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Exercise in this heat? It can be done! | News

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Exercise in this heat? It can be done!

WYOMING (WZZM) - Now that the heat is kicking into triple-digit territory for the next few days, it's important to be careful when exercising.  And who else to give some tips than an ultra-marathoner?

West Michigan's typical summers are already too warm for some people to get moving outdoors, but not for a man who's run 56 miles all in one day.

Terence Reuben, a physical therapist with Metro Health Sports Medicine and a certified personal trainer, hopes you'll continue to get your daily exercise, but he says there's some important things to keep in mind when the temperature rises.

"The first thing is to look at your weather plan, what is the coolest time to run. Usually before seven in the morning, after seven at night," said Reuben.

But before you head out the door, Reuben says to put on breathable garments. This is especially important now that we've reached the 95 degree mark. Experts say at 95 and above, your skin doesn't release any heat at all from your body; you instead start to absorb it. Therefore, evaporative cooling must do all the work.

The other culprit, though, is humidity. It causes sweat to evaporate more slowly.  Wicking clothes - ditch the cotton - help tremendously.

"You want to get that sweat away from your body," said Reuben.

Also keep the heat out with a hat and sunglasses.

"Looking into the sun causes more strain on your body," said Reuben.

Speaking of sweat. Pay attention to it. Every body is different.

"I'm already sweating quite a bit because it's so hot. And I am one of those salty sweaters, so for me, I may need more hydration and electrolytes than you do," he said.

Enter water, Gatorade, gel shots or even Clif Shot Bloks with extra salt, better known as the 'cramp buster'.

"You may have to slow your pace down on a hot day," said Reuben.

Running expert Jeff Galloway writes in Runners World to slow your pace by 20 to 30 seconds a mile for every 5 degree temperature increase this summer.

But it's not just runners and bikers who need to pay attention to heat exhaustion. Reuben says often, it's the walkers who head out for a few miles and get into trouble.

"We're just walking, so who thinks about taking a water bottle?" he said.

Another reminder is to wear sunscreen. Sunburn decreases your body's ability to cool itself. Also, hot foods can increase your core temperature.  Reuben says to drink water before you head out the door and to continue drinking it, and/or one of the other options listed above, along your route. It depends on how far you're going.

He says when he's biking, he sets a timer to remember to drink every 15 minutes when it's hot out.

Another tip from me; find water sprinklers along a route and plan your run around the time they're set to go off.  I can depend on them every morning!


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