Summer’s here, which for most of us means getting into shape before we hit the beach. Instead of crash dieting and overdoing it at the gym, you should just focus on eating healthy and getting in some exercise daily.

Running can be a great way to soak up some sun while improving your cardiovascular health. Here are some tips to make sure you get the most out of your run.

  • Hydrate before, during, and after your run

Hitting your local trail is not going to end well if you’re dehydrated. Make sure to drink enough water before you run, and take breaks to drink more during your run.

Most parks have water fountains so you don’t have to worry about your bottle being empty. Drinking water after can help keep your body running smoothly during the recovery period.

  • Wear the proper attire

Loose-fitting shirts can help prevent your body from overheating while you job, as can a comfortable pair of shorts. While fabrics designed to wick away sweat can be a good thing, it’s important to remember that sweat exists for a reason.

Sweat can cool your body down, so don’t try and fight it too hard. Your favorite old sneakers might be good if you’re making a quick trip to the drugstore, but they won’t hold up during an intense run.

Invest in high-quality shoes to make sure your feet and knees are properly supported. A good pair of sneakers will feel cushioned and provide a high amount of arch support.

  • Avoid running in the middle of the day

This rings especially true if you live somewhere that’s especially hot and humid. Running early in the morning gets you out when it’s the coolest outside. Not only will you feel a lot cooler than you would if you were running under the midday sun, but you’ll also be done with your workout before most people are even awake!

This is a great way to start your day feeling energized and accomplished. Who knows, you might even feel like skipping your morning cup of coffee.

  • Carry some sort of protection

If you’re running alone, chances are you won’t have a large purse or backpack on you. That’s no excuse to not have something to defend yourself with. Pepper spray can easily fit in your pocket, or hand if you don’t have pockets.

Car keys and other small objects can come in handy if you find yourself in a dangerous situation. In addition to dangerous people, dogs can also injure runners on a trail. Chapman Injury Lawyers help people every year who have been attacked by dogs.

The laws regarding dog bites are wordy and confusing, so if you find yourself injured by a dog, get in contact with a lawyer who can walk to through the process of seeking justice. If you find yourself in a potentially dangerous situation with a dog, do not try and fight the dog unless necessary. First, see if there’s a big stick nearby to distract the dog. If all else fails, run first and then defend yourself later.