Dr Ana Molina talks to us about the importance of protecting ourselves from the sun while practising our favourite sport on the island
A survey carried out last season showed very positive evaluations, with high ratings given to their stay on the island for the possibility, among other things, of enjoying longer training days, thanks to having more hours of sunshine per day, and of being able to sail with pleasant temperatures outside and on the water.
The sun is an ally for lovers of outdoor sports, but it can also be an enemy to health if certain recommendations are not considered. Sun and sport need to be combined safely to guarantee care is taken of the skin and to protect the body from potential burns and illnesses.
We discussed these issues with Dr Ana Molina, a renowned dermatologist and one of the best-known scientific communicators in Spain, who is also a professional with much influence on social networks and a regular contributor to radio and television programmes on health and wellbeing.
Dr Molina’s own favourite place for relaxing from work is Lanzarote, and she has provided us with valuable advice and best practices that we have gathered in this article, so you don’t have to stop practising your favourite sport while enjoying the spectacular landscapes of Lanzarote, but so you know everything you need to do so carefully, without putting the health of your skin at risk.
What is the best time for outdoor sport?
We’ve always been told to avoid doing sport at midday when the sun is at its most intense, but the doctor explains that, in dermatology, what is recommended is to pay more attention to the ultraviolet (UV) index, an indicator of the intensity of radiation from the sun on the earth’s surface and which is measured on a scale that starts at 0 and usually ends at 11.
This scale uses colours, like a traffic light, to make it easy to use, grouping the indexes according to the effects that sun exposure has on the skin and the possible risks of injury. An index level above 6 will show as red and indicates that it is necessary to protect skin and eyes from damage.
The doctor also reminds us that the amount of ambient light is not always related to the UV index and can be misleading. The latest generation of mobile phones and watches often provide real-time information on the UV index, so it is good practice to check them frequently.
What sunscreen should we use?
The use of photoprotectors, also known as sunscreen or sunblock, is the best solution so that you can enjoy the sun both in your moments of leisure and relaxation on one of the stunning beaches of Lanzarote, as well as during intense days of training in any of the many sports disciplines that can be practiced on the island 365 days a year.
In this case, it’s best to apply sunscreens in the form of sticks, which are much oilier and more paste-like, last better on the skin and are water resistant. She recommends using sunscreen lotions, because spray sunscreens involve wasting a lot of the product when applying them, especially if you do this outdoors.