In my last post on the Dawgs Days of Summer we learned about the hazards of heat stress, this post we will look at how you can protect yourself.
1. Understand thirst lags the biological need for fluid. Don’t wait until your thirsty to start thinking about hydration. Drink early and drink often.
2. Drink 4‑8 ounces of a sports drink 10‑15 minutes before a strenuous workout.
3. When possible, schedule runs with high heat stress potential for cooler periods of the day. During the summer months plan your long runs or track workouts early in the day or later at night.
4. Wear light colored, moisture wicking and light weight performance exercise clothing.
5. Avoid strenuous workouts after recent alcohol intake.
6. Certain medicines such as diuretics, sedatives, tranquilizers, anticholinergic drugs and some heart and blood pressure medicines, consult your doctor.
7. While on your run, seek out the shady areas along the path.
8. Meals prior to your run should be light and cool.
9. Plan heavier meals for the evening after your run.
10. Best NATURAL DEFENSE against heat illness is ACCLIMATIZATION, give yourself some time to adjust to the heat. Avoid running long distances, hard speed sessions right after returning from a vacation in a cooler, less humid location.
The effects of heat stress range from discomfort to heat stroke and even death. Direct heat stress related illnesses include heat exhaustion, cramps, stroke, fainting, rashes, and heat fatigue. Heat can also cause injuries indirectly. Heat stress conditions may cause you to become weak, faint or dizzy, fall, use poor judgment, or become distracted or irritable.
If you think you’re being overcome by a heat stress condition, stop your run, cool down and if conditions persist, consult your doctor.
Keep cool people…Run on…