Are The UV Dangers During Winter

winter running dri fit upf

Asics Women’s Favorite 1/2 Zip Top (UPF 50)

The UV danger in the winter, is the same danger during the summer – it’s the long UV rays, which are known as UVA. These rays which have similar wavelength to sunlight, are available all year round from summer to winter, at the same level.

While the UVB gets less intense in the winter the sun light does not get “dimmer” and the UVA rays are at the same level. UVA are 95% of all UV which reaches earth, UVB count for the rest 5%.

UVA are dangerous rays which most people are unaware of including runners.

UVA radiation can penetrate deeper into the skin levels. The UVA does not leave any trace on the outer skin like UVB (tanning).

winter running uv sun protection

Pearl Izumi Men’s Thermal Long Sleeve Baselayer (UPF 30)

The main effects the UVA does is causing skin aging, brown spots, wrinkles and skin cancer. UVA can penetrate clouds, glass and clothes. For example people sitting at the same table which gets sunlight, will not get tan but might develop skin cancer at higher rates than those who are not exposed to sun. UVA can cause colors to fade.

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So running for two hours in a cool and cloudy day, may not get you tan, but the skin will get the same amount of UVA like running at July in the desert.

While runners wear UV protective running clothes at summer, they do not wear any protection layers during autumn or winter. Not all the clothes which keep runners warm, will protect the runners from UVA.

long running tights uv sun protection

Pearl Izumi Women’s Select Tight (UPF 50)

It is worth to invest in winter Dri-Fit running shirts and tights which have UPF (fabrics sun protection) level. The highest UPF possible is UPF 50. But any Dri-Fit fabric with UPF over 30 will be enough. 20-50 UV protection means up to 90-98% of the UV is blocked by the fabric.

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The brand is not important the technology of UV protection in clothing is well known and you can find your favorite running apparel brands at Amazon (Asics, Saucony, Nike, Adidas, New Balance ect..).

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