Tennis is a great way to get exercise and enjoy the outdoors. But if you're not careful, you can expose yourself to too much sun while playing.
Spring is here and Summer is around the corner. Here are 10 tips on how to protect yourself from the sun while playing tennis or pickleball:
1. Wear clothing with UPF properties.
Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) indicates how much UV radiation (both UVB and UVA) a fabric allows to reach your skin. This is perhaps the simplest and most effective way to create a lot of coverage for your body. Edara Apparel dresses are a great choice for this, as they are all made with UPF 50 fabric, and since they are one-pieces, they offer full torso coverage. As explained here, the Long-Sleeved Dress in particular offers excellent sun protection.
2. Use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
Apply sunscreen 15 minutes before you go outside and reapply every two hours, or more often if you're sweating a lot. Be sure to cover all exposed skin, including your face, neck, lips, ears, and the tops of your hands. Some of our favorite brands: Supergoop, Blue Lizard, Sun Bum and La Roche Posay . However, ANY sunscreen is better than nothing.
3. Wear a visor or hat to protect your face and neck.
A hat with a dark underside on the bill will also help keep the sun out of your eyes. Read more about the Edara visor, which checks all the boxes for sun and eye protection, and is also super light-weight and comfortable.
4. Wear sunglasses that block 100% of UV rays.
Look for sunglasses that are labeled as "UV400" to ensure they provide the best protection. Practice wearing sunglasses when you play so you get comfortable tracking the ball with them on. Some of our favorite brands to play in: Goodr, Blenders and Oakley.
5. Seek shade when possible.
If you can, play tennis in the morning or evening when the sun is less intense. If you have indoor courts available to you, they are an excellent option during the hot Spring and Summer months for controlling temperature and sun exposure. Or, find a court that is shaded with trees. Always wear a hat or visor for some extra coverage of your nose and face.
6. Avoid playing tennis during the peak hours of sun exposure.
The sun's rays are strongest between 10am and 4pm. If possible, try to play tennis before 10am or after 4pm. In addition to greater exposure to UV, playing during the middle of the day increases your risk of heat stroke and heat exhaustion. If you start to feel dizzy, lightheaded, or have a headache, take a break from the sun and go inside to cool down. You may also notice sunburn, which is a sign that you've been exposed to too much sun.
7. Check the UV index.
The UV index is a measure of the sun's ultraviolet radiation. It's important to check the UV index before you go outside, and to take extra precautions when the UV index is high. The Edara Long-Sleeved dress gives you coverage and won’t be too hot, as it is made with stretchy, breathable, sweat-wicking material.
8. Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
9. Take breaks from the sun.
If you're playing for an extended period of time, take breaks in the shade every 20-30 minutes to cool down, let your skin recover and reapply sunscreen. If it is a friendly match, talk with your opponent about taking a few extra minutes during change-overs to help cool off and re-hydrate.
10. See a doctor for regular skin checks.
Most importantly, exam your skin and moles regularly. Train yourself to know what is normal for your skin. Plan to see a dermatologist annually for a skin check, but if you notice any changes in between visits, don’t hesitate to make an earlier appointment. Follow the ABCDE rule (Asymmetry, Border, Color, Diameter, Evolving) for any changes to your moles or skin.