Distance running can be an extremely effective tool in helping to improve cardiovascular fitness and overall health. Running is also a very popular exercise among those trying to lose excess body weight. However, it is important to understand how to approach running in certain conditions in order to maximize one’s workouts and avoid injuries. For running in the heat, a first crucial piece of advice is to not push yourself too hard, but rather to slow your pace and maintain your regular effort level. Running in the heat is more difficult than running in moderate conditions, and so it will take a few sessions for your body to adapt to the heat before you can return to running at your best pace. It is important not to attempt to power through before your body has become acclimated to the conditions, as this can lead to injuries and health issues. Another tip is to make sure you are properly equipped with necessary accessories for running in the heat. These accessories include items such as light technical clothing that will keep you cooler, waterproof sunscreen to protect you from sunrays while you sweat, and glasses or a hat/visor to protect your eyes and enhance your vision in the bright daylight.
Arguably the most important tip when it comes to running is to maintain proper hydration. To maximize your results for running in the heat, it is best to drink water a few hours before running so that your body has ample time to become hydrated by the time you run. Also, once you begin your workout it is imperative that you continue to hydrate in small amounts. Water works fine for shorter runs but sports drinks such as Gatorade are more helpful in longer runs as they refuel your muscles and replenish electrolytes. You also should have a drink at the conclusion of your workout for a final replenishment. A tip for the conclusion of your run is to stretch your lower body thoroughly. Running takes a toll on your body, especially in the heat, and stretching is necessary to help your muscles recover and to avoid injuries and cramps. Lastly, make sure to be aware of the conditions when planning your runs. Try to run at times in the day when there is a cooler forecast, and if the heat is too extreme it is best not to take any chances and to workout indoors.
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