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Dog Days Of Summer – Running Into The Heat & Proper Hydration

Posted Aug 23 2010 2:47am

I’m not sure what type of weather you have where you live, but here in Michigan, August means high humidity and hot temperatures many years and this year has been no exception. I really don’t like high temperatures and I especially don’t like the high humidity. This August has been a scorcher for sure with most days in the upper 80’s and humidity levels that been very high. I you like sweating in  a sauna, then this month is for you but for me, it’s a month of just simply not wanting to exercise because it’s too darned hot!

All that being said, not exercising is not an option. I have however cut back somewhat on the frequency and level that I’ve been exercising. As you know, I’ve been working on trying to heal a shin issue that just simply doesn’t want to go away so cutting back has both been necessary as well as a welcome relief from the heat.

Keeping hydrated with the heat and humidity can be a real challenge but is more important than ever. Your muscles rely on liquids in your body to stay healthy and perform at their best at all times. When you are constantly sweating in higher temperatures and humidity, you can loose a lot more fluids from your body than you may realize. One sure sign that you are getting dehydrated is cramping, especially in your leg muscles which are some of your largest muscles. For me, many times it will happen at night, where I will be awoken from a sound sleep with a cramp in my calf that would cause extreme pain.

This can be a sure sign of dehydration. Another sign of dehydration is reduced, darker or stronger smelling urination. If find that you are going less often than normal, you may be getting dehydrated without even realizing it and this can be your bodies way of letting you know.  I try really hard during these times to drink a couple of quarts of extra fluid daily just to make sure that I’m staying ahead of the curve.

As far as my health status, I have put on about 7 pounds over the summer with the reduced exercise levels and I am now concentrating back on the “calories in, calories out” routine to make up for the reduced exercise levels while I heal the shin. I am averaging only about 10 miles of running and 20 miles of biking a week at the moment. I so want to get back to increased levels of running but my injury has simply prevented it thus far.

Stay cool and hydrated as we head through this last week of August and cooling days of running are not far away as we transition into the fall period soon. I don’t want to wish summer away but I’m ready for a little less sweating while sitting still for sure. See you soon!

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