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Leigh’s runcast: Intense heat takes a toll on your body during workouts

Run Cast

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Today’s Runcast Index is a 5. Hotter-than-average temperatures expected today, which is saying something since it’s mid-summer! Highs reach the low-mid 90s with heat index values 102-105.

One of the reason it heats up so much is that rain chances are quite low. Only a 20% chance of an afternoon thunderstorm. Listen for thunder before heading out on your run, but most of us will stay dry and hot.

The heat is intense, but the humidity is actually near normal levels. Dew points in the low 70s is steamy, but our bodies have become somewhat accustomed to it. (At least as much as possible.)

The extra humidity still limits the amount of sweat that can evaporate off your skin to cool your body temperature during a workout. A reaction called “evaporative cooling” happens when liquid becomes gas, so when sweat evaporates, it takes heat out of your body. Without that evaporation, body temperatures keep rising.

Make sure to keep intensity low during exercise, so your temperature doesn’t reach dangerous levels. Try to find cooler times of day to workout or at least stay in the shade. Even in cooler temperatures, the humidity stays high. That means, your body still can’t efficiently cool itself. Take it easy; drink plenty of electrolytes; and try to have fun.

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