It’s not the best kept secret but we do need water to survive 😱, and the harder we push our bodies during exercise in harsh climates the more essential it is for us to remain properly hydrated. Every cell, tissue, and organ in our bodies needs water to function. We use water to maintain temperature, remove waste, lubricate joints and more. When we run in hot and humid conditions our risk for dehydration increases and we may need to pay more attention to our hydration, to ensure we run safely and enjoyably during these conditions.
Some strategies we can use to help us control the risks of dehydration are:
-Wear light coloured clothing
-Wear performance sweat wicking clothing
-Plan ahead; Hydrate the day/night before and in the morning
-Minimise your exposure; Run outside the hottest parts of the day, plan long runs in cooler conditions or tracks/trails with shade
-Invest in a camel back/Hydration vest
-Run routes you know have drink fountains on them
-Replace the sugary drinks with water
-Plan to acclimatise when changing climates
-Source water through foods; More Fruit and Vegetables
-Carry a water bottle with you throughout the day. Make it your new best friend
-Monitor your urine colour. Light colour= Hydrated, Dark= Dehydrated
-Water is great, milk is good
-Run with a running group (they often have medical emergency plans, first aid personnel, first aid kits and water supplies)
-Run with someone else or on a popular route. When running with others keep an eye on your running partners to make sure they aren’t experiencing any hydration related illness
-If conditions are to harsh, consider a day off or spend it on the treadmill
If you or a fellow runners experiences any of the following Heat Stroke symptoms; cease activity, source water, a cool shaded area, and contact medical help immediately;
- High body temperature. A body temperature of 104 F (40 C) or higher is the main sign of heatstroke.
- Altered mental state or behavior. Confusion, agitation, slurred speech, irritability, delirium, seizures and coma can all result from heatstroke.
- Alteration in sweating. In heatstroke brought on by hot weather, your skin will feel hot and dry to the touch. However, in heatstroke brought on by strenuous exercise, your skin may feel moist.
- Nausea and vomiting. You may feel sick to your stomach or vomit.
- Flushed skin. Your skin may turn red as your body temperature increases.
- Rapid breathing. Your breathing may become rapid and shallow.
- Racing heart rate. Your pulse may significantly increase because heat stress places a tremendous burden on your heart to help cool your body.
- Headache. Your head may throb.
If you are sweating severely and replacing lost water heavily, ensure you are eating to replace lost sodium. Hyponatremia is a condition that can present similar symptoms as heat stroke. Hyponatremia is when the bodies sodium levels are depleted to the point where normal bodily functions are effected, which can cause seizures, coma and death.
so plan ahead and keep hydrated
Safe Summer Running