Top 4 Ways To Prevent Injury When Running This Summer

Top 4 Ways To Prevent Injury When Running This Summer

With the weather heating up, runners need to make sure that they put their health first to avoid dehydration and injury.  If you live in an area that experiences the cold and warm weather seasons, you should allow your body at least a week to get used to hot weather runs. Start by doing shorter runs to build up your endurance in the heat and humidity.

What is dehydration?

The biggest health concern for those who run under the sun is dehydration. Dehydration is the loss of fluids that is a result of not drinking enough water, or excessively sweating.  Depending on how much body fluid is lost, dehydration can be mild, moderate, or severe, which could result in a life-threatening emergency.

Those who exercise in hot weather are at a greater risk of dehydration. If you are experiencing muscle cramps, dry mouth, headache, and darker urine, you could be suffering from mild dehydration. Severe dehydration cases dry skin, confusion, dizziness, increased heartbeat, heavy breathing, and even unconsciousness.

Prevent dehydration

Runners should drink lots of water before, during, and after their runs. Take small sips every 15 minutes when running. Because runners lose electrolytes during their sprint sessions, you should also drink sport drinks to replenish your supply. Weigh yourself before and after your run to find out how much water weight you have lost. Drink 16 ounces of water for every pound that you shed.

Watermelon is made up of mostly water, making it a great fruit to eat to avoid dehydration. It also contains salts, sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium that hydrates the body. An alternative to sport drinks is coconut water that also replenishes electrolytes lost from sweating. Add lemon to your water that will add enzymes and vitamin C to hydrate your body.

Heat exhaustion

Heat exhaustion occurs when your body temperature is over 104 degrees. Medical attention is necessary to prevent damage to the organs and the brain. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include: fatigue, dizziness, goosebumps, increased pulse, excessive sweating, cramps, and nausea. If you experience these symptoms while running, get out of the sun immediately and find a cool place to rest. Drink ice-cold water and take a cold shower. If you do not feel better within a half hour, call your doctor. Use the treadmill to run in air-conditioned gyms on extremely hot days.

Other warm weather running tips

Because the sun’s rays can burn your shoulders, back, and face, apply sunscreen before your run—even in the morning. Wear sunglasses and a hat to further protection. If you run in the morning or afternoon, select trails that have shaded areas to give you relief from the sun. Run during the evening when the sun sets on warmer and more humid days.

Make sure that you have the proper running gear, such as light fabric clothing that will pull moisture from the skin. Never wear cotton, which makes your body temperature higher and soaks up sweat. Moisture from a sweaty run can cause blisters that can cause pain and irritation. Wear dry-wicking socks to prevent blisters that can become infected.

Avoid other injuries

Other common running injuries that can occur at any time include: sprains, tears, and pulled muscles. Studies show that 79% of runners suffer from common running injuries that suspend their training schedule. The most important aspects of preventing injury are good form and the proper running shoes. Try not to over stride, which occurs when your foot lands ahead of the knee. This puts pressure on the joints and wears down your muscles. The right running shoe will help you with your form and can influence how you bend your ankles.

Stretch before and after your runs to avoid pulled muscles. Incorporating yoga into your routine is a great way to add deep stretches and flexibility to your workout regimen. Add strength training to develop strong muscles. Lifting weights at the gym on a hot and humid day is a great way to build your muscle strength and prevent heat exhaustion and dehydration from outdoor physical activity.