By Kristin Coverly and Mark Lees, PhD
[Ask the Experts]

“It’s spring, and I’m starting to prepare for several biking and running races. Is it best to receive bodywork prerace or postrace?”
Both! Ideally, you would receive a bodywork session two to three days before your event and as soon after the event as you can. Pre-event massage can help decrease muscle hypertonicity (tension), increase range of motion, and help you knock out a personal record on race day. Postevent sessions aid your recovery by addressing tightness from overuse–say, if you pushed a bit too hard or the race was longer or more challenging than your body is used to. They’re both valuable for achieving and maintaining peak athletic performance whether you’re an elite athlete or weekend warrior. Smartest choice? Make your massage therapist a valued member of your wellness team and receive consistent bodywork throughout your training and race season.

Kristin Coverly, LMT, is a massage therapist and educator for Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals.

“I tan easily. Do I really need sunscreen?”
Most of the sun damage that occurs in our lifetime is from ambient sun exposure, not deliberate tanning. Walking to the mailbox, driving in the car, talking to your neighbor in the yard, and sitting by a window at work—all of these seemingly innocent scenarios expose the skin to damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays. It is cumulative sun exposure that causes eventual damage. Sun exposure at age 22 causes wrinkles and skin cancer at age 40 or 50. Every time you have unprotected exposure, damage is accumulating that will eventually show up as sagging, wrinkles, liver spots, and skin cancer.
So, yes. Please wear your sunscreen.

Mark Lees, PhD, MS, CIDESCO, is a skin care educator, product developer, therapist, and author.