Health & Fitness

By Candace Nelson

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One of the reasons most of us exercise is to look and feel young, but our good intentions could backfire, if we’re not careful. Thankfully, maintaining a youthful look can be as easy as sunblock, a supportive sports bra and a frozen water bottle.

Save your skin

Distance runners are at an increased risk of malignant melanoma, according to a study at Medical University of Graz in Austria. All those hours of training in the sun add up — and many sunblocks sweat off in the 4+ hours it can take to run 26.2 miles.

Even if you’re more of a 5K runner, apply a sweat-proof, waterproof formula (Try Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection or Coppertone Sport High Performance) before heading out and reapply every 80 minutes or at the end of the race, if your sweat time is less than 80 minutes.

Although it might add a few seconds to your time, asking a friend to meet you at a certain mile marker to apply a quick spray sunblock could spare you the hassle of skin issues later.

Whatever outdoor activity you choose, don’t forget to apply a layer of sunscreen to hands, neck and ear tips, commonly forgotten areas. Apply sunblock before getting dressed for an even application. A wide-brimmed hat provides additional protection, but don’t think of it as a substitute for sunblock. The sun’s rays can bounce off water or and other surfaces to age your skin from below.

Protect your eyes

Oakley sunglasses from Sunglassshades.com

Often team sports players, like soccer and volleyball players, skip sunglasses for fear of them breaking in a collision, but this is a mistake. Squinting into the sun causes wrinkles and UV damage, such as cataracts, and growths on the eye, including cancer. Always wear 99 percent or higher UV absorbed, shatterproof sunglasses when out in the sun. Most options at sporting goods stores fit the bill. They don’t have to be expensive to keep your eyes wrinkle-free and healthy.

Support the girls

All the ladies out there want to prevent sagging, so make sure to buy supportive bras when doing high-impact aerobic exercises, like running. When boobs bounce up and down, connective tissue can break down, causing premature sagging. Unfortunately, many of the stylish options are made for low-impact workouts like yoga or walking. But for anything more strenuous, choose a sturdy bra labeled “high impact.” Lorna Jane stores offer trendy designs made for women who really want to move: http://www.lornajane.com.

Baby your feet

There’s nothing youthful about the morning hobble or sharp pain in the middle of the heel, classic of plantar fasciitis. Common among athletes and people on their feet long hours, it is caused by the strain of tissues that support the arch of your foot. When the plantar fascia is week, swollen or inflamed, it can be painful to put weight on your heel or foot.

To prevent the hobble, be sure to give your feet some love. First, get fitted for the proper shoe. Avoid intense mileage increases — keep it to about 10 percent per week. You can massage soreness by rolling a golf ball under your foot and apply ice — try rolling a frozen water bottle under the foot. Don’t forget arch support. You can get custom insoles made at any running shoe store.

Originally published June 2015

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