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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

When running, what should I be doing to protect my skin from sunburn?

Re Vitamin D
Sun exposure is one of the major recommendations - fine. However I usually have a good covering of "30" sunscreen on all my exposed parts - I burn relatively easily.Does this sunscreen affect the generation of the desired vitamin D? I gather UVB is the radiation required to generate vit D but I suspect it is also screened significantly by the sunscreen.
So for a typical 2-3 hour run what should I be doing?

Gary advises:

Sunscreen negates the health benefits of the sun with regards to vitamin D production. However; during a long run it is essential that you take steps to prevent sun burn which is what causes skin cancer.

I recommend that you cover up wearing a hat and a loose long sleeve shirt, or a T-shirt and then lathering sunscreen on the exposed areas. While there is debate about the toxic effects of sunscreen lotions, I remain in favour of judicious use in the meantime.

If you are fair-skinned, then your exposure of skin should only be for as long as is necessary to cause a slight pinkness by end of day. Nothing more is necessary for vitamin D production. Expose as much of your body as possible for no longer than about 10 minutes of midday sun - longer if you have dark skin. So, if you are running, whip the shirt off for about 10 minutes and then put it back on and complete the run.

Eating a handful or two of dark berries per day can give your skin some additional resistance to sunburn. Vitamin C and MSM reduce the damaging effects of sunburn. Take about 2,000 mg of vitamin C per day and up to 6,000 mg of MSM per day and see what happens. Incidentally, MSM will increase endurance and reduce muscle and joint pain. Both are available from my store

For more information about this important topic, do a search of my website using key words like "sunlight" or vitamin D"

1 comment:

Wayne said...

great photo, for those of you old enough you'll recognise Arthur Lydiard on the left, with the Auckland joggers club which formed from Lydiard addressing a group of businessmen, as usual Lydiard captured their imaginattions with running and they didnt need convincing to head out on the roads themselves