By: Lisa Payne

Just because we’ve hit the dog days of summer doesn’t mean you need to clock all your running miles on the treadmill. But as the temperatures do begin to soar, it’s best to consider these risks and tips to make the most of your summer running.

What you need to know:

Your body may not be able to adjust to running in hot and humid temperatures if you’re dehydrated, not properly trained or aren’t appropriately dressed.

Symptoms of heat-related illness include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Fainting
  • Body temperature going above 101°F

Before you head out for your next summer run, beat the heat with these 5 important tips:

Hydrate Before You Feel Thirsty

If you’re thirsty, you may already be dehydrated. Start increasing water consumption 4 to 8 hours before, or even start the day with some hydration – prior to an extra-long run. Set hydration reminders, buy a running belt to secure your water bottles or reach for Vital Proteins Collagen Water, which comes in five refreshing flavors and contains 10g of collagen.

Know Your Limits

If your body isn’t acclimated to running long distances or running in hotter-than-normal temperatures, you could be headed straight for a heat-related illness. Start small and follow a progressive running program recommended by a certified fitness professional. Know your limits before running in the heat.

Replenish Lost Electrolytes

Exposure to excess heat limits evaporation of sweat to cool the body properly. In hot environments, you can lose up to 10 liters of water per day during exercise. Sweat is made up of salt, protein, urea and ammonia. So, it’s important to not only hydrate with water, but also to replenish lost electrolytes for optimal hydration.

RELATED: 7 Reasons Why Collagen Drinks Are a Summer Must-Have

summer running tips

Dress the Part

Loose, breathable clothing that has moisture-wicking capability is best for summer. Avoid tight-fitting cotton and anything that’s long-sleeved or dark-colored. Reach for clothing that has mesh or ventilation holes. Some running apparel even comes built in with SPF and cooling technology.

Consider Your Exit Strategy

You don’t need to be the superhero on every run. On overly hot days, choose a route that’s close to home or transportation. If you start to feel any symptoms of overheating or heat-related illness, consult with a medical professional.

In the summer months, everyone is yearning to run outside before cooler temps take training indoors. But when summer heat is at its peak, the smartest thing you can do is to go through this safety checklist and listen to your body’s needs.