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Here's How To Actually Go Running When It's Hot AF

*sees mirage*

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Exercising in the heat is serious business — proper hydration, sunblock, and paying close attention to how you're feeling as you go are all essential. Be sure to check with your doctor before exercising in the heat. And if you feel dizzy, extra thirsty, faint, disoriented, fatigued or sleepy, or if you're barely peeing, are nauseated or vomiting or having cramps or diarrhea, stop exercising, get out of the sun and heat, and seek medical attention immediately.

1. Apply sunscreen 15 minutes before going outdoors.

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It takes a bit of time for your skin to absorb sunblock so it can actually protect you, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

2. Drink just the right amount of water.

Most of us are hyper aware of drinking enough water when it's super hot out, but you can also drink too much water and wash away the electrolytes your body needs to function properly. This is called hyponatremia and it's just as dangerous as dehydration.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends staying hydrated with the guidelines below.

AT LEAST 4 HOURS BEFORE EXERCISE

Drink 16 to 20 ounces of fluids

10 TO 15 MINUTES BEFORE EXERCISE

Drink eight to 12 ounces of fluids

IF YOU'RE EXERCISING LESS THAN 60 MINUTES

Drink three to eight ounces of fluid every 15 to 20 minutes during exercise.

IF YOU'RE EXERCISING MORE THAN 60 MINUTES

Drink three to eight ounces of a sport beverage every 15 to 20 minutes during exercise.

Don't drink more than one quart of fluid during exercise.

The American Heart Association explains that for most exercisers water is enough to keep you hydrated but some people, especially those going super hard or exercising for a long period of time when it's hot may need a sports drink to replenish electrolytes and carbohydrates lost.

4. Lower your body temperature with a fan, air conditioning, or ice before you run.

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Studies have found that lowering your body temperature (pre-cooling) before exercise reduces heat stress and improves performance. You can cool down by hanging out in a highly air conditioned room or applying ice packs to your body (not directly; be sure to use a towel between the pack and your skin) before you run.

5. Drink a pre-run slushie.

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One small study found that when participants drank a slushie before running in the heat, their body temperatures were lower and endurance was better (compared to participants who drank cold water).

Maybe these fresh fruit slushies that use just a touch of maple syrup as sweetener?

8. If you're a salty sweater, add salt to your water or sports drink.

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If you notice streaks of white on your clothes after a hard run or even on your face or body, you might be an extra salty sweater, which means you lose salt at high rate when you sweat. Having too little sodium in the blood — either by drinking too much water or sweating out a ton of it — is dangerous and can lead to hyponatremia, symptoms of which include nausea, vomiting, headache, confusion, muscle weakness, and even seizures and coma.

RunnersWorld suggests drinking sports drinks instead of water to help get your electrolytes back in balance and even adding 1/2 tsp of salt to your sports drink if necessary.

10. Ditch your tracker or GPS watch and simply run by effort.

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There's no better time to stop holding yourself to a tracker's exercise or calories goals than when it's hot AF outside. Since exercising in the heat is super taxing, your body is working harder than usual just to do what it normally does on a more temperate day. Instead of forcing yourself to achieve a certain pace or crush a PR or burn X calories, instead judge your run (and how long you stay out there) by how you feel, not by what a tracker says. Your pace should allow you to hold a normal conversation as you go.

12. Run before or after the sun rises.

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Becoming a morning runner pays off in the summer when temperatures can be significantly lower than they are when the sun is high in the sky. The next best option is to run after sundown.

13. Reduce blisters with the right socks.

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They will cost more than the cotton socks you can buy in bulk but technical socks made of some synthetic material that wicks moisture and dries quickly will help prevent blisters which are absolute life ruiners. Check out Balega and DryMax.

14. Make sure your sneakers are big enough.

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Running in the heat can make your feet swell up and all of a sudden the sneakers you've been wearing all year feel way too tight. When you're buying sneakers, make sure there's about thumbnail's worth of extra length between your big toe and the end of the sneaker.

15. Pour cold water on your head while you're running.

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Bring water on your run not just for drinking but to douse yourself as you go. A small study showed that pouring cold water on participants' bodies during exercise brought their skin temperature down, made the heat feel more tolerable, and benefited their perceived exertion.

16. Add mileage and intensity gradually to give yourself time to get used to the heat.

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Your body will acclimatize but not immediately. It might take a couple weeks for your body to get used to handling intense heat. Increase the duration, distance, and intensity of your runs little by little over the course of 10 days to two weeks.

18. Freeze a water bottle. And put it in your sports bra.

The Hydro Pocket is a sports bra with a built-in water bottle pocket. If you freeze the bottle first you'll have not only a hands-free hydration option but a nice cold frozen bottle cooling you as you go. Get it here.

19. Wear UV-blocking sunglasses because FYI you can get a sunburn on your eyeball.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings but according to the American Optometric Association (AOA) eyeball sunburns can happen if you're exposed to lots of UV rays over a short period of time. They don't cause longterm damage but they're painful and unpleasant, causing excessive tearing, redeye, and sensitivity to light. But it's actually over the long term that UV rays can really be damaging to the eyes, harming the retina and increasing chances of developing cataracts.

The AOA says that sunglasses should block 99 to 100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radation and screen 75 to 90 percent of visible light. The lenses should be made from polycarbonate or Trivex which, being more durable, are suited to fast-paced activities when there's a chance the shades could hit the ground.

Here are shades on the less expensive side of things.

20. Get off the sidewalk and onto a trail.

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Buildings and asphalt collect light and release heat so running through a city can feel literally like hell during sunny summer days. That's why summer is a perfect time to run on a trail, what with it's asphalt free grass and dirt surfaces and maybe even some tree cover to provide shade.

21. Soak your feet in cold water as soon as you get home.

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Not only does it feel delightful, it will help with heat-related foot swelling.

22. Make a homemade gel ice pack with water, rubbing alcohol, and Ziploc bags.

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Just fill a freezer bag with a cup of rubbing alcohol and two cups of water and freeze it for two to three hours. Step by step instructions here.

23. And apply them to your cheeks, palms, and the soles of your feet.

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While it's customary to apply ice packs to the groin, armpit, and neck of someone suffering from heat-related illness, a small study got better results by applying chemical cold packs to the cheeks, palms, and soles.

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