Summer is upon us, which means the heat is coming, for better or for worse. While many of us typically retreat to the air-conditioned gym as soon as temps spike, things are a bit different this time around. We’re all striving to make our fitness routines a bit safer and healthier in the face of the lingering coronavirus pandemic, which means a whole lot more time spent outdoors this year. But this brings a few challenges of its own. Here are some of our tips for running in the heat and humidity.
Before You Go: Check the Weather
We cannot stress this enough: check the weather before you go out for a run. Heat-induced illnesses — including heat stroke and heat exhaustion — are potentially life-threatening and can be extremely dangerous if precautions are not taken. Most importantly, you must pay attention to more than just the temperature. Know the heat index (HI), which combines the air temperature and humidity, to indicate how hot it actually feels outside. You will also want to pay close attention to the UV index to determine your risk of sun exposure.
How to Run in the Heat: Quick Tips
If you’ve deemed that it’s safe to head outside to run, follow these tips to ensure that you stay safe, comfortable, and healthy on your route. Don’t forget to sport your favorite Armpocket running armband while you’re out crushing your personal best!
- Wear cooling clothes. High-tech running apparel is the standard these days, as it has the ability to help you regulate temperature and keep you dry in the face of sweat.
- Double-down on sun protection. This one’s obvious, but bears repeating and repeating again. Protect yourself from the damages of UV rays with a sweat-proof SPF and consider wearing apparel rated to a UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) of 50+.
- Water, water, water. It’s not the time to run lean. Staying hydrated helps the body regulate temperature and stave off serious heat-related illnesses.
- Run during the coolest points in the day. First of all, do not run if the temperatures exceed 98 degrees outside. If it’s safe to head out, consider running at the time of day when it’s coolest — around dusk and dawn, usually — and try to stay in the shade.
- Know the signs of heat exhaustion and pay attention to your body. If you feel any symptoms associated with heat exhaustion or heat stroke, stop running immediately and seek medical help. If you feel dizzy, nauseous, confused, or stop sweating, your body may be having trouble regulating its temperature, which can lead to serious issues.
Do You Burn More Calories Running in the Heat?
Yes, you may burn more calories when you run in the heat because the body sweats more and has to work a lot harder than it normally would. But you have to take precautions to ensure that you do it safely.
Get Outside and Run
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say indoor spaces are riskier than outdoor spaces because of this pandemic, which has thrown many of us into an open-air fitness routine we weren’t quite ready for. Luckily, there are ways to exercise outside year-round, even in the sweltering heat. Enjoy the warm weather and don’t stop running!