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7 Helpful Tips For Running in the Heat

7 Helpful Tips For Running in the Heat

Many people enjoy running in the heat because they get to combine their love of getting outdoors in the sunshine and becoming fitter at the same time.

Because the hot weather makes it more challenging to run, it can also feel like it's more beneficial because you need to work harder.

However, if you try running in the summer without taking sensible precautions, you could become uncomfortable or even suffer a severe reaction.

Read on to find out how to enjoy running in the heat safely.

1. Run at the Optimal Time of Day

One of the easiest running tips to follow is to plan your running schedule ahead of time. This way, you can get out and exercise in the early morning or late evening times.

The weather is generally at its hottest during the afternoon, so it's best to avoid working up a sweat at this time if possible.

You don't have to wait until all the warm air has gone, but it'll make it a lot easier to keep your run going for longer if there is at least some coolness in the air.

2. Wear Comfortable Clothing

When some runners are trying to lose weight, they attempt to exercise while wearing heavy clothing. But, this practice could be harmful to health if the body begins to overheat. 

It's always best to wear light clothing that allows your skin to breathe. A pair of shorts, ankle socks, and a thin t-shirt are ideal. If you like to take a backpack on your run, you could carry a spare t-shirt to change into halfway through.

This can make you more comfortable when you replace a sweaty and sticky top with a cool fresh one. 

3. Stay Hydrated When Running in the Heat

The benefits of running in the heat are much the same as running in cooler weather. You can expect to increase your aerobic capacity and strengthen your leg and core muscles, amongst other advantages. 

However, the biggest downside is that you are likely to dehydrate much more quickly. Therefore, you should drink a bit more water than usual before heading out for your exercise. 

It's also a good idea to take a small bottle of water that you can sip from on the way around. You don't want the water to weigh you down, but it would be worse if you run out of fluids during exercise.

Dehydration can have serious harmful effects, and you could even end up in the hospital or suffer a fatal reaction. Of all the tips for running in the heat, staying hydrated is by far the most important.

4. Slow Down Your Running Speed

You may find you need to adapt your running technique to take account of the warmer weather. This doesn't mean you won't be getting a good workout; your body will still be tested.

But, if you try to run at your usual speed, you could find you tire much more quickly than usual. In addition, if you are sweating too much in the hot air, you could also become dizzy or suffer from heat stroke

5. Hit the Trail Running Tracks

If the weather is scorching, it's not always sensible to run on the roads. Asphalt and concrete retain heat, and you may not have much shade if you are running in relatively open urban areas.

But, if you are still determined to get out for your run, you can hit the trail running tracks. If you can find a wooded area, there is likely to be considerable cover from the sun. 

The air should be cooler, and you may find it is easier to breathe. Also, if the trail running track is short, you could extend your exercise period by running loops. 

6. Look After Your Skin

Most runners appreciate the dangers of running in the sun and apply sunscreen before heading out to exercise.

However, what about chafing? This can not only be extremely unpleasant but can also cause bleeding and skin damage. The friction and moisture between your clothing and skin can also cause a rash. 

If you do not address these issues, they are likely to become worse. You could even experience sufficient pain that you dread going for your run.

However, there are excellent products available that can treat and prevent these problems from getting in the way of your exercise.

Aside from products that can help your skin stay in great condition, you can also purchase a pain relief salve to help soothe your muscles after exercise.

7. Run With Friends

There are obvious safety benefits to running in the heat with friends. For example, if one person begins to feel unwell, the others can look after them and decide if they require medical attention.

However, there are also other benefits that can contribute to improved mental health.

Of course, you're already familiar with the feeling of getting a runner's high, but you can also get fantastic social enjoyment from training with friends. It's a great chance to catch up and enjoy spending time with your buddies.

Chatting while running can also distract you from how difficult your session is. In addition, you can motivate and encourage each other to improve your running results.

Shop With Squirrel's Nut Butter Today

When you follow safe practices, running in the heat can be a great way to get fit while enjoying the glorious sunshine.

You're also likely to enjoy your run considerably more if you're comfortable and well-prepared. You can then provide your body with the necessary care and attention before, during, and after your run.

As Squirrel's Nut Butter, we supply all-natural, high-quality products that help prevent skin damage and relieve aches and soreness.

We personally mix and pour our ingredients to ensure you receive market-leading products we can proudly stand over. We also believe in community and sponsor endurance athletes around the country.

Visit our shop today and get ready for your next run.

How to Relieve and Repair Dry, Irritated Skin

How to Relieve and Repair Dry, Irritated Skin

In 2020, Strava athletes in the US cycled 1.2 billion miles and ran 387 million miles. There’s been a boom in global exercise. But with improved health and fitness comes an unwanted side effect for some exercisers: dry, irritated skin.

