HAPPY Fridayyyyy :D
I hope you've had a FITastic week! Are you ready for the weekend?! Are you celebrating the Fourth of July?! If so, I hope it's full of fun fun fun and fireworks!!
Summer is here (WOOO WHOOO) and for many of us, it means taking our exercise routines outside! If you don't live in the Central Coast like myself, the temperature is probably HOT! No worries...got you covered :D
The following will help you thrive in the heat with some COOLing tricks! KEEP READING!!
Exercising/ Running on a 90-degree day may seem like self inflicted torture. But it doesn't have to be and the benefits are great! Do it enough and it'll make other workouts feel easier!! "Athletes use exercising in the heat as a secret weapon because it can improve their cardiovascular function, helping them perform better year-round," says Christopher Minson, Ph.D., the director of the Human Cardiovascular Control Lab at the University of Oregon. Minson studied this effect on cyclists and found that those who trained for 10 days in 100-degree temperatures rode faster with less perceived effort then those in a control group.
Practice safe sweat with these TIPS and you'll actually enjoy exercising in the summer sun! BRING EXERCISE ON!!
Immediately after you exercise in high temperatures, your body produces special protective proteins that go to work reducing inflammation and repairing cellular breakdown from dehydration and small muscle tears, making you stronger and more tolerant of heat and stress with every workout. The key is to acclimate yourself over time, Minson says: Spend a few days progressively increasing your heat exposure. Workout in a warm room; sit in a hot tub or sauna; wear an extra layer of clothing when exercising. Within a couple of weeks, your performance, blood volume, and lactate threshold (measures of how fit you are) will improve, Minson explains, and the heat won't feel as hot.
The night before exercising/ running in the heat, freeze a full water bottle so you can carry it with you as you go. "Holding something cold helps you feel cooler," says ultra trail runner Adam Chase, the captain of Team Salomon, based in Boulder, Colorado. (If the ice feels too cold, slip something between your skin and the bottle.)
SHOWER BEFORE YOU GO
"Precooling is a technique athletes use regularly," says George Havenith, Ph.D., an expert in human thermophysiology at Loughborough University in the U.K. By lowering your body temperature before you exercise, you can go longer before you begin to overheat. Take a 10 minute cold shower as close to go time as you can, Havenith suggests. The water should feel chilly but not so cold that you're shivering. Or wet and freeze a towel or a bandanna to tie around your neck for a few minutes before you start out or to wear during your workout. Cooling this area of your body, as well as any other where there's increased blood flow to the skin, such as your head, underarms, wrists, and groin, can help keep your core temperature down.
DOUBLE YOUR DRINKING
To make sure you're not dehydrated, drink 8 to 12 ounces of water before you even start exercising. If the air isn't very humid, try sipping hot water instead of cold, Minson suggests, because when hot beverages hit your tongue, nerve receptors send a cool-down signal to the brain. "Your brain is tricked into thinking you're hotter then you actually are and it activates sweating, slightly cooling you," he says. (Do this 10 minutes before you head out the door.) On the go, drink 8 ounces every 15 minutes, sticking to a schedule will keep you on top of your hydration, or 12 ounces if you're a heavy sweater. Switch to a drink with potassium and sodium (try Gatorade or mix Glukos or Clif Shot Electrolyte Hydration powder into your water bottle) if you're going for longer then a hour because your body loses those electrolytes through sweat.
EAT SOME CARBOHYDRATES
According to researchers from the University of Castilla-La Mancha in Spain, your body burns more carbohydrates when you exercise in the heat. That's because your muscles require more energy (glycogen) to perform in hot weather. Eat a whole grain bagel or a banana a hour beforehand and tote an energy gel for the road. Just hold off on the protein smoothie until post-workout: Protein requires more energy to metabolize, so consuming large amounts of it raises your body temperature.
If you have a choice between exercising on concrete or soft trails, choose dirt. "Dirt doesn't soak up the sun's heat like asphalt does, so your feet feel less steamy," notes Lisa Jhung, the author of Trailhead: The Dirt on All Things Trail Running. "Plus, trails often dip in and out of tree cover, providing natural shade on a hot day."
WEAR A HEART RATE MONITOR
For hot weather workouts, you want to keep your heart rate at or below 85% of your max, according to the American Heart Association. This isn't the time to push your intensity so check your heart rate monitor. Minson even recommends staying at just 70 or 75% of your max. "Your heart rate tends to climb due to the heat so you want to watch it," he says. "Plus, it's much slower to drop during recovery periods."
Now that you've read this, get up and go workout a sweat :D
PLEASE BE HEAT SMART...seek immediate medical help if you experience symptoms of heat illness.
Have an AWESOME weekend!
SEE YOU on Monday!!
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Pamela Stewart, NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Weight Loss Specialist