Summer is upon us, and along with it, tough conditions for exercising in the heat. To help ward off the risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, as well as maximize your overall workout, safety is paramount when heading outdoors.
This week, we reached out to a handful of SaltStick fans and athletes who live in the Southwestern U.S., where the temperatures regularly exceed 100°F/38°C, for their tips on exercising in the heat. Here’s what they had to say.
Tip 1: Plan, plan, plan
“Create a route where you know it is covered with shady spots, water fountains to hydrate so you can avoid falling victim to overheating. One fun idea is to time your morning run when the local park sprinklers are going off (or your neighborhood) to do some interval work by running through the sprinklers, timing the hard intervals between the sprinklers and your recovery running in circles cooling off in the water.” – Megan K., Phoenix, AZ resident
“An out and back route may not be your best choice for a summer training run. It is important to have access to water along your route in case you run low. Try to plan a looped route so that you have multiple chances to refill your water or stock up on electrolytes. You can even use your car as your own personal aid station.” – Allyssa J., Phoenix, AZ resident
Tip 2: Embrace (literally) the ice
“Wearing a hat that has been soaked in water and placed in the freezer to form a nice icy headband is great for those evening runs after a long day at the office.” – Megan K., Phoenix, AZ resident
“While I prefer to run in the daylight, the summer nightly trail races are ideal for the desert temps. During a night race, I always wear an ice bandana and am sure to dunk it in the water buckets at add stations. Sometimes adding ice in your hat can also quickly cool you down.” – Christine N., Phoenix, AZ resident
“I typically use two and sometimes three buffs filled with ice in the summer. I fold the buff into itself and sew the opening leaving only a three inch gap, which helps keep the ice in place while running.” – Joel Olivares, SaltStick athlete and Texas resident
Tip 3: Emphasize proper hydration
“Some of my go to hydration products for cooling off during a run include SaltStick FastChews, which are so easy to store in a pocket and grab on the go. Watermelon is my absolute favorite! On days where temperatures are 90+ [32°C], I try to eat a couple every 3-5 miles when the sweat is literally pouring out of my body.” – Christine N., Phoenix, AZ resident
“When going out for a longer training run, be prepared to replenish your electrolytes. One of my favorites is SaltStick Fastchews (watermelon flavor).” – Allyssa J., Phoenix, AZ resident
“In a world of high heat and humidity, electrolytes and ice are king!” – Joel Olivares, SaltStick athlete and Texas resident
Tip 4: Get the right gear
“One piece of gear I cannot live without is a trucker hat, not only to block the sun out of my eyes, but to provide UV protection from the rays on my head. It also wicks the sweat away from my face and eyes.” – Christine N., Phoenix, AZ resident
“Handhelds and buffs are my two must haves and what I consider essential items for trail running in triple digit temperatures.” – Joel Olivares, SaltStick athlete and Texas resident
“Being a desert native and running in temperatures as hot as 104 [40°C], I have found the common methods of having ice bottles in your handheld, or camelbak is a must.” – Allyssa J., Phoenix, AZ resident
Tip 5: Slow and steady wins the race
“During the summer, you can plan on pace being at least a minute or so slower than your regular easy pace. At least for me, and I’m okay with that. Embrace the heat, for it will make you stronger!” – Christine N., Phoenix, AZ resident
“It is okay to slow it down. The heat affects people in different ways. It is important to adjust your pace and listen to your body on those hot summer days.” – Allyssa J., Phoenix, AZ resident
Tip 6: Don’t forget sunscreen
“The sun is powerful. It is important to wear sunscreen on any exposed skin. If you’re going to be outside for a longer effort, bring a travel sized sunscreen with you. Stuff it in your hydration vest or set it near your car. Don’t forget to reapply!” – Allyssa J., Phoenix, AZ resident
To learn more about how SaltStick products can help replace electrolytes lost through sweat, check out our usage guides.
Disclaimer: Contact your physician before starting any exercise program or if you are taking any medication. Individuals with high blood pressure should also consult their physician prior to taking an electrolyte supplement. Overdose of electrolytes is possible, with symptoms such as vomiting and feeling ill, and care should be taken not to overdose on any electrolyte supplement.