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How to Stand Running in the Heat

Everything you need to know about running in hot, humid conditions this summer.

Because of the heat and humidity, most people wouldn’t pick summer as their favorite season for outdoor exercise—walking and running included.

Spring or fall normally wins that honor. But summer does have a lot going for it. More daylight before and after work means more time to get outside. What’s more, with all the swimming, lawn mowing, gardening, hiking, and vacations, it’s easier to be more active in the summer, so your fitness level is higher.

Here are 10 quick tips you need to know to help you optimize your hot-weather workouts, along with ways to prevent some common heat-related illnesses and ailments.

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Make adjustments: Don’t do long or higher-intensity workouts during the heat of the day. If you must run at midday, pick routes with some shade. As a general rule, start your workout slower than you usually do. If you’re feeling good halfway through, it’s okay to speed up a little bit.

Wear as little as possible: Wear apparel that’s light in color, lightweight, and has vents or mesh. Microfiber polyesters and cotton blends are good fabric choices. Also, be sure to wear a hat, shades, and sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. 



Watch your alcohol and meds: Alcohol, antihistamines, and antidepressants can all have a dehydrating effect. Using them just before a run can make you have to pee, compounding your risk of dehydration.

Drink early and often: Top off your fluid stores with 16 ounces of sports drink an hour before you head out. Then toss down five to eight ounces of sports drink about every 20 minutes while working out. Sports drinks beat water because they contain electrolytes, which increase your water-absorption rate, replace the electrolytes you lose in sweat, and taste good, making it easy to drink more.


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