Saturday, July 30, 2011

Lick It, Don't Kick It!!

  I am now officially sorry for complaining about the cool May we had here in Chicago! I would love to be able to go out for a run on a 50 degree, cloudy day! But. the heat continues to bake us and we still have all of August and probably September until we feel the cool air of October!
  If you read my previous blog, I gave some tips and advice about how to deal with running in the hot weather. One of them was to run in the cooler part of the day, either early morning or late evening. However this summer it seems like it is impossible to even find an hour that isn't extremely humid and hot, even at 5AM!
  So, if you are like me and must run, here is one more piece of advice that might help you feel better running in this tropical weather.
                                          Lick some salt!!!

 I know, I usually talk about reducing salt from your diet. However, in the hot summer months, when you are working out, it is important to stay hydrated. So along with drinking plenty of fluids (your urine should be a pale yellow color) and consuming drinks like Gatorade to ensure a proper balance of electrolytes, increasing your salt intake might help you from getting dehydrated and feel better on your runs.
**** Always check with your doctor first before increasing your salt intake, especially if you have high blood pressure.

   Here's how to add a little more salt to your diet:

Eat it....
Consume salty snacks during the week, such as all natural pretzels or wheat crackers.

Lick it...
If you are going to be training or running a race that is 10k or longer, get two packets of restaurant salt. Pour one into your hand and lick it before you run. Lick the second one halfway through your run.

If you are going out for your normal run of around 30 minutes, pour a little salt in your hand and lick it before you go out or mix it with a little water or sports drink.

   ***Don't take salt tablets or pills because there is a decrease in blood flow to your stomach when you exercise, so these types of salt will irritate your stomach lining and not be well digested.

 If you "lick the salt" along with following my other suggestions from my post Baby It's Hot Outside, you should be able to get through the rest of the summer and continue to enjoy your running.

 Please remember that even with adding a little salt to your diet, there will still
be days where the humidity and heat are too high and you should just not run.
Also, get your doctors permission before adding anything to your diet and exercising in the heat.

   Hopefully we will have fewer and fewer extremely hot days and we will all be enjoying some fantastic Fall weather very soon!

 Let me know how your summer exercising is going, I would love to hear how you have been dealing with it!!