Serious athletes are a different breed. There isn’t much that deters them from training, and training hard. They don’t shy away from training simply because the weather is too hot or because the sun is too bright. Dedication keeps them going, no matter the cost. Training at high temperatures under the blazing sun is common for athletes in many parts of the world. However, without the right protective gear, they stand the risk of developing multiple health issues due to the heat and UV rays. What risks are associated with sun exposure? Sun exposure can cause more than a sunburn. It can result in a number of skin-related diseases and issues that are very easily prevented. According to research: • The sun’s UV radiation carries potentially harmful UV-A (longer wave) and UV-B (shorter wave) radiation. If overexposed to these rays, athletes may suffer accelerated aging, irreversible skin damage and multiple skin cancers. • UV-B rays, usually most intense in spring and summer, cause tanning and skin burns, both of which can cause damaged skin cells and a higher cancer risk. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercising in hot weather stresses the body and can cause: • Heat cramps: Painful muscle contractions that often show up during exercise, accompanied by spasms and unnatural muscle firmness. • Heat syncope and exercise-associated collapse: Nausea, lightheadedness and fainting occurring in high temperatures. Heat exhaustion: When body temperature becomes unnaturally high, it can lead to vomiting, nausea, fainting, weakness, and more. • Heatstroke: A life threatening condition in which body temperature is higher than 40 degrees celsius. How can athletes protect themselves from the sun? Simply put, cover up. Athletes need to wear a face mask or face cover that guards their faces and necks from extreme exposure to UV rays They also need to wear sunscreen consistently, hydrate at regular intervals, and be mindful of how their bodies arey is responding or reacting to the immediate environment. How to do that during hot weather training? Start Early It is best to workout and train as early in the day as possible, as it helps avoid the strongest and most harmful temperatures during the day. Carrie McCusker, a level 2 TrainingPeaks coach and a lifelong athlete, advises athletes to avoid the sun during its peak hours. She writes in her blog – “It is never too early or too late to start protecting your skin. Don’t be lulled into complacency by youth or less-sunny climes.” Hence, as far as possible, train early in the morning or after the sun goes down. A brisk morning workout sets the perfect tone for an active day. On the other hand, evening workouts are excellent for unwinding after a sedentary day. To be on the safe side, check the UV index before stepping out for exercise. Sun protection is required when UV levels are 3 or higher. Liberally Apply Sunscreen Few things are as painful and annoying as sunburns. They will disrupt workout schedules and can leave you inactive for days. To prevent this, apply SPF 50+ broad spectrum, water resistant sunscreen to clean, dry skin 15 minutes (or more) before stepping out. Carry the sunscreen without you and reapply every couple of hours if you aren’t back inside yet. Replenish Electrolytes If you’re venturing on moderate exercise for about 60 minutes, make sure to keep drinking water throughout. Don’t leave home without drinking at least 16 ounces of water. As per Kate Lemere, a fitness trainer and writer in the city of Chicago, one should “plan to spend 20% of your work day in the bathroom. If you have a large water bottle with you you’ll be more inclined to drink it, so buy a water bottle that is 40+ ounces so you don’t have to refill as often and make a goal to drink 3-4 of them throughout the day.” In case your workout is high-intensity and/or lasting more than an hour, switch to sports drinks with electrolytes (sodium, chloride and potassium). The human body needs these minerals to make up for fluids lost through sweating, and keep itself going without collapsing or being harmed. Gear Up with Protective Clothing “How can I protect my face from the sun naturally?” Pick out and wear workout clothes that have UV protection and material designed for easy movement. Rebecca Louise, a global fitness NASM Certified Trainer, correctly says, “As the temperature changes, our clothing needs to change too. In this case, we want them to be light and breathable. The more clothing that you put on, the more energy you drain!” We agree – lighter clothing is better for sun protection. Consider wearing clothes made up of sweat wicking material like – dry fit, nylon or polyester nylon blend – material that keeps the body cool. Wear a hat and sunglasses. The sun’s rays often reflect off surfaces like roads, sidewalks, sand and snow and hit the face, blasting it with harmful UV radiation. What Can You Do About Sun Exposure? Let’s be honest. Professional athletes can’t be running around with inconvenient hats and sunglasses that may fall off at the slightest provocation (what if you ran too fast or jumped too high?) They need something designed to give them guaranteed protection, no matter how hot it gets. Enter the expert: EX-SHADER: Designed for Sports People who Train in the Sun In an effort to provide athletes with the best protective gear, NAROO has created EX-SHADER fabric found in the N0 neck gaiter and N0U mask Equipped with sun protection mesh technology that provides 92% UV protection, this easy breathing fabric provides fans of the outdoors with great ventilation and quick-drying properties facilitating easy-breathing and comfort in the heat. It also addresses a major concern that athletes have: finding a breathable face cover that will let them undertake strenuous physical activity in the heat of the blazing sun. The best masks for hot weather are those which let the wearer breathe effortlessly even in the middle of intense physical activity and get all the oxygen they need – without excessive sweating on the face and neck. NAROO created these masks fit with breathable, UV protective EX-SHADER fabric. EX-SHADER is an interlocking mesh fabric structure comprising tightly-knit, net-like holes that offers 3 layers of UV protection whether you need a neck gaiter for fishing in the summer or a face mask for cycling in sunny mountain altitudes. Common mesh fabric, while very breathable and lightweight, is not effective against UV rays. That’s where the EX-SHADER shines – the interlocking fabric provides dependable UV protection where regular mesh cannot. Specific benefits of the EX-SHADER: • Structured in a way that provides ventilation and comfort in high heat. • Built so that the wearer can breathe easily even when performing strenuous physical activity. • Manufactured from proprietary NAROO Mesh Fabric that provides 92% sun protection • Dries quickly, even in hot, humid environments. • Reduces chances of skin ailments and associated illnesses caused by heat and sun exposure. • Easy to wash, clean, and maintain between uses. NAROO’s breathable sports masks have been inspected and certified by a number of prestigious verification bodies. Each line offers a unique solution to environmental problems that athletes often encounter. They are an important part of the active individual lifestyle, designed to protect them from environmental factors responsible for damaged health. Through consistent research and real-world upgrades, NAROO masks offer high levels of protection for individuals with active lifestyles, be it in the sun, rain, snow or wind.