If you’re someone who likes to hit a hiking trail or rack up lengths in a swimming pool but suffers from dry skin as a result, this article is for you. There are many ways to manage skin health and repair flaky skin. Our handy guide is here to help.

Dry Skin Defined

First, a quick definition. Your skin is home to a moisture barrier comprised of natural lipids. These help keep moisture in and irritants out. If that protective barrier is damaged, minute cracks appear, and moisture escapes.

There are many causes of dry skin. These range from exercising--and the accompanying chafed skin that may occur--to aging. Other factors include using products that are too harsh and medical conditions.

Whatever the reason – and there may be multiple – there are a host of methods to relieve and repair dry and irritated skin. Read on to find out more.

Anti-Chafing Salve Is a Must

If endurance sports are your thing but you find yourself suffering from extremely dry skin, cut down on friction with an anti-chafe salve. Applying a chafing cream lubricates the skin and is particularly helpful in areas such as thighs, feet, and groin.

Use an all-natural anti-chafe stick to prevent blisters and protect your skin before hitting the sidewalk for a run. Or if you prefer heading out on two wheels, say no to saddle sores with cycling salve.

Bath and Shower Tips

Help heal dry skin and stop it from rearing its ugly head again by using warm water rather than hot. By doing that, you don’t wash away your skin’s natural oils.

What else? Limit your time in the bath or shower to less than 10 minutes. Staying within that time frame means your skin’s oily layer isn’t stripped away.

Wash with gentle and natural products, minimize soap usage, and buy a sulfate-free cleanser to remove dirt and oil.

Keep away from scratchy bath sponges and cloths to avoid damaging your skin. Or use a light touch if you don’t want to stop using them entirely. And after bathing or showering, blot your skin gently with a towel rather than rubbing vigorously.

Invest in a Humidifier

Humidifiers help raise air hydration. How? By forcing moisture into the environment. Keep moisture circulating with a humidifier and help your skin retain its natural moisture.

Control your skin by controlling your environment.

Linked to that point: don’t be tempted to sit right in front of a fireplace. In wintertime, that may be appealing. Pulling up a pew by a crackling fire sounds appealing, right? But your skin may suffer and dry out further.

Moisturize Skin

Restore your skin with an all-natural regenerative slave. Whichever specific skincare products you choose, apply immediately after you bathe or shower. Why? To trap as much moisture in as possible. Leaving your skin bare for even a minute means it will start to dehydrate.

Moisturize to repair cracked skin, say bye-bye to irritated skin, and improve skin health.

And remember: when you’re out and about exercising, be sure to apply a moisturizing lip salve or balm. It’s super important to wear sunscreen, too – whatever the time of year.

Say Yes To Night Creams

Choose one that suits your skin type and let the moisturizer perform its magic. People tend to bypass night creams to let their skin breathe, but nighttime is when your skin’s permeability is at its peak.

Absorption is at its best when you’re at rest.

The moisturizer you choose doesn’t have to be labeled as a night cream. Pick one that works for you and your skin type. Don’t forget to experiment with serums, too. For that extra hydration kick, use under your moisturizer.

Gloves Are the Way Forward

If you’re heading out for a run or a hike – especially in wintertime – don’t forget to protect your hands. Reduce dry skin by donning a pair of thick, waterproof gloves.

 

Avoid Irritating Clothing

Keep your skin protected and soft by steering clear of rough clothing. Opt for cotton, or even silk if budget permits. And use hypoallergenic detergents.

Home Remedies

To improve skin health further, think about using everyday products to moisturize. Dry, flaky skin can benefit from homemade treatments.

For example, use coconut oil to improve skin hydration and increase the number of fats on the skin’s surface. Coconut oil contains saturated fatty acids that moisturize by filling in gaps in dry skin.

Or how about an oatmeal bath? It’s said that adding oatmeal powder to water can be effective at relieving dry skin. How? Oatmeal has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Sunflower oil can also be applied to extremely dry skin to help hydrate it. And it’s been suggested that honey can relieve dry skin too.

Banish Dry, Irritated Skin

MapMyRun saw a 65% increase in runs logged in 2020. That’s great news for health and fitness, but what about the impact on the exerciser’s skin? Endurance sports such as hiking, ultrarunning, and mountain biking can leave you with flaky and irritated skin.

There are a number of simple ways to deal with extremely dry skin. These range from humidifiers and better bathing routines to anti-chafing creams and all-natural skin products.

Keen to restore your skin and be chafe-free? Head on over to our online store and get browsing.

11 Must-Have Hiking Gear for First Time Hikers

11 Must-Have Hiking Gear for First Time Hikers

Make sure you have these essentials before heading out for your next hike.

According to the National Parks, there are proven health benefits of hiking. These include improved physical health, enhanced mental health, and boosted mood. To avoid issues, you should remember to pack the necessities.

