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6 Tips for Running in Extreme Heat

Fitday Editor

Practicing some effective tips for running in extreme heat can help keep you healthy while allowing you to continue your regular running routine. Once you've consulted with a medical professional to determine if running in extreme heat is safe for your individual health, be sure to practice the following:

1. Take Frequent Breaks

One of the most important tips for running in extreme heat is to take frequent breaks so that you don't overexert yourself. You'll get tired more quickly in the heat and so you need to allow your body time to rest every half mile or every mile. Don't stop moving completely; walk slowly to allow your heart rate to slow down progressively. You can start running again after a few minutes.

2. Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is especially important when running in extreme heat because you'll perspire more and lose more water. You should jog with water or a sports drink in hand and take sips frequently. It's healthier to drink sips before you even begin to feel thirsty rather than drinking large amounts of water at once. You should even begin drinking about thirty minutes before you start running.

3. Try to Stick to Shady Paths

Direct sunlight makes extreme heat even worse (as opposed to overcast light), so avoid sunlight in extreme heat. Try to stick to running in shady paths, such as under trees or awnings. If you can't run under coverings for much of the way, make sure to take your breaks in shady areas in order to give yourself a break from the excessive heat provided by the sun.

4. Run on Dirt or Grass If Possible

Try to run on dirt or grass paths instead of concrete. A park would be a great place to consider. Concrete and other surfaces, such as asphalt, retain heat. You'll feel hotter and get tired more quickly, and your feet may get hot if you run on surfaces that retain heat.

5. Wear Lightweight, Breathable Clothing

Depending on how much sun exposure you'll expect, you may want to cover up as much of your skin as possible in order to avoid sunburn. However, the more clothes you wear, the hotter your body will get, which is dangerous when the temperature is high. Try wearing lightweight, breathable clothing that whisks moisture from perspiration away from your body while keeping you refreshingly damp and cool. Mesh running tops are popular choices.

6. Cover Your Head

Covering your head protects your scalp from sunburn. A breathable, lightweight hat or bandanna can help protect your scalp. Like the rest of your lightweight clothes, the accumulated sweat will be lifted off your body while acting as a cooling barrier. You can also wear a bandanna soaked in cold water (and subsequently rung out) for an added cooling effect.

If you follow these tips you will find that it is possible to adhere to your regular workout routine, even in warmer temperatures.

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