When the temperature increases and running outside seems like a chore, it is essential to find ways to cool off after your run. If you don’t, you may lose motivation, become overheated, or just feel miserable hours after running. You can prevent all of these things from happening if you try one of these easy steps after your run. Beat the heat with seven fantastic ways to cool off after your run.
1. Stretch or do Yoga
One of the greatest things you can do for your body after a run is stretch. Even though there is much debate on whether or not it is beneficial, I think it feels pretty darn good! Not only does it feel amazing, but it is also one of the best ways to cool off after your run. That’s because it literally is a cool down for your body in every way, helping prevent injuries by letting your legs become accustomed to not running. This is a simple and effective way to beat the heat, as it’s gradual instead of a sudden shock from hot to cold. This is a great habit to get into, especially in the summer, so keep at it!
2. Take an Ice Bath
You are (hopefully) going to shower after your run, but if the idea of hopping into a hot shower after a hot run sounds horrible to you, you’re in luck! Try taking an ice bath like the elite athletes, which will not only cool you off, but it will also help speed your recovery time. It is said to reduce inflammation and swelling, causing less pain during the moment. Also, it can initialize the healing processes in the body by increasing circulation, creating a quicker muscle recovery. All you have to do is sit in a tub of ice cold water, fill it with about half a bag of ice (wait to get in the tub to pour in the ice, unless you want it to be REALLY cold) and sit for as long as you can stand it. If the idea of an ice bath sounds too cold, you can always put a wet, frozen towel around your neck.
3. Sip a Smoothie
Although water is important after a run, there is something about other frosty drinks that make them seem more cooling. I think smoothies are great, because you can add a lot of ice without sacrificing much flavor. One with more cooling fruits and vegetables like cucumber, mint, and pineapple is even more refreshing. Honestly, anything cold after a sweaty run will taste good. Try a slushy, lemonade, fresh juice, or even a popsicle! The possibilities are endless, and drinking something else in addition to water after a run will surely cool you off.
4. Jump in the Pool
It may sound obvious that swimming helps you cool off, but going to the beach or pool after a run actually has a hidden benefit: muscle recovery! It has been shown that swimming after a run reduces inflammation, allowing runners to recover easier and run farther the next day. Swimming is also very low-impact, making it an ideal choice for injury prevention. This makes spending time in the pool a fantastic way to cool after your run. Recover, get cold, and have fun at the same time after your next run by going for a rejuvenating swim!
5. Eat Frozen Food
After a hot run, who really wants to heat up the kitchen and cook? Not me! That’s why I turn to frozen food to help cool me off and fuel up after a run. I’m not talking about those frozen, processed meals that come in a box – I’m talking about whole foods, frozen style. My favorite fruit to eat frozen is red grapes. Other good options include frozen pineapple, mango, watermelon, and blueberries.
6. Wear Loose Clothing
Tight clothes generally don’t wick away sweat very well, causing you to feel sweaty, hot, and sticky. This is why loose clothes are a must to feel cool after a run, as they help prevent feeling overheated. Some brands actually make clothes that are sweat-resistant and are made to keep you cool. I really enjoy Under Armour’s Achieve Tank, which features loose, lightweight fabrics to keep you from getting too hot. You also won’t be self-conscious of sweating with this sweat-resistant tank, so your body will be able to cool off with its natural systems (sweating).
7. Put on Cooling Lotion
Did you know that simply putting on lotion can actually help you feel cooler? It most certainly can, with the help of certain ingredients. Some ingredients such as aloe, mint, and lavender all help refresh and cool the skin, which you definitely need after time in the heat! I like to use Badger Organic After Sun Balm in Blue Tansy & Lavender because it cools off your face and smells amazing. If you don’t want to use lotion, you can always apply pure aloe on your skin – it is so soothing and cold, and perfect if you got sunburned on your run.
I hope these suggestions help you conquer the heat this summer after your run! With these tools, hopefully you will be able to cool off and prevent your running from suffering because of the temperature. What’s your favorite way to cool off after a summer run?