April 7, 2023

Over the weekend one of our trainers went skiing and came back with a tomato-red face. We all already know what that means: sunburn. 

The weather is changing over the next week or so; it’s getting hotter and less cloudy. So we’re taking this opportunity to explain what a sunburn is, what it does to our bodies, and how to avoid and treat it. As we start to get outside more doing the things we love like hiking, biking, running, and swimming, we need to be careful to protect our bodies’ biggest organ: the skin. 

Sunburn is a common skin condition that occurs when the skin is exposed to excessive ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. It is a type of radiation burn that affects the skin's outermost layer, causing it to turn red, inflamed, and sometimes blistered. The UV radiation damages the DNA in the skin cells, which triggers the body's immune response. This immune response causes the skin to become red, inflamed, and painful.

The symptoms of sunburn can vary depending on the severity of the burn. Mild sunburn may cause redness and discomfort, while severe sunburn can cause blistering, swelling, and fever. The symptoms of sunburn usually develop within a few hours after exposure to the sun and can last for several days.

Sunburn can be avoided by taking a few simple precautions:

  • Stay in the shade: Try to stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and seek shade when possible.

  • Wear protective clothing: Cover your skin with clothing that is tightly woven and covers as much skin as possible. Hats, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants are recommended.

  • Wear sunscreen: Use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher and apply it generously and frequently.

  • Avoid tanning beds: Tanning beds emit UV radiation that can cause skin damage and increase the risk of skin cancer.

Sunburn not only affects the skin, but it can also have systemic effects on our bodies. The immune response triggered by sunburn can cause a systemic inflammatory response, leading to symptoms such as fever, chills, and fatigue. In addition, repeated exposure to UV radiation can increase the risk of skin cancer, including melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. UV radiation can also damage the eyes, leading to conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration.

Knowing all this, one might ask if it’s safe to exercise while recovering from a sunburn. Exercising with a sunburn can be uncomfortable and potentially harmful, depending on the severity of the burn. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Pain and discomfort: Sunburns can be painful and uncomfortable, and exercising may exacerbate these symptoms. If the sunburn is mild, it may be possible to exercise, but if the burn is severe, it is best to avoid exercising until the skin has healed.

  • Risk of further damage: Exercising with a sunburn can increase the risk of further damage to the skin, as sweat and friction can irritate the burned skin and delay healing.

  • Dehydration: Sunburns can cause dehydration, and exercising can exacerbate this. It's important to drink plenty of fluids and avoid exercising during the hottest part of the day to prevent dehydration.

  • Risk of infection: Sunburned skin is more susceptible to infection, and exercising can increase the risk of infection if the skin is further irritated or if equipment is not properly cleaned.

It might be tempting to go spend as much time as possible in the sun after the winter we had, but please remember to protect yourself when you’re out. If you have any questions about anything we covered in this blog or need help getting strong for a certain activity, please reach out because we would love to help. Stay safe out there!


Use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher and apply it generously and frequently.

Peak Performance Care

in Sonora CA

13949 Mono Way

PO Box 4143

Sonora, CA 95370

(209) 532 1288

Fax: (209) 230 9529

Monday/Wednesday: 8am-5:30pm

Tuesday/Thursday: 6am-5pm

Friday: 6am-2pm