You can feel prepared while exploring nature. If you’re interested in learning more about hiking gear, keep reading. Here are eleven must-have essentials while you’re on a trail.

1. Hiking Backpack

You’ll need a backpack to carry other hiking gear and essentials. How long you intend on hiking will determine how big of a bag you need. No matter how long you hike, plan what you need and pack accordingly.

For a full day, you should get one that’s twenty liters. Half-day hikes only need a smaller size. An overnight hike will need a backpack that’s around thirty-five liters for extra water, snacks, hiking clothes, and other essentials.

2. Happie Toes Foot Salve

This foot salve restores damaged skin in between hikes. The ingredients include kokum butter, tea tree oil, and peppermint oil. These ingredients fight bacteria, decrease inflammation, heal skin fissures, and regenerate skin cells.

You can use this salve on your feet, hands, and any other dry areas for relief. Purchase Happie Toes Foot Salve in our shop online.

3. An Up-To-Date Map and GPS Device

Before heading out on the trail, you’ll need an up-to-date map. Some trails split off in different directions, making it easy to get lost. You can download the latest version online for your specific trail.

If you’re not good at reading maps, you may want to consider carrying a GPS device. These are great for helping beginners navigate different trails.

4. Headlamp for Dark Hikes

A headlamp is perfect for hiking in the dark and exploring underground caves. Unlike when using a flashlight, your hands are free to navigate. It can protect you from falling, stepping on wildlife, or losing sight of the path.

Even if you’re not planning on exploring in the dark, you should consider carrying a headlamp and spare batteries. If you happen to get lost, you’ll feel safer with light overnight.

5. Lightweight Utility Knife        

Before you go on a hike, you should think about why you’d need a utility knife. You can use one to cut a rope, prepare fish, and more. Consider a lightweight option with a sharpened three-inch blade.

You never know when you might run into an emergency. Carrying a lightweight utility knife could save you from sticky situations.

6. SPF Lip Balm, Sunscreen, and Sunglasses

When you’re spending a great deal of time outdoors, you should always wear sunblock. For the best results, use SPF 30 to 50. You can protect your eyes with sunglasses.

Lip balm is sunscreen for your lips. Same as with sunblock, use one with SPF 30 or higher.

7. Bug Repellant

When you’re out on a hike, you can protect yourself from bug bites with repellant. You should apply sunscreen before insect repellent. It’s the most effective technique to prevent West Nile virus and mosquito bites.

Mosquitoes bite at night and during the day. In addition to wearing insect repellent, you should consider wearing long sleeves and pants.

8. Water and Snacks

During moderate activity, the general recommendation is to drink half a liter of water per hour. Depending on the temperature and intensity of your hike, you may need to increase the amount. Strenuous hikes in extreme heat will entail drinking one or more liters per hour.

During hikes, you should consume one to three pounds of food per day. Strenuous hikes burn more calories and require higher increments.

9. Hiking Poles

Hiking poles make hiking easier on your knees. Unlike walking sticks, the poles provide symmetrical support. Using two will offer more benefits than only one.

When choosing poles, you’ll need to consider your height. Your size will determine how big they need to be.

10. Hiking Boots and Attire

Hiking requires the right gear, clothes, and boots. Your pair will need to be comfortable for trails, have grip, and be meant for the outdoors. You can find hiking boots with ankle support for extra protection.

You should consider buying wool socks, a jacket, gloves, and a hat. It’s best to dress in layers and check the weather before and during the hike.

11. First Aid Kit

Nothing says showing up prepared like carrying a first aid kit. For hiking, you should pack the following items:

Antiseptic wipes

  • Antibacterial ointment
  • Bandages
  • Medical tape
  • Nonstick sterile pads
  • Pain reliever
  • Anti-itch cream
  • Allergy medicine
  • And more

You buy a prepackaged first-aid kit from a store or online. You can also use this list to create a DIY version.

Other Must-Have Hiking Gear

Before you hit the trail, you should consider the specific trail and weather conditions. You may need to include an emergency water filter, fire starter, prescription medications, and more. Explore the trails early on with virtual maps.

Leave No Trace

Whenever you explore nature, you should leave no trace. This term means more than cleaning up after yourself. The following are some other things you should and shouldn’t do:

  • Leave what you find
  • Make a fire small, or not one at all
  • Respect wildlife
  • Be considerate of others on the trail

The goal of leaving no trace is to minimize alterations. If you’re camping overnight, don’t dig a trench or cut branches. Remember to always clean up after yourself, and to leave the trail better than you found it.

Explore More

Going on a hike will help you feel happier and healthier. Now that you’ve read these eleven must-have essentials, you’ll feel prepared while exploring the great outdoors. Use what you read here today as a guide to finding the right hiking gear.

We feature more than the latest endurance sports topics and advice. Athletes use our products to avoid chafing and blisters. Purchase items on our website to improve your skin’s health!