Exposure to the sun during a summer run can be an amazing feeling. Running outside is great for your entire body but when it comes to the summer, there are certain things to keep in mind.
The first and most important step is to always stay hydrated. Water is the primary factor that controls body temperature and maintains health in every cell in your body. Therefore, It is important to be hydrated pre-workout. You can ensure this by drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day as well as eating foods with high water content. These include fruits like watermelon, pineapple and cantaloupe, as well as vegetables such as celery, lettuce and tomatoes. Make sure you bring water with you on the run and drink plenty after the workout. This will prevent heat stroke, dizziness and will provide you with plenty of energy to get the job done.
Believe it or not, the way you dress on your run has a lot to do with staying hydrated. There are certain textures and colors that you should wear to stay the coolest possible. This is necessary because the body heats up much quicker in the hot weather which can be dangerous and overwhelming.
Light colors should always be worn when running outside. Do not wear black, red, dark blue or dark green. White or light gray colored clothing are the best option in this case.
Clothing that allows the heat to escape quickly and cause the body to cool down include loose fitting clothes like thin or mesh tank tops, t-shirts and shorts. There are several high quality apparel that you can find, specifically made for the hot weather. Do some research, read reviews and ask other athletes what they use.
It is important to remember to never wear body suits or clothing designed to increase body temperature. Many wear these suits to help lose water weight by increasing sweating, but they are dangerous and counterproductive to achieving a higher level of health. Stay away from them!
Use common sense when picking a time of the day to run. Try to workout early in the morning before the sun is directly overhead or in the evening when the sun is setting. It is much cooler during these times and will make it a lot easier to run. If you only have time to run mid-day, try finding a trail of some sort that is shady so you will not be completely exposed to the sun.
Listen to what your body is telling you. The heat causes the body to work extra hard to keep you cool. Hot weather training is both physically and mentally demanding, so know when your body has had enough. If it is just too hot outside to workout, do it inside. If you happen to be outside and experience symptoms like blurred vision, lightheadness, confusion, dizziness, headache, loss of muscle control, nausea, vomiting and cessation of sweating, get inside immediately. It is not worth the injury or sickness.
Everyone’s tolerance is different when it comes to the heat so with these tips, come up with a workout plan that works best for you. Always remember to stay hydrated, dress loosely and lightly, pick a good time of the day, watch out for your body signals and use common sense. Happy trails!