Leigh’s runcast: High heat and humidity make workouts even harder

Run Cast

TAMPA, Fla (WFLA) – Today’s Runcast Index is a 5. The only reason it’s not lower is because the humidity is not excessive. It’s still going to be a hot day.

Highs reach the mid 90s in many spots today, and heat index values will be 101-105 for several hours. This extreme heat can make even light workouts feel much harder as your body works extra to keep you temperature down.

Here’s why it makes such a difference: The hot day heats your body quickly, and your body creates sweat to help cool you down. You need that sweat to evaporate in order to bring your temperature down. While the humidity is not abnormally high, we are in July, so it’s steamy. In that level of humidity, the air cannot hold much more moisture, so sweat doesn’t evaporate as easily. Therefore, your body temperature stays high.

In order to keep your body temperature from reaching dangerous levels, you need to take it easy on your run or walk. You should lower the intensity by at least 10%. Meaning, if you normally run a mile in about 10 minutes, you should only run about an 11-minute-mile. This lower intensity will keep you from overheating and make it easier to recover from the workout.

The best time to workout is around sunrise. It’s the coolest time of the day, so your body does not heat up as quickly. As always, replenish with lots of sports drinks and electrolytes. Stay safe and enjoy.

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