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Benefits of Running in Hot Weather

I have been a lifelong fitness student and enthusiast ever since winning the gold at conference in the 100 butterfly and 200 IM back in my “glory days.” I am also a writer and the marketing wizard here at My Top Fitness.

I have an ever-growing list of interests, including swimming, running, golf, bowling, speedcubing, speed running (old Nintendo games), locksport, cooking, chess, tournament poker, fishing, hiking, camping, and sleight of hand, just to name a few. On some platforms, you can find me as the self-appointed “Jack of all Hobbies”

I am a proud husband and father of 2 children, a.k.a. gremlins, and I am super excited to help as many people as possible on their individual fitness journeys.

Should You Run When It’s Hot?

Running in the heat benefits your body in a variety of ways. It’s an effective way to burn calories, strengthen muscles, expand blood plasma volume, and improve endurance. But if you run in the heat without adequate hydration and proper electrolyte replacement, you could put yourself at risk for heat exhaustion or worse—heat stroke.

If you’re looking for an intense cardio workout to boost your heart rate and improve aerobic fitness or athletic performance, look no further than running when it’s hot outside. Running outdoors in warmer temperatures can help you burn more calories per hour than running indoors on a treadmill or along a track because outdoor conditions are usually more challenging than indoor environments such as gyms and stadiums.

The benefits of running in the heat include:

Ultimate Cardiovascular Fitness

Running in the heat can help you build cardiovascular fitness. Running at a faster pace also helps you burn more calories during exercise than running at a slower pace. And because running is an aerobic activity that requires oxygen to fuel muscles, it builds muscle tissue while strengthening your heart and lungs.

Reduce Your Heart Rate

Running when it’s hot outside will help you to reduce your heart rate and improve your fitness efficiency. You can manage this by running slower and focusing on taking deep breaths. This will help to lower the amount of time it takes for you to recover from strenuous exercise, which can be useful if you’re training for a race or other event that requires good endurance.

However, it’s important not to overdo it. If you are feeling light-headed at all while running, stop immediately and take an extended break until your breathing returns to normal before resuming any exercise.

Enhances Fitness Efficiency

  • You’ll be able to run longer and faster.

  • Your body will adapt to the heat, which results in better endurance when running in cooler temperatures. This means that you’ll be able to run faster in cooler weather because your body will have been trained to handle it better.

  • You’ll recover quicker between runs since you’re used to exercising when it’s warm out.

Keeps Your Immune System Strong

One of the most interesting things about running and a higher temperature is that it can help build up your immune system. When you exercise in hot temperatures, you sweat more than usual, and this sweating helps cool your body. Sweat contains salt and water, so when you sweat a lot during a run, you lose both of those things from your body.

When people lose too much salt or water from their bodies, they become dehydrated. Dehydration can cause cramps because muscles need plenty of water to work properly. If there is not enough water in them, then they cannot stretch out fully before contracting again as part of normal muscle function. This means that runners who take care to drink plenty of fluids before/during/after their runs have less chance of getting injured, and everyone knows how important it is not only to get fit but stay healthy.

Improves Sleep

Running in the heat helps you sleep better, wake up feeling refreshed and sleep longer. Heat training could be the secret to getting a good night’s rest. Running when it’s hot outside has been shown to improve sleep quality by helping you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and get a better night’s rest overall.

It can also make it easier to wake up early in the morning because your body is used to working at high temperatures and doesn’t want you sleeping too long under those conditions.

Aids Weight Loss

Running is a great way to burn calories and lose weight. It’s also a low-impact exercise, so it’s easier on the joints than other forms of cardio, such as elliptical training or high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Running burns more calories than other activities because you’re expending large amounts of energy while running at a moderate pace.

Running in the heat helps with weight loss by burning calories and reducing your overall body fat percentage. In addition, many runners experience an increase in metabolism after they begin exercising regularly, which means that they can eat more food and still lose weight.

Improves Mental Health

Running can boost your mood and decrease anxiety. What’s more, running can also improve your mental health. Running can help you feel less stressed, sleep better, and think more clearly.

Regular exercise has been shown to make people happier overall, which is great news for those who often struggle with depression or anxiety. Heat training has several distinct benefits: it helps you look better, feel stronger and keep cool on those sweltering summer days.

Releases Feel-Good Endorphins

The endorphins that are released during exercise can help you feel better after a workout. Endorphins are the body’s natural painkillers, and they’re released during strenuous exercise. Endorphins help manage the pain of running, so when you’re feeling sore from working out or stretching your muscles in hot weather, endorphins can help reduce the discomfort.

Boosts Your Energy Levels

During this type of heat training, it can be challenging to stay hydrated and energized. To make sure you don’t get dehydrated, drink a sports drink before running and carry water with you. For example, if training for a marathon and running for over two hours, consume two cups of fluid every 15 minutes.

When it comes to eating before and after your run, it’s important not to overeat in the heat because this can cause cramping or nausea, which will slow down your progress on your journey.

Instead of unhealthy snacks like potato chips or candy bars, try eating yogurt or drinking milk. Which are both good sources of protein that will help build muscle mass while providing the energy needed in hot weather conditions.

Helps You Live Longer

Running is an excellent way to get some exercise and stay healthy. In fact, research suggests that running can reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other chronic conditions.

Running for just 30 minutes per day can help you live longer than if you were to do nothing at all. It also has the side benefit of making you feel good about yourself, which can lead to additional health benefits, including lower stress levels and better sleep habits.

Reduces Stress

Exercise in hot weather or more deliberate heat training is a great way to relieve stress, and running is particularly good at this because it’s an exercise that you can do alone or with others in any location.

