Who does not love summer? It is just so beautiful, all the glorious sunshine and vitamin D which has a huge positive impact on our moods.
However, summer is also the season when most people feel extra conscious about their bodies. We all want to keep fit and look good. The downside to all the sunshine however is that most of us feel really unmotivated to keep our exercise regime in such hot whether.
i recently did my first half marathon and have further signed up for four more which will all take place in the warm months. Physical activity at temperatures of more than 30 degrees strains your body and cardiovascular system. Your heart rate increases and your blood vessels dilate.
Here are five tips i have been using to help me stay cool during my runs outside.
1. When running in heat, your heart rate is elevated. It is therefore a good idea to start slowly. The fitter you get, the better your body will cope with the heart, preventing your heart rate from sky rocketing.
2. Choosing the right time of day for your runs is very important. I usually try to do my runs very early before it gets really hot. I usually go for my runs around 5am in summer. I understand this might be too early for some. You just need to try and find a time which suits you best. Try and avoid running in the midday heat.
3. When running in the heat, your body sweats more. Sweating leads to loose of fluids and minerals. Even a small change in loose of fluids can lead to major performance losses. Keeping hydrated is very important. I have seen a few people carrying water bottles with them. I find it really uncomfortable to carry things in my hands when running so i invested in a hydration rucksack, so i can take a sip from time to time. It was a bit uncomfortable to start with but i have now got used to it. There are a few companies that sell the hydration rucksacks. Choose whatever you are most comfortable with.
4. The right work out clothes can also help keep you cool in the heat. Go for loose fit and moisture wicking materials to prevent heat from building up under your clothes. You might also want to choose light colours which not only reflect the sunlight but also do not store heat. I also always run with a cap which helps protect my head and keeps my face in the shade. You might also want to invest in sunglasses with UV filter.
5. What you eat pre- and post- running has an affect on your run and recovery in the heat. Wholesome foods rich in minerals and vitamins should be a regular part of your diet especially during the warm whether, as your body loses more minerals than usual due to sweating. Foods such as bananas, dried apricots and whole grain products are ideal for replacing lost minerals.
These are the few tips which seem to be working for me this summer. What have you been doing to stay cool on your runs in the heat? Please feel free to share in the comments below