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Summer Exercising in the Heat!

RightFit- June 25, 2012. 7 Mile Run on Chicago’s Lakefront.

Hot weather running, is the best!  I love to get up early on a hot day and run along Chicago's lakefront. It's amazing how many runners and walkers are outside enjoying our short, but hot summer. My only concern for those of you hitting the pavement, trail, or track on these hot days is your preparation after being inside for many months.

Consider a few important points as you enjoy what I believe is the easiest and cheapest way to stay in shape.

Hydrate, hydrate and hydrate!  Too many runners neglect to drink water before, during and after their run. The basic rule is, if you are thirsty, then you waited too long to drink. Start the night before by drinking plenty of water. Even in the hours after your run, make sure you continue to drink water. If you run for over an hour consider drinking an electrolyte replacement, such as Gatorade.  If you are just starting a running habit try different electrolyte replacements/sport drinks to see what is best for your stomach.  Marathoners often eat electrolyte replacement gels, which I find helpful. Talk with the knowledgeable people in your local running stores as they usually not only sell these products, but also use them personally. In Chicago, Dave Zimmer at Fleet Feet, is my go to guy on anything running.

Clothing is also very important, especially in the heat. If the morning is starting out cool, wear a long sleeve, loose shirt, which is designed to wick off sweat and keep you from overheating. As the day heats up, lightweight breathable shorts and singlet in a light color should be worn to keep you cooler.

Warm up and stretch prior to running, but don't push too hard in the heat.

Eat something easily digested or nothing before a run. Marathons are the exception, where you will need to be awake very early and eating a substantial breakfast 2-3 hours before race time.

Don't be fooled by the notion that less water and more sweating will cause you to lose weight. This is only temporary water loss and too much can be a major problem and cause extreme dehydration.

Make these runs fun and you will come back to them often, that is the recipe for weight control and fitness.  Enjoy the heat before winter sneaks up on you!

Stay Active My Friends