We all love it when the sun and summer weather show up: lots of iced tea and coffee, cute summer dresses and tank tops, flip flops and long days filled with sun at the beach.
But if you’re used to doing your exercise outside, it can be a bit of a different story: sweaty, overheated workout sessions, sunburns, low energy and dehydration.
Don’t let the summer put a damper on your workout routine. Instead, check out these 6 tips for running in the heat and humidity!
In the heat of the summer, the difference between running early, just as the sun comes up, and running even an hour later can be extreme. Running before the heat of the sun has filled the air and is radiating down on you can provide for a much more enjoyable (and safer) run. Watch the sunrise times, and aim to be out a bit before, or right on time to beat the heat. Likewise, you can run in the evening when the sun has gone down, but the air may still be quit hot and humid from the sunny day.
Watch your hydration
Between sweating, physical exertion and the heat, it’s much easier to get dehydrated when you are running in higher temperatures. This is especially true when running, because during your run, you may not show signs of thirst or even feel dehydrated until it is too late. A good indication is your sweat level and how moist your lips are: if you stop sweating, or feel like your lips are dry and cracked, this is a good indication that you are likely dehydrated and should stop and get water immediately. Check out 7 foods perfect for hydration!
Wear light colored moisture wicking clothes
Light colours attract less sun, and moisture wicking is key to help pull the sweat away from your body so that your body will continue to sweat more and keep you cool. When the body remains covered in sweat (i.e. you wear a cotton t-shirt that just soaks up the sweat and stays wet), your body doesn’t continue to sweat as efficiently, and therefore doesn’t cool you down as well. Removing this layer of moisture signals to the body to create more, helping you stay cooler for longer. To help, wear a hat, to both keep your head cooler and keep the sun off of your face.
Slow down your pace
Part of the struggle for your body in hot conditions is to keep itself cool. This means, not only do we need the energy to run, but also to cool ourselves down. And this may be more than you realize! Therefore, if you know you will be out running for more than 30 minutes, slow down your pace to make it less difficult for your body to both cool you and keep you running at the same time.
Run on the trails
If you’ve ever walked barefoot on the hot pavement, you know that it can really pack in the heat. When the sun is beating down on the pavement and heating it up, it will store the heat and become like a furnace giving it off to you in return. Not to mention, if you’re on the pavement in an urban area with few to no trees around to offer sun cover, you’ll be feeling the heat pretty quickly. Instead, hit the trails, where the trees offer shade, the ground is not a hot tub below you and there is likely to be a nice breeze blowing through the branches to help keep you a little cooler.
Head to the ocean
Just like the trees offer shade when you run on the trails, the ocean offers it’s own difference in climate and temperature as compared to staying in the city. If you have the option to head to a coastal trail, or a quiet beach to run on, this will provide a much better running atmosphere. It will be fresh and windy, and if you want, you can even finish off with a swim in the ocean after. Just be sure not to head to a popular beach where every one and their dog will go to lay out in the sun on the sand. It makes for some tricky running . . .