“Exercise to stimulate, not to annihilate. The world wasn’t formed in a day, and neither were we. Set small goals and build upon them.” – Lee Haney

A good workout puts stress on your muscles, tendons, bones and organs. And, if not correctly, it does so in a healthy and beneficial way. As anyone who works out regularly knows, it is also easy to overdo it or do it “wrong” which can lead to injury or other problems. That’s always a risk, but it can be mostly avoided.

Summertime and the Running is Easy – Or Not

Staying cool and staying hydrated is important for any workout regardless of where it takes place. And it is even more critical when the exercise is done outdoors in the heat. Which is where most running is usually done. 

A question many runners have is, “When is it too hot to run outside?”

According to the National Weather Service, these are the potential risks after prolonged exposure and/or physical activity:

  • Caution (80–90 degrees Fahrenheit): fatigue possible
  • Extreme caution (90–103 degrees Fahrenheit): heat stroke, heat cramps, or heat exhaustion possible
  • Danger (103–124 degrees Fahrenheit): Heat cramps or heat exhaustion likely, and heat stroke possible
  • Extreme danger (125 degrees or higher): heatstroke highly likely

However, temperature alone doesn’t tell the whole heat story. A metric known as the heat index is based on both relative humidity and the air temperature.

The National Weather Service explains that the heat index, also known as the apparent temperature, is what the temperature feels like to the human body when relative humidity is combined with the air temperature. Put simply, the higher the relative humidity and the higher the air temperature, the “hotter” the actual heat feels.

Our bodies naturally cool down through the process of perspiration and evaporation. However, the higher the relative humidity, the less evaporation occurs, which diminishes the cooling effect. 

A lack of shade can add to the relevant heat index of your route, as well. And it has been determined that women are more prone to heat illness more than men, due to their higher percentage of body fat and lower aerobic power.

Where the Water’s Runnin’ Free

Another major factor in staying healthy and safe during warm weather workouts is to keep sufficiently hydrated. For many athletes and others who are highly engaged in working out, the understanding that being hydrated is important is not news.

However, it is surprising how easily overlooked and neglected this simple practice becomes among physically active people. 

So, how much water is enough? 

Because sufficient hydration when exercising is determined by a number of factors including gender, height, weight and other information, the answer is, “It depends.” But this infographic provides a clear guide and helpful tips:

heat hydration and health(Graphic courtesy of Greatist/CamelBak)

A handy tool for calculating the proper amount of liquid intake for workouts can be found here at the CamelBak website.

Some schools of thought advocate for drinking warm or unchilled water when working out, but  several studies revealed that people drink about 50 percent more cold or cool water compared to warm water when they exercise, according to WebMD, and are less dehydrated as a result.

Another caution, however, is to avoid drinking too much water.

According to an article at Greatist.com, 

Though you want to make sure to consume enough water, especially if you’re older or exercising in the heat, a bigger problem may be drinking too much during exercise, according to some studies and this report authored by a panel of 17 experts.If you take in so much fluid your body can’t get rid of the excess through sweating or urination, sodium levels can become dangerously low. The resulting condition, known as hyponatremia or water intoxication, can cause headaches, vomiting, confusion, seizures, and, in some (extreme) cases, death. Not ideal. In the past, hyponatremia occurred mainly in slower marathon runners, but it’s also showing up in people who participate in activities such as hiking, half-marathons, and hot yoga.”

The bottom line is that it is essential to monitor both your level of activity and the quantity of your liquid intake when working out, especially outdoors during hot weather. 

Talk to Us Today About Your Pain Issues

Do you find yourself increasingly in pain after working out? It could be that you’re doing too much or taking unnecessary risks with your workouts. 

If you are experiencing ongoing pain related to workouts, we invite you to call us for an appointment. During your initial phone consultation and subsequent assessment we will learn all we can about your present pain and condition, along with any history of discomfort, as well as your current level of physical activity and your workout regimens.

Treating and relieving your pain starts once we understand where and how your pain started.

A full examination will help us determine which form of treatment is best suited to get you on your road to recovery. Your trust in us is key, as is your honesty. Ultimately, getting your body healthy and working properly is the only way to achieve total recovery.

Our goal is to work through the sequence of pain and dysfunction in order to get your body healthy and working properly and to achieve total recovery. Don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to help and will answer any questions that you may have.

You can reach us at (707) 636-4404 or by filling out our online contact form.