It helps you adequate sleep and improves your mental condition – running is often used as a treatment for depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. If you experience any of these conditions, it’s important that you consult your doctor.

Before starting any kind of exercise regime, make sure it’s right for your condition and doesn’t have any negative side effects.

Boosts your Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem

Running in hot weather can help you feel good about yourself, your body, and your health. Not only can exercise boost self-confidence, but it actually changes the way people see themselves. Studies show that regular exercisers report feeling better about their bodies and their health than those who don’t work out regularly.

When you run in hot weather, you learn how to push yourself further than before. The more challenges you overcome on a run, the more confident and comfortable with yourself as a runner (and person) you become.

Improves your Overall Performance

Running in hot weather can improve your overall performance. When you run a mile, your body temperature increases. The more fit you are, the better you can deal with this increase and still perform at a high level. So if you’re new to running or not as fit as some others around you, hot weather runs might help even the playing field.

Running in hot weather can also help increase endurance because it allows for an increased body temperature for longer periods of time without getting sick or dehydrated too quickly. With increased endurance comes increased speed, you’ll be able to go faster than normal before becoming fatigued.

Tips for Running in Hot Weather

When the sun is out, and the weather is hot, running outside can be a pain. The good news is that there are simple things you can do to make your run more comfortable and safe. Here are some tips for making your runs easier during hot weather:

Choose the Coolest Time of Day to go for a Run

The best time of day to run is when the sun is not directly overhead.

Avoid running in the heat of the day, especially in the afternoon. The peak air temperature for your body can be between 2 and 4 p.m., but it’s important to keep an eye on weather forecasts and choose a time that allows you to avoid this peak and reduce the heat stress you place on your body.

If you can’t run in the morning or evening, try running just before sunrise or after sunset.

Before a Run, Refuel with Electrolytes and Salt

Before hitting the trail, refuel with electrolytes. Electrolytes are salts that your body needs in order to maintain a healthy fluid balance and regulate your heartbeat. They play an important role in muscle function and hydration, so it’s crucial that you get enough of them before running.

Put on Quick-Drying, Moisture-Wicking Clothing

Wear light, loose-fitting clothing that won’t slow you down. You should also wear shoes that are lightweight and breathable so as not to overheat your feet.

Wear a hat to protect your head and face from the sun’s rays, as well as sunglasses to protect your eyes (a good pair will also shield them from sweat).

Streamline your Warm-Up

One of the most important things you can do as a runner is to warm up before your run and stretch after it. Warming up increases blood flow to the muscles, preparing them for activity. Stretching helps prevent injury by loosening tight muscles and improving the range of motion.

Warm-up exercises include running in place for about 3 minutes, marching in place for 30 seconds at a time with 30 seconds between each set, jumping jacks (10), high knees (10), butt kicks (10), and skips (10). You should also try doing some dynamic stretching movements like arm circles or leg swings before your run begins.

Drink Water While You Run

Drinking water while you run is a good idea. You should drink at least 16oz of water before you start running and then continue to drink throughout your run. More than that, be careful not to wait until you’re thirsty before drinking. If your body is already dehydrated, it’s too late.

If you’re already feeling crampy or lightheaded, the best thing to do is stop running immediately and increase your fluid intake.

Continue Eating and Drinking After Your Run

After you run, continue to eat and drink. Your body needs to replace the energy it used during the workout, so don’t stop eating when you finish your run. It’s important for keeping up your strength. And remember that even if you’re not training for a race, a sports electrolyte drink or electrolyte supplements can help replenish electrolytes lost through sweat.

When it comes to hydration after exercise, plenty of water will cool your body down from the hot conditions. And make sure that all of those good nutrients are going where they should be going into building muscle or repairing muscles after strenuous activity (like running).

Conclusion

Running in hot and humid weather benefits the body by increasing your metabolism and improving flexibility. When we are exposed to heat, our bodies produce sweat. The evaporation of this sweat cools us down and keeps us from getting overheated. It also helps us avoid dehydration, which can lead to serious health problems such as heat exhaustion or even death if it isn’t treated quickly enough.

If you’re looking to get fit or improve your athletic performance, running can be an excellent way to do so without putting a strain on joints or muscles. If you’re only just starting out with running, consider gradually increasing the length of your run each week until it becomes an easy routine. Give yourself time to adjust to the process. Heat acclimation, similar to altitude training, takes time.

As always, consult with a doctor before starting any exercise program – especially one that includes heat – if there are any health issues that might affect your ability to exercise regularly.

References and Citation

  1. Ariane Resnick, C. N. C. (2022, August 8). 8 tips for running when it’s hot AF outside. Shape., from https://www.shape.com/fitness/tips/running-hot-weather-tips 

  2. Basinger, R. (2021, May 10). Are there any benefits of running in the heat? The Wired Runner., from https://thewiredrunner.com/are-there-any-benefits-running-in-heat/ 

  3. Running in hot weather: Tips and precautions. Origym. (2022, September 16)., from https://origympersonaltrainercourses.co.uk/blog/running-in-hot-weather 

  4. Matthew MaceMatthew is an avid runner. (2021, June 7). 12 tips for running in the heat (infographic). Running 101, from https://running101.co.uk/12-tips-for-running-in-the-heat-infographic/ 

  5. Dack, D. (2020, September 30). 18 strategies for safely running in the summer –. Runner’s Blueprint, from https://www.runnersblueprint.com/summer-running-guide/ 

  6. Perez, M. (2020, August 3). Why working out in the heat could benefit your training, according to Science. Health, from https://www.health.com/fitness/heat-training 

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