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Working out when it’s Hot Hot Hot!

Posted by bmagnus On June - 7 - 2010

Here in Fabulous Las Vegas we are experiencing record-setting heat. It was 110 F yesterday and today is expected to be just as hot. It’s hard to get motivated to do much of anything in weather like this, but here’s some ideas to keep you going when you work out.

Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate! I know it’s obvious, but you’ve got to keep drinking water. If you are working out vigorously, or planning on being outdoors working for a lengthy period, it’s time for a recovery drink instead. Drink before, drink during, and drink after! Seriously, if you worked so hard that you lost weight during your workout, be sure to drink a pint of water for every pound you lost. Some research even suggests that a nice cool “ice slurry with sugar syrup” before your workout might be beneficial. If you’re going to do this make sure it’s homemade simple syrup with good old table sugar rather than some high fructose manufactured syrup.

Work Indoors. Another obvious tip, but if you have an air conditioned place to work out, do it! Locally some gyms have indoor running tracks. Even if all you have is shade and fans, that’s better than nothing.

Dress for Success. Loose, light clothing in light colors will help keep you cool and let sweat evaporate — it’s your natural climate control system. Hats will keep sun off your face and keep you cool. Don’t forget sunglasses.

Workout in the morning. If running or other outdoor exercise is your thing or even if it’s you’re just getting some outdoor chores done, get out early. First thing in the morning the day is coolest and humidity most temperate. In the desert Southwest this can be as much as 30 to 40 degrees cooler than the high for the day. Working out when it’s 70 outside beats running in 100 degree peak heat and avoids heat related health risks.

Love the Skin You’re In. Moisturize! Even in the Pacific Northwest, this is a time of year when everybody needs moisturizer. Although there is currently a lot of controversy about the sun, skin cancer, and Vitamin D deficiency, at the very least you will want to use sunscreen on your face to prevent wrinkles and sun damage. I’m also a fan of using it on the backs of your hands. Make sure your product blocks both UVA and UVB rays, and — you’ll have to hunt and read labels — contains no oxybenzone or retinyl palmitate.

Take it Easy. You might not be able to push quite as hard in the heat of the summer. That’s ok.

STOP if you experience problems! If you stop sweating, or experience dizziness, nausea, headaches, or weakness, it’s time to stop what you are doing. Get in the shade, rest, drink water. Put a damp towel on the back of your neck. If you don’t start to feel better soon, get medical help. Hyperthermia can quickly develop into heat stroke or heat exhaustion. It’s potentially fatal, so don’t mess around.

We hope you stay safe and enjoy yourself while engaging in physical activity over the summer.

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