The sun’s showing no mercy to outdoor enthusiasts. Now that it’s hotter than ever – what with temperatures in parts of the country hitting the 50s – it’s tougher to run or walk outdoors. And harder to trek. If the current heat wave is cramping your workout style, we feel you. We give you 5 ways to make your outdoor routine work even in this weather.

Lower Your Body Temperature Before You Step Out

Jump into a cold shower before your run. A study suggests that cooling your body before you head out into the heat could reduce the amount of energy your body needs to stay cool, leaving you with more energy for the run. Many athletes use this technique. If you don’t have time for a shower, cool yourself down by applying an ice pack to your neck and head.

Choose a Dirt Path

Concreate paths radiate heat, reflect the sun’s rays and make you feel hotter. Instead choose to run in a park or on a beach or any surface that isn’t concrete. Plus, think about it, the shade from the trees and wind at the beach will be a lot more refreshing while you’re running.

Watch What You Wear

It’s obvious that wearing black is a no-no if you’re battling the sun – remember that physics lesson that says black absorbs heat? To stay cool, choose lighter colours as they reflect heat, or wear cotton clothes as they help regulate sweat better. Many sports brands also have specially designed “hi-tech” running clothes that are made with material that can keep you cool.

Keep Your Electrolyte Levels Up

When you sweat, your body loses a lot of electrolytes. While drinking water is essential to keep your body well-hydrated, you need to amp up your electrolyte levels when you’re trying to beat the heat. Many people resort to sports drinks for this, but then again such drinks usually contain a lot of sugar. Instead pick a good electrolyte supplement, mix it in your water and carry it along when you go out.

Practice General Caution

Every decision you take will impact your run. Small things like running before 10 am in the morning, choosing a path with shade, putting on sunscreen, wearing a cap to protect your head, and most of all, paying attention to your body about how it feels while you’re working out, will make sure you feel better while running in summer.

Like this article? Also read: 5 Ways Working Out Helps You Beat Work Stress

Cover Image Courtesy: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag