It’s summer and it’s hot. Heat is mighty powerful and all us movers, shakers and runners have to be especially careful to make sure while we’re running to our heart’s desires, we’re also staying well hydrated, healthy and safe.
The different possible consequences of heat and sun exposure can be avoided with a little planning and a lot of listening to your body. Here are some tips to make sure you stay safe this summer and beat the heat.
- Run early morning or late evening. It’s best to avoid direct prolonged sun exposure between the hours of 10am and 4pm. Take advantage of early morning or late evening for cooler temperatures as well.
- Stay hydrated. Vital! We all need to stay well hydrated to the tunes of at least half our body weight in ounces (aka for someone 150 lbs, at least 75 ounces or a little more than 8 cups of water daily). That’s minimum. With running and hotter temperatures, make sure you up that total!
- Wear sunscreen, especially if you are out and about during the more dangerous sun exposure hours of the day (10am-4pm). If you’re running, wear sweat-proof sunscreen and go for the most natural form of UV protection.
- Run cooler routes. We all have run spots that are cooler than others. I’m in San Diego so cooler runs for me are closer to downtown and the ocean (rather than the 20 minutes east of downtown where I am).
- Modify your training plans during the summer. They don’t say build your miles in spring for nothing. If you’re trying to push yourself a lot this summer, be ok with taking it easy and modifying plans. Which brings us to the last and most important tip of all:
- Listen to your body. Every single day is different with our bodies. So many factors affect how we feel: what we eat, temperatures, how much we sleep, if we have a tiff with our spouses, etc. Some days we’ll have extraordinary amounts of energy and others we won’t. Those less than ideal days make us more susceptible to the consequences of extra heat exposure. Be aware of your body and if you don’t feel like doing something, don’t.