Sunshine has many benefits - increased Vitamin D production and mood enhancement, plus it may even prevent certain diseases like IBD. But too much of a good thing is never a good thing (yes, even when it comes to chocolate and money!). Overexposure to sun without proper protections can lead to skin damage and possibly cancer. This risk may be enhanced for people with IBD who have underlying immune disfunction and/or are on immunosuppressive medications.
I live and run in Los Angeles. Perpetual sun, air pollution, dust and pollen, poison oak lined trails, and IBD means skin protection is an essential part of my running health. Am I overly cautious? Maybe, but in the end I don't want to look 80 when I'm 50.
HERE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE SKIN SAVERS:
MY SILLY HAT! When I opened the Amazon package and revealed my wide brimmed, neck-caped hat, my teen daughter just about had a heart attack, and so did I as it was my first step in looking seriously uncool on the trails.
But I have come to terms with the fact that the higher up you get on the trails, the closer you are to the sun and the fewer people you run into. It protects my face and my neck and that's good enough for me. (Also I threaten to wear it around my daughter's friends if she rolls her eyes at me or neglects to clean her room, so it's well worth the investment).
ARM, LEG, and NECK SLEEVES - Multi-hour runs/hikes are likely to be accompanied by multiple climates! Early morning fog gives way to summer sun. I like to keep my options open, adding or removing layers as needed with a variety of sleeves.
EYE PROTECTION -
SUNBLOCK - sunblock is kind of a no-brainer when heading into the trails but here are a few things to think about when out for multiple hours.
On a final note, I'm on week 3 of my 2021 miles in a year. I have run or hiked 78 miles as of October 5. I'm in the process of getting ready for an amazing camping weekend in Catalina so there will be much to tell in the coming weeks.
Thanks for reading!
About the Gutsy Runner!
Lucie is a runner, hiker, and fitness coach who follows the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) for her ulcerative colitis. She is currently on a year long birthday celebration that includes covering 2021 miles on foot and exploring some of the areas most iconic and beautiful trails. Read more