6 Tips for a Safer, More Productive Summer Run
For those who enjoy going for a run or who include running as part of their workout routine, summertime comes with extra difficulties. The heat makes it easy for body temperatures to rise to an unsafe level. Staying cool is a must. If you have not tried summer running yet, these tips will help you know how to keep your run safe and cool.
Run During Cooler Hours
One of the best ways to beat the heat on your summer run is to go during the cool hours of the day. Generally, morning and evening are best. If you go in the morning, starting your day off with exercise will also boost your mood for the rest of the day. If the only time you have is during the hottest part of the day, try running indoors on a treadmill or track. This will keep you out of the strongest, most harmful rays of the sun.
Take Your Path Along Vegetation and Water
You can keep your body temperature at a safe level if you take your run through nature. Trees provide shade and other plants provide a cooler environment. Nearby water also cools the area around it. This is better than surrounding yourself with concrete and asphalt. They absorb heat and radiate it back onto you. It can quickly get too hot if there are not any natural elements nearby.
Wear the Right Clothes
Wearing light colored clothes will reflect the heat away from you, instead of absorbing it. Loose fitting clothes allow a breeze to come through and let your body naturally cool off. Top it off with a visor to prevent the sun from hitting your face because a hat will hold in the heat your head gives off. Do not forget your sunscreen either. Not only will it prevent sunburn, but it also acts as a barrier so heat does not get in as easily.
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Hydrate Before, During, and After Your Run
You will never make it far on your run if you are not properly hydrated. The hotter the temperature, the more you need to drink. Make sure you have plenty of water and electrolytes beforehand (at least eight ounces every hour will suffice) so your body will sweat like it needs to. Take water with you as you run, or stash some along your route. When you finish, replenish the water and electrolytes you have lost.
Give Your Body Time to Acclimate
It will take a couple of weeks for your body to get used to the warmer weather, so do not be discouraged if your time or pace is slower for a little bit. Instead of running at a certain pace, pay more attention to the effort you are exerting. Slowing down will help get a quality workout in without overexerting yourself in the sun. Though slowing down may sound counterproductive, it will help you recover faster and run longer in the heat.
Learn the Signs of Heat-Related Illnesses
Last of all, you need to know the signs of heat-related illnesses. If you are not prepared, the likelihood of getting sick goes up drastically.
Heat Cramps: This comes with muscle spasms and pain.
Heat Exhaustion: This includes rapid breathing, heavy sweating, headache, fatigue, nausea, and a rapid, weak pulse.
Heat Stroke: Watch out for a rapid pulse, dizziness, disorientation, headache, nausea and vomiting, and a body-core temperature of over 104° Fahrenheit.
Knowing these signs will help you know when you need to take a break and cool down. These illnesses can become serious fast, so do not think you can skip the above precautions. The safety of your run this summer depends on it.
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