The heat has been turned up across the nation, with states experiencing temperatures that have many seeking solace indoors. That’s not you. You’re a go-getter, and you aren’t about to let a little thing like heat slow you down. But wait… maybe you should.
While it’s admirable that you would want to stick to your outdoor workouts during the summer heat, it can also be dangerous. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are very real risks when the temperatures and humidity climb. This summer, it’s all about working out smarter, not harder, especially if you plan to continue exercising outside.
We would never tell you to give up your fitness regimen, but we would implore you to keep reading this article. We have researched ways to stay safe despite the summer heat and want to share what we found with you. Use the following tips to stay safe and healthy no matter what number the dial on your thermometer reaches.
This one should be a no-brainer. You should stay hydrated, even when it isn’t scorching outside. The important thing to remember here is that you will need more water and electrolytes than you may be used to. The amount you take in during normal temperatures is not enough. Up your intake or you may dehydrate quickly.
You don’t have to spend money on special headwear, but if you have it to spend, it wouldn’t be a bad idea. Any brimmed hat will keep the sun out of your eyes and off of your face, but a traditional baseball cap can make your head heat up more than you would like. If you want to purchase something specific for your workouts, they make running hats that are vented and designed to help keep your head cool.
It can be tough to stay out of the heat during a heatwave, we know. What we are talking about here is to skip running when the sun is highest in the sky. If you are used to a mid-afternoon run, it’s time to reset your clock. Try running before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m. If you have no choice but to run in the middle of the afternoon, try to choose a route that is covered in shade.
Many people skip specially-designed clothing for their workouts thinking that a plain T-shirt and a pair of shorts will suffice. When it gets this hot out, shelling out a few bucks for a moisture-wicking shirt will help you keep your cool. These shirts are designed to help take the sweat away from your body and prevent you from getting too hot. If you do decide to buy a wicking shirt, choose one that is light in color. A dark shirt will absorb the sun and make you feel like you wasted your money.
Chances are that you have know about cooling off after a workout, but have you heard of cooling off before? Taking a cold shower before you go out running during a heatwave can help lower your core temperature, making it take longer for you to get hot as you run. This means that you will be able to run further before the heat starts to catch up with you.
Now is not the time to be trying to hit your personal best or set world records. Your goal should be to run at a steady pace, keep your hydration levels up and stay as cool as you can. Take it easy during a heatwave. Now is not the time to push yourself. Remember, you are working out smarter, not harder.
If you have access to a pool, taking a dip is one of the best ways you can cool down after a good run. Swimming slow laps or even treading water will help your muscles cool down, and the chill of the pool will help to lower your body temperature. If you don’t have access to a pool, consider soaking in a tub filled with cool water or taking a cold shower, just like you did before your run. Anything you can do to cool your body down will be beneficial.
You don’t have to forego your run when the temperatures climb, but you do need to be smart about your exercise. Use the tips above and your summer workout will be as safe as it can be.
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