By Dan Popovic

The weather has finally warmed up, which means more and more people are out jogging and running. But just because the weather is fine, there are still tips to follow so that will prevent damage and illness from the heat. Thanks to certified trainer Sherry Oswalt with Divas Run (divasrun.com) for offering up these tips.

1. Lighten up: Wear moisture-wicking and light-colored running wear that allow the skin to breathe and allow the body’s core temperature to stay cooler as we run into more warm and humid temps.

2. Lather on the sunscreen: Exposed skin during the spring and summer can increase your risk of skin cancer and not just at the pool. Be sure to apply sunscreen to arms and legs as well as the face before heading out the door.

3. Hydrate: Runners in the Southeast are the most dehydrated of all runners due to our hot and humid climate that produces extra sweat. A water loss of just 2 percent of body weight can create a heat imbalance and impair circulatory function. The general rule is to drink 4 – 8 ounces of fluid (water is best) every 15 – 20 minutes during exercise.

4. Run with the chickens: The earlier in the day you run, the cooler the temps and you run the least amount of risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. If you must run later in the day during hotter temps, pay attention to the warning signs of heat illness and back off or stop running ASAP.

5. Take your run outside: It is important to train outdoors for spring and summer races so that your body is acclimated to the temperature change when toeing the Start Line. Remember it takes approximately 7 – 10 days of running in consistent temps for the body to acclimate to the new season.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.