Mother Nature has turned up the heat across much of the country. With many states experiencing record highs and an unusually long stretch of humidity, people are wondering if it is safe to continue exercising outdoors. The good news for runners is that it is perfectly safe to continue your program, provided you make a few changes to your routine. Here is how to run safely in the summer.
1. Avoid High Temps
It is nearly impossible to avoid high temperatures right now, but you would be doing yourself a favor if you ran early in the morning or later in the evening. Try to avoid running between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. This is when the sun begins to climb high in the sky and remains at its most direct.
While we would like to tell you to wear pants and long sleeves, we know that is unrealistic. Instead, be sure to slather your body in a sport sunscreen. These tend to resist wearing off due to sweat. Look for an SPF of at least 30. Apply sunscreen on all exposed areas. Don’t forget your neck and ears.
Staying hydrated is important when you run, but even more so in the summer. Take a drink of water every 15 minutes, even if you aren’t feeling thirsty. Sweating can trick your body into not feeling as if you need a drink and you can become dehydrated easily. Your muscles will thank you later.
4. Light Yourself
If you choose to run in the early morning or late evening, be sure to light yourself up. You can carry a small flashlight, a glowstick or even keep your cell phone in your hand with your flashlight app turned on. Place a strip of reflective tape on your back, chest and the heels of your shoes. Making yourself as visible as possible helps to reduce your risk of having a vehicle-versus-pedestrian accident.
5. Tell Someone
Don’t leave home without telling someone you are going running and advising them of your route. Make a plan to check in with your friend or family member when you are done running so they know you are okay. If you don’t send a text letting someone know you are done with your run, they should know to come looking for you.
Running in the summer isn’t vastly different from running during any other time of the year, but you do have to keep a few extra safety tips in mind. Keep up with your exercise program while making your health and safety a priority.
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