I am not a huge fan of running outdoors in the summertime. In the South, the humidity will suck the life right out of you – and then some. However, sometimes it is unavoidable when I coach clients and it is definitely preferable to running on the treadmill all summer long.
Having been in this running business for awhile now, there are definite ways to ease the summer suckfest, starting with acclimatization. It’s also wise to hydrate properly, exercise in the early morning whenever possible, and recognize the warning signs for heat illness:
Heat Cramps – Symptoms: Painful muscle spasms (often in calves), sweating, and normal body temperature. What to do: Replenish with fluids with electrolytes and gently massage cramped muscles.
Heat Exhaustion – Symptoms: Profuse sweating, drop in blood pressure, normal or slightly elevated body temperature, fatigue, lightheadedness, nausea, vomiting, severe headache, decreased coordination and staggering, increased heart rate (above 100 beats per minute), and fainting. What to do: Seek a cool and shaded area and apply cold compresses to groin, underarms, and neck. Apply cool water to skin surface, as tolerated. Avoid physical activity for 24 hours and drink adequate fluids during that time.
Heat Stroke – Symptoms: High body temperature, altered consciousness, and dry skin due to lack of sweating. What to do: Call 911, apply cold compress to groin, underarms, and neck. Apply cool water to skin surface, as tolerated.
Remember to run smart in the summertime and be sure to check out more of my tips for summer running in the June issue of Atlanta InTown Magazine!
Feel free to contact me for more information on staying healthy while running in the heat!