Running, heat and showers: Some guidelines

After hitting the trail in the heat of the summer, every runner dreams of the refreshing comfort of a nice cold shower. But be careful: the cold water can cause a cold shock or heart attack! Make sure to follow our advice.


Additional information :

How your body cools down after exercise

After running in warm weather, your body has two strategies it can use to cool down.

Vasodilation involves increasing blood flow near the surface of the skin in order to help remove internal heat.

In fact, after you exercise, your body needs to return to homoeostasis to get acclimated to the air temperature and to producing its own energy. By pumping blood to muscles and the skin, the body speeds up the work of the respiratory and cardiac systems.

Perspiration: when you exercise during warm weather, your body produces sweat. When it evaporates, this cools down the body and allows your body temperature to re-stabilise.

 

When should I shower?

After you finish exercising, it is important to let your body regulate its temperature through perspiration for 20 minutes before showering. You should rehydrate by drinking a beverage which is not too cold and which is high in carbohydrates and minerals and do a few stretches.

 

Is a warm shower or a cold shower better?

Some runners prefer a cold shower to tone their muscles, while others prefer a warm shower to relax their muscles after exercising. To have a better idea of how your body works, consider the effects of water temperature:

Cold showers prevent your body from eliminating toxins in muscle tissue which are generated during your run. As a result of this, the toxins which have built up prevent blood and lymph fluid from flowing towards your organs. You will quickly get cramps and aches.

Warm showers increase the size of peripheral blood vessels and prevent blood from circulating inwards, towards your heart. A lack of venous return (blow flow back to the heart) decreases the passage of oxygen to key body organs including your brain. You might get dizzy spells or lose consciousness.

But that's not the whole story. Warm water cuts down sweat's natural preventive abilities by continuing to warm the skin. Your heart has to pump harder, leading to a significant risk of heart attacks.

 

>>When you finish exercising in warm weather, we recommend taking a shower in water whose temperature is close to your body temperature to avoid any serious effects caused by the body's desire for homoeostasis.

Remember: in warm weather, wait twenty minutes before taking a lukewarm shower so your body can gradually regulate itself through perspiration. Make the most of the time when you are waiting for your body temperature and heart rate to acclimate to a normal rate. Do gentle stretches or walk slowly.

 

Le running en été… Respectez votre corps pour courir en pleine forme !

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