10 Tips to Keep Runners Safe in the Summer

WRITTEN BY: Primary Care
Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

Perhaps warm sunshine and blue skies make you want to go outside and run. Check out our list of running tips to keep you safe while you’re outdoors.

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10 Safety Tips for Running in the Summer

Lighten upSynthetic fabrics with moisture-wicking properties are best.

“Clothing is the key to a comfortable run in the summer,” said Mamta Patel, MD, UPMC Family Medicine.

“Choose lightweight and comfortable fabrics like cotton, linen, or synthetic material designed for summer.  Stay away from fabrics like silk. Choose lighter colors which reflect light as opposed to darker shades which retain more heat.”

Timing is everything: When it’s really hot, consider running early in the day or later in the evening when temperatures are cooler and the sun is not at its peak.

Beware of humidity: Humidity can affect your performance. Run based on effort rather than pace when it’s hot and humid. The higher the dew point, the more uncomfortable it will feel outside.

Sport your shades: Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes and the delicate skin around them.

Make sure you’re noticeable: If you decide to run before dawn or after dusk to beat the heat, make sure you wear items that keep you visible to drivers. Look for a reflective running vest at a sporting goods store near you.

Find your favorite headgear:  Hats and visors keep the sun out of your eyes and can also serve as additional sun protection. Bonus: They also keep sweat off your face.

Think about friction: To prevent painful chafing, apply petroleum jelly to where your skin rubs together or where your clothing rubs on your skin.

Consider talking with your primary care doctor before you start a running regimen. For more information, or to find a primary care doctor, visit www.UPMC.com/PCP or call 1-855-676-UPMCPCP. 

Cool down: For long runs, you may want to consider using a cooling towel to help keep your body temperature down and to wipe away sweat. You also can put your water bottle in the freezer the night before and take it with you. As the ice melts, you’ll have cold water during your run.

Make sure you’re covered: It’s important to keep exposed skin protected from the sun’s rays. Make sure to apply sunblock about 30 minutes before you head outside. There are some sunscreen brands that are specially formulated for sweaty athletes.

RELATED: Winter Sport Safety Tips 

Stay hydrated: “Carry enough water with you during your run to avoid getting dehydrated,” Dr. Patel said. “Look out for symptoms of heat exhaustion which include headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, weakness, and muscle cramps.”  Call your doctor if you notice any of those symptoms.

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Primary Care

The relationship between patient and primary care doctor is essential for long-term health. Primary care physicians at UPMC provide critical care to families at all stages of life. Learn more about general wellness topics and how you can make the most of your next doctor’s visit. Read More