This summer has broken all sorts of records for being the hottest summer in almost 100 years. With the scorching temperatures, running outside is probably the last thing you want to do. However, if you follow these simple tips, you will be able to run outside safely and efficiently.
Adapting to the heat gradually is the best way to prepare your body. It typically takes around two weeks to adapt to the environment. The best way to see if you are adapting is to weigh yourself before and after your workout. If you have lost weight, you need to make sure to consume more fluid while you are exercising.
Drink 2.5 ounces of fluid for every pound lost. Two hours before your workout it is recommended by experts to drink at least 16 ounces of water to ensure you are properly hydrated. During your workout, American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends drinking 5-10 ounces for every 15 minutes of your workout.
If your workout is 45 minutes or less, water is sufficient and drinking a sports drink will only bring in extra calories. However, if it’s longer, a sports drink is needed to replenish your electrolytes.
The best times to run during the summer is in the morning or evening. The mornings are usually cooler and ozone levels are typically lower but tend to be more humid. The ozone levels tend to peak right during midday and again in the early evening. Avoid running outdoors between noon and 3 pm.
What you wear is also important to keep in mind. Wearing light colored clothes that fit loosely will help keep you cool. You can find specific material that is designed to help keep you cooler at your local sporting goods store. Also, always wear waterproof sunscreen, sunglasses and hat or visor to protect you from the UVA/UVB rays.
While your body is adapting to running in the hotter temperatures make sure you are not pushing yourself too hard. Slow your pace and intensity, going slower will help you acclimate more efficiently.
Studies have shown keeping your hands cool will increase your endurance during workouts. An easy way to do this while running is to carry a frozen water bottle in each hand. Also, keeping a cool towel around your neck or pouring cool water on you will also help keep your core body temperature from rising too much.
If you follow all these tips you should stay safe. However if you experience any of the following signs stop exercising immediately:
July 10th, 2012