How should beginner runners safely hit the street in the heat?

It's no secret that the summer heat inspires us to lace up our running shoes, but when temperatures are in the extremes, those new to running should take extra precaution.

A jog during days of high heat indexes and humidity is better at certain times, with patience and attention to your body's detail, Health Magazine reports .

Run when the day's temperatures are their lowest - early in the morning and well before 10 a.m. The scorching heat comes between 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., so take your run indoors on a treadmill if you must run during that time.

Have patience with your body. Health Magazine says your body needs two weeks to get used to the heightened temperatures outside. Once the two-week waiting period is over, your body can better cool itself. It's also smart to slow your pace while getting used to the summer solstice.

Change up your intervals, as well. Since you're moving more slowly, increase the distance you go.

"Make that 6-mile tempo run into 3 x 2 miles or 2 x 3 miles with breaks in the middle to hydrate properly and get cool," Health Magazine says.

Feeling more cramps is common during the summer. Heat speeds up water and electrolyte loss during exercise, along with faster accumulation of lactic acid in the muscles. Leg and abdomen pains are the most common forms of cramps for summer runners.

News flash: The extra sweat when you run in outdoor heat does not necessarily mean you burn more calories. Instead, heat can jeopardize your form, cause you to slow down and lessen your effort. When that happens, your calories burnt per hour drop, too.

Drinking more water seems obvious, but it's important to not overdo it. Excessive fluid consumption can lead to hyponatremia, or water intoxication. Symptoms range from mild to severe, and include dizziness, muscle cramps, confusion, a seizure, coma or even death.

Summertime running is a great way to enjoy your community, so grab your light-colored, loose-fitting threads, your water bottle and head outside - but remember, safety first.

 

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