Lacing up your sneaks on a hot and sticky day doesn't just feel uncomfortable, it can also put your health in danger. You can't reap the benefits of exercise if you're forced to skip your runs, so here's how to avoid three common Summer running issues.
- Dehydration: On days when the temps reach into the 80s and 90s, hydrating after a workout isn't enough. It's also important to drink water throughout the day before even heading outside for a run. Even if you're not used to carrying water, make a point during hot runs and sip an ounce or two every five or 10 minutes. If you start to feel light-headed, head indoors and drink some cold water ASAP.
- Heat exhaustion: You'll know you're suffering from heat exhaustion if you experience heavy sweating, moist skin with goosebumps, faintness, dizziness, fatigue, a weak or rapid pulse, muscle cramps, nausea, and a headache. If it becomes serious, you can suffer from a heat stroke (when your body temp reaches over 104 degrees), in which case medical attention is necessary to prevent damage to your brain and other vital organs. If you're experiencing these symptoms, get out of the heat and cool yourself off as quickly as possible by drinking cold water and taking a cool shower. If you don't feel better after 30 minutes, see a doctor immediately.
Keep reading to learn how to prevent heat exhaustion and one other Summer running issue.
To prevent heat exhaustion from happening, avoid exercising on days when the temps and humidity levels are high — head for the air-conditioned gym or do one of these calorie-burning water sports instead. If you're set on running outside in the Summer, keep in mind that dehydration can lead to heat exhaustion, so drink up! Wear light, breathable layers, shorten your workouts, and run during the coolest times of the day — usually in the early morning or late at night. You might also benefit from taking a cold shower before your run and heading out with a wet head wrapped in a bandana that's dipped in ice water.
- Blisters: While this doesn't seem like a horrible issue, if you've ever had a blister on a run, you know how it can quickly end your workout. Moisture causes blisters, and since feet get sweaty on hot runs, runners are more prone to them on hot days. Blisters are not only uncomfortable, they can become infected and lead to many missed workouts. Avoid this issue by wearing clean, dry-wicking socks. After your workout, allow your shoes to fully air-dry before your next run.