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Is It Too Hot to Run?

Doctor's Orders: Check the Weather Before Running Outside

We love getting out to run and exercise in the sun; outdoor workouts are one of the best parts of Summer! That said, it's important to keep an eye on the weather and make sure you're staying safe and healthy.

Dr. Larry Goldfarb, DC, CCSP gave us some helpful warnings about working out when it's too hot or humid. His advice? Always check the weather! We asked him to elaborate on specific temperatures, humidity, and why it matters.

Here's his golden rule: "Don't run if it's over 90 degrees or if the humidity is high." Why? Because running with humidity affects your heart rate. "Keep in mind that your heart rate increases two to four beats per minute in temperatures from 60 degrees to 75 degrees and up to 10 beats per minute in temperatures from 75 to 90 degrees," said Goldfarb.

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"A woman running — in her 30s — during a 60 degree day with 30 percent humidity . . . her heart beat will be around 145 beats per minute." That's a healthy and safe rate. However, once things get hotter and more humid, that changes. "If the temperature is 90 degrees with a humidity of 70 percent, then her heart rate will increase and will become 165 beats per minute," he told us. "The problem is that a heart rate of 165 can increase dangerous side effects."

And with that in mind, you now know why running in cooler weather is so much easier — and more comfortable — for more than just your muscles. Your heart is working overtime when you combine cardio with hot humidity.

So look out for your heart! Try a heart rate monitor to keep yourself in check, but remember, if it's under 90 degrees and 70 percent humidity, you're in the clear. Anything over and it's best to opt for an indoor treadmill workout or a nice, air-conditioned studio class!

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