With the weather starting to heat up, and summer right around the corner, you may have to start rethinking your regular exercise routine. Even though it’s getting hotter outside, that doesn’t mean you have to stop working out. It just means some adjustments need to happen to help keep you healthy, safe, and also on track with your training. Check out these six tips to help you with your summer running schedule and fitness goals:
Ramp Up the Hydration
As a runner, or an athlete participating in any sport, staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do for your body. And this is even more vital in hotter weather. Fill your water bottle and keep it close by while you train. If you’re more of a long distance runner and find carrying your bottle to be a hassle, investing in a camel backpack that has a built-in straw might be a good investment. The pack fits on your back and allows you to drink water as you continue to work out. However you choose to do it, staying hydrated is key.
Depending on your body mass, experts say it’s important to consume about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids for men and about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women per day, according to the Mayo Clinic. But when you’re working out you may consume more water. Another factor that can increase your fluid intake has to do with your overall health and the environment you’re in. Keep these things in mind and drink what you need to in order to stay well hydrated.
Tweak Your Running Schedule
With summer right around the corner, it might not be a bad idea to rethink the times you take your run. The hottest part of the day is usually from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., so avoiding working out during these times is vital, especially if you are sensitive to heat. If you’re a morning person, sometimes going for a run first thing can not only help wake you up, but it also means you’ll be exercising during one of the cooler parts of the day. Running at the end of the day also allows you to get that much-needed training in but at a time that may be more comfortable for your body.
Consider Exercising Indoors or in Shaded Areas
Depending on the kind of runner you are, exercising at an indoor track with air conditioning or in a park or area that allows for more shade could be an alternative to your regular sunny route. The more you can do to limit your exposure to the direct heat of the sun the better and by running in areas that allow your body to cool down while you are firing on all cylinders is key.
Check Your Air Quality
Along with checking your mobile’s weather app, be sure to check the air quality along with it. This is particularly important for runners who also deal with asthma, allergies, etc. Weather and air quality reports can help you prepare for days that will have intense heat, high pollen counts, high smog levels and more. These are the types of days you will want to consider lowering your exertion levels or exercising indoors.
Wear Loose-fitting, Light-colored Clothes
When it’s hot outside, be cognizant of your workout gear. Try to avoid dark colored clothing which can soak up the heat. Instead, go for light colored, loose fitting clothing that is breathable and can allow the sun to reflect off of you rather than absorb it. This way you can start to cool off faster and feel better when you kick your work out up a notch.
Don’t Skimp on Sunscreen
With Skincancer.org estimating 4.3 million cases of Basal Cell Carcinoma (most common form of skin cancer) being diagnosed each year, it is time to get into a serious sunscreen application routine. The more you expose your skin to the sun, the more you could also be increasing your chances of skin cancer down the line. Don’t take the risk and apply it as often as necessary. Having a waterproof, and higher SPF can allow you to exercise without worrying. Consider Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer Dry Touch 100+SPF Broad Spectrum sunscreen for the face.
What are your favorite hot weather running tips to follow when summertime hits? We’d love to hear them in the comments below.