The importance of sun protection on the padel court
When we play padel outdoors, it is very common for the sun to accompany us. In the same way that its presence is welcomed, it also has some aspects to take into account for our health. Sun exposure during the hour or more that our game will take us is a factor to consider and take action to prevent. In this article, and with the help of doctor Francisco García, we tell you how.
Protect yourself from the sun
The ultraviolet radiation transmitted by the sun's rays is an ever-present factor. In many cases, it can be higher than usual, either because of the season or the geographical location where we are. This is why it is important to adapt to each situation and the environment we find ourselves in.
In situations of high solar intensity, as far as possible, we should avoid being in direct sunlight in the central hours of the day, between 12:00 and 16:00 hours, as UVA / UVB radiation can be very harmful during this time.
The use of sunscreen in sports is becoming increasingly widespread. It is necessary to protect all exposed areas, just as we do when we go to the beach. Keep in mind that a padel match lasts an average of an hour and a half, and sometimes a tournament may require more time in the sun.
There are two different types of sunscreens, chemical and physical.
- Chemical: they absorb radiation and convert it into a small amount of heat to minimise its impact. They work a few minutes after application, not immediately. Their components are partially absorbed by the skin, so they are not recommended for allergic or sensitive skin.
- Physical: they act by reflecting the radiation like a mirror and scattering it like a shield, practically without reaching the skin. They act immediately and have a lower absorption rate by the skin, so they are less irritating.
There are many products on the market with different textures, in the form of lotion, cream or spray. Before we delve into them, we must remember that these products are not eternal, they have an estimated expiry date - so do make a note of that!
Current recommendations are to apply them to the face, arms and legs, about ten minutes after exposure to the sun, especially in cases of vitamin D deficiency. It should be remembered that the sun is beneficial for conditions such as osteoporosis and psoriasis.
In their labelling, they are always accompanied by a printed number which is the Sun Protection Factor (SPF). This figure is calculated based on how long the product prevents us from getting sunburn. There is a very simple rule, easy to remember, when choosing an SPF (15-30-50). This figure indicates the number of minutes you should allow for reapplication. So, if you use SPF 50 it means that every 50 minutes you should reapply the product to be well protected. SPF15 and SPF 50 have approximately the same "photoprotective power" (varying by 3-5%), but the difference lies in the duration of their protection.
New technologies in textile materials help to protect us from the sun more effectively. There are essential complements when playing padel in the sun. We recommend the use of a cap or visor to protect both the head and the eyes. In addition, specialised sunglasses for this sport will protect us from the sun and even from the odd stray ball.