Houstonians Keep Running Despite Heat

Just how big of a risk are people taking when they're pushing their bodies in the intense heat of this summer?

Houston’s Julie Warner decided she was going for a bike ride today. Her usual form of exercise is running, but this time, she wanted to get on her bike.

“I haven’t ridden in a very long time. In fact, I just got my tires aired up and I’m ready to go.”

Tinsley Park just west of downtown is a popular spot for joggers and bikers. Warner takes her bike off the rack on the back of her car and gets set to go. But it’s more than 100 degrees outside and Warner has no water. I asked her if she was out of her mind.

“I might be a little crazy to be out here in it, but that’s ok. That’s alright. I’m not going to ride for very long, and I’ll go get water, and I’ll be well hydrated, and I’ll take care of myself.”

Julie wasn’t the only one exercising in the heat without water. I saw runner after runner pass by and none of them had a water bottle in their hands. I caught up with Steve Winn as he jogged down a trail.

“I just go slow and take it easy. It’s ok.”

Winn says he doesn’t need to run with a water bottle.

“No, I’ve lived in Houston long enough. I know how to just tone it down a little bit and take it easy.”

Doctor James Muntz, team physician for the Astros, Rockets and Texans says exercising in the heat is fine as long as the person stays hydrated. He says the longer the workout the stronger the need for sports drinks, like Gatorade, that replenishes electrolytes.

“If you’re exercising for 45 minutes to an hour or hour and a half the probably pure water is fine. If you’re going to go out to 2-3 hours longer workouts, football game, marathon, triathlon then you may need to mix in salt other electrolytes to be safer.”

On her bike and ready to go, Julie Warner told me she’ll be ok without any of those.

“I’m not going to be out there long (laugh).”