Overheating is a serious risk for runners and cyclists
Especially in hot weather, it can lead to heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and even death. There are a number of things you can do to avoid overheating, including:
It's important to drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after your workout. Staying hydrated is essential for avoiding overheating. Even if you don't feel thirsty, it's important to drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after your workout. Water is always a good choice, but you can also drink sports drinks or electrolyte-rich fluids.
Listen to your body and take breaks when you need them.
If you're feeling overheated, take a break in the shade or in a cool place. You can also splash some water on your face and neck, or drink a cool beverage.
Acclimatize to the heat.
If you're not used to exercising outdoors in hot weather, don't start with an hour long run during a heatwave. Start slowly--even just a few minutes a day--and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts. This will give your body time to adjust to the heat.
Be aware of the weather forecast.
If you're planning on a run or bike ride in hot weather, check the forecast first. If it's going to be very hot, you may want to reschedule your workout for early in the morning or late in the evening (but wear reflective clothes so drivers can see you).Wear appropriate clothing.
When running or cycling in hot weather, it's important to wear lightweight, light -colored, properly fitting clothing that will allow your sweat to evaporate. (Read How to Choose a Running Shirt.) If it's both hot and rainy, consider a lightweight vest instead of a jacket to keep just your torso dry.
Run in shadier areas.
Asphalt and concrete absorb the sun's heat and radiate it back at you. Trees and grass will help keep you cooler. Make sure your running shoes or bike tires are suited to the terrain!
Apply sunscreen and wear a hat and sunglasses
Protect your skin, scalp and eyes!
Exercise with a buddy
Make sure you both know how to recognize heat exhaustion. If one of you becomes ill, the other can get help.
If you do start to feel overheated, take the following steps:
- Stop exercising and move to a cool place.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Remove any excess clothing.
- Apply cool compresses or splash water on your head, neck, and chest.
- Look out for muscle cramps, clammy skin, headache, nausea or vomiting, hyperventilation, excessive sweating or no sweating, dizziness, or fainting. These can be symptoms of heat exhaustion and severe dehydration and are a sign you may need medical treatment.
- Call 911 if your condition worsens.
Overheating is a serious condition, but it can be prevented by taking the right precautions. By following these tips, you can stay safe and enjoy your run or bike ride, even in hot weather.