6 safety tips for summertime joggers

The key is to run sensibly

A disagreeable notion, perhaps, to take a jog during summer months when temperatures soar? The key is to run sensibly. Road Runners Club of America offers this sound advice:

1. Stay hydrated: Pre-hydration with a few glasses of water before running is advised, then carry a bottle or wear a hydration pack and sip at least every 20 minutes. Rrca.org recommends weighing yourself before and after running and, to determine proper hydration, “you should have drunk one pint of fluid for every pound you’re missing. Indications that you are running while dehydrated are a persistent elevated pulse after finishing your run and dark yellow urine. Keep in mind that thirst is not an adequate indicator of dehydration.”

2. Pay attention to the day’s air pollution and humidity levels by checking weather advisories; refrain from running in humidity above 70%.

3. Choose shaded trails over those in direct sunlight and those with hot blacktop surfaces.

4. Wear short-sleeved, loose, breathable, light-colored shirts that will reflect heat and aid in sweat evaporation. Wear shorts, not sweatpants.

5. If dizziness, faintness or nausea occurs while running, stop. Find a shaded area and replenish electrolytes with a sports drink. If not recovered, get help to circumvent heat stroke, a life-threatening condition.

6. Running on an indoor track is a good idea for those suffering from respiratory or heart conditions; consult a physician first to determine whether running versus walking is even a good idea.

Active.com recommends allowing the body to acclimatize to the heat before trying to run in it. In other words, do not step out into 90-degree heat from an air-conditioned interior and immediately start jogging. And, run early or late, avoiding late-morning to mid-afternoon higher heat levels.

Running with a buddy or in groups is safer than running alone; plus, company motivates. There are plenty of local groups to encourage. To find one, check out sites such as rrca.org or meetup.com, or visit a local running specialty store.