Summer is the time for fun in the sun. For the avid runner, that means long hours of trekking through the hot and humid weather. It may be beautiful, but summer brings high temperatures and thick, moist air. Body cooling can get quite difficult, depending on the severity of the temperatures.
When our bodies become heated, breathing is more rapid, heart rates jump higher, and running at a normal pace is much more difficult on the body. The trick is to understand how to be active in the heat and still stay safe and healthy. Take a moment to read over this short summary of a few helpful tips that will keep runners healthy through the worst of the hot summer sun.
Give the body time to adapt to the temperature changes
It takes the body about two weeks to fully adapt to hot weather, so give the body time to get acclimated. Those who are used to warmer climates have more stamina in the heat than someone who transplanted themselves into the heat.
For example, living in a town like Katy, Texas, runners have to know the ins and outs of exercising in the extreme heat. Temperatures can soar to well over 100 degrees on a clear summer day. Sometimes the beauty of a place outweighs the weather, and we adapt.
Dress appropriately for the increased temperatures
Wear clothes that are specially made for wicking moisture from the body. Avoid dark colors, as they will only absorb the sun’s rays and make it even more steamy for the runner. Active apparel allows more air to move through the clothing and the body to more effectively cool itself.
In addition to the active wear, it helps to wear sunglasses that block UVA and UVB rays. The heat expelled through the eyes is enough all on its own. There is no need to add to the heat by allowing damaging sun rays through.
Timing is everything
Timing is important when running in the heat. The best times to run in the heat of the summer are in the early day or after the sun has set. Avoid running when the sun is at its apex. From noon until 3pm each day in the summer, runners should remain indoors if they choose to exercise.
Water is an essential staple when running
Water is life. Heat or not, runners should understand the importance of staying hydrated. Our bodies are like a machine. If the machine overheats, eventually it will shut down. It may be helpful to research proper watering methods for runners in extreme heat. Too much water can be just as detrimental to the body’s function as too little water.
Try pool running for maximum temperature control
If it is simply too hot to run outside, try pool running. Be a rebel and run inside the pool, as opposed to running around the pool (which is always prohibited). It is highly recommended that runners watch a few YouTube videos about pool running before attempting to supplement.