I ran this morning. It sucked.
After a few hundred meters I was already panting, breathing shorter than usual. I felt hot and very thirsty. It was a drawn-out and tiring workout, the kind you don’t miss.
In general, poor performance is the fault of my uncle’s physical conditioning. But not today. On this winter morning, the villain was another: dry air.
Winter drops temperatures and, to boot, the relative humidity of the air. The cold and the reduction in the frequency of rains make the air drier – in some cases, at desert levels. When there is thermal inversion, which prevents the dispersion of pollutants, the feeling is that the air is almost unbreathable. The season has barely started and the State of São Paulo has already recorded afternoons with relative humidity below 15%. The same goes for the Midwest, a region with a history of droughts.
Unlike the cold, which can be solved by wearing more clothes, dry air has no solution for the hallway. So, below I tell you a little about the risks and how to minimize the effects of low relative humidity.
Can dry air harm my health?
No. Healthy people with no history of respiratory diseases are not at risk for running on low humidity days. Those who have asthma or bronchitis should take some precautions. “Dry and cold weather can trigger a bronchospasm crisis, leading to symptoms of coughing, shortness of breath and wheezing. It can also trigger an asthma attack in untreated people”, explains runner and doctor in pulmonology Danielle Bedin.
Do I need to change my training type on dry days?
In theory, no. Even long or interval workouts can be done normally on dry days. Just don’t be surprised if there’s a drop in yield — something similar to what would happen on very cold or very hot days, for example.
What care to take on days of low humidity?
The best way to avoid the effects of low humidity is to run as early as possible. That’s because air quality deteriorates as the day warms up. In the morning, the humidity is highest. The middle of the afternoon records the worst air quality indices. So, if you can, adjust your schedule and run earlier.
It pays extra skin care too. Cold, sun and dry weather can lead to burns and dry skin and lips.
Why do I feel more thirsty?
Drink more water before, during and after physical activity. The loss of fluids in breathing accelerates on dry days, and insufficient replacement of water can lead, in extreme cases, to malaise and dehydration. Pay attention to the signs. In case of excessive thirst, dry mouth, dizziness and fatigue, stop training, drink water and rest.
And you? Have you been suffering to run on dry and cold days? Tell us in the comments below, or send us a message to email@example.com. If you want to follow me on social media, my instagram is @rodrigofloresnacorrida.
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