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5 secrets to sun-kissed skin

Athletes have the best tan

We all love the sun. Sporty people, especially, are always outdoors training in the rays and making the most of it. And of course, once we get that summer glow, we want to keep it long as possible. That’s why we’ve put together some tips on summer tanning. The best news: A tanned skin has more contrast and therefore highlights our muscles so that we look even more toned. And while bodybuilders usually use dark camouflage paint on their bodies to achieve this effect, we’ll show you how to get it and maintain it naturally.

1. Understanding the process of getting tanned

Tanning is natural protective mechanism that our bodies use to protect our skin from the sun. When we are exposed to sunshine - especially UVA and UVB rays to be precise - our bodies produce melanin, a brown pigment that protects our skin and gives us a tan. Since the production of melanin however is limited, a longer exposure to the sun is likely to get us rather sunburnt than darker. So instead of spending hours over hours in the plain sun, we should rather go for fewer ones and make use of them.

2. Stay moisturized

The surface layer of our skin renews regularly and once it’s gone, our tan also disappears. In order to slow down that process, you need to keep your skin well-hydrated. Make sure you use after sun and body lotions regularly to soothe your skin after sunbathing and to keep your tan for longer. Also, you should avoid hot showers since they can easily dehydrate your skin.

Beach running

3. Keep moving

Ever spent the whole day on a sunchair and ended up with one side of your body being tanned and the other side as white as chalk? The best way to get a balanced tan is by doing what Free Athletes love doing most: Being active! No matter if you go for a run at the beach, complete your bodyweight workout in the evening sun, hike or play beach volleyball - while you move your whole body is exposed to the sun and tans evenly. Plus, they say that sweat is like natures tanning oil, so it’s no wonder sporty people always have that natural bronzed look going on.

4. Seek the shade

It might sound like a paradox but in order to get a long-lasting tan you should also seek the shade from time to time. This gives your skin a rest to recover from the sun, prevents sunburn and protects yourself from too many rays. By the way: Since light surfaces, such as sand, reflect the sun rays, you can also get a tan under your umbrella at the beach.

5. Support your skin from the inside

Moisturizing your skin on the outside is key, hydration from the inside is a must. Make sure to drink enough water and fuel your body with foods that have a high water content such as cucumbers, watermelon or peaches. Moreover, foods that are rich in beta-carotene such as carrots, mango, sweet potatoes and carrots are also said to intensify the colour of your tan and give your skin a golden glow.

Time to seek the sun! With our tips you’ll be well-prepared to get a long-lasting summer tan. But always remember: Safety first! Don’t forget that too much exposure to the sun and especially sunburn can harm your skin, make it age faster and even cause skin cancer. You should therefore always make sure to use sunscreen with an adequate SPF, to limit the time spent in the sun and to treat your skin well after sunbathing. Enjoy your summer, Athlete!