Mind & Body 5 Ways to Stay Cool In The Summer Heat

5 Ways to Stay Cool In The Summer Heat

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Learn how to adapt your training and get ready for the hot, hot heat of summer.

By: Pamela Mazzuca HBSc. Kin, Athletic Therapist  

Summers are short, yet sweet, in Canada. But the heat and humidity can be intense especially during a heat wave or in the concrete jungle of urban living. And although the temperatures can feel uncomfortable for some, the heat poses real health risks such as heat exhaustion and the medical emergency of sunstroke for runners. So when the mercury rises here are some tips to keep you running and healthy this summer.

Time your run

Adjusting the time of day that you lace up can make a big difference. Try to head out first thing in the morning before the sun is at full strength or near the end of the day when the temperature is slightly cooler. Whenever possible avoid running between the hours of 10-4 when the sun is at it’s hottest.

Keep Hydration on High

It might seem obvious, but don’t forget to bring water when you run. Keeping your body properly hydrated not only keeps you running optimally but it also helps your body regulate your internal temperature. And remember, when you feel thirsty you are already slightly dehydrated. 

Gear down, stay cool

When gearing up for your run opt for light colours, as they reflect the heat of the sun and help keep you cool. And choose light, breathable wicking fabrics to help the breeze reach your skin and keep you cool. There is nothing worse than feeling hot and way down by a sweat soaked cotton t-shirt.

Protect yourself

Before you head out for your run lather on the sunblock. Go for a sunblock with a minimum SPF of 30 and double check that it’s also sweat proof. And throw on a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes. There are lots of great sunglasses designed for runners but just be sure to choose a pair with high quality lenses in order to protect your eyes against the harmful UV rays. And don’t forget your hat. A hat will keep the suns rays off your head and face, keeping you cooler and helping prevent heat associated illness.

Keep it short

When the weather is more like the Sahara than Canada decrease the intensity and the duration of your run. There is no benefit to pushing yourself too hard; you’re better off switching up your training days.