Hey Fit Friends! Summatime with all its heat is officially upon us! With the sun a-blazing, temps a-rising, and humidity causing things and people to melt on the spot, we fit people must be sure to take the proper precautions. Sure we may be in shape, but even the most fit person can be knocked out by heat exhaustion or heat stroke! As a someone who is always hot, and always out in the sun, here are some of my own tips (and some from actual medical professional) to take on the heat, and knowing when to take a break!
- Drink . . .Sweat . . . REPEAT: even if you don’t break a huge sweat on a regular day, when the weather gets hot, you MUST adequately hydrate before, DURING, and after your workout. Your body needs a certain amount of water to function and keep you cool. Thus, you can get dehydrated quickly if you’re sweating more than usual and are not replacing the water you lose out in the sun. Whether you barely sweat, or if you are drenched after your warm up, keep a bottle of water on hand while you work out, and take some sips throughout. If you lose a lot of weight after an intense workout, that is WATER WEIGHT and you need to fill back up!! You can also suffer from dehydration after you finish a workout, so fill-er up as soon as you’re done and continuously for the rest of the day.
- What Not to Wear: If you’re exercising outdoors in the middle of the day, it really is true what they say about dark versus light-colored clothes. Dark-colored clothing can absorb more light and cause you to overheat more quickly. Light-colored clothing reflects the light so you don’t turn into a human hot-pocket. Also, I like to look for all the clothes that say “stay cool” or “moisture-wicking”. These items will absorb less heat, and allow your sweat to evaporate more easily so you stay dry (or somewhat dry) even as you melt away in the sun.
- Soak it Up: I’m not sure why, but it seems like sweat bands and wrist bands have gone out of style. I rarely see runners or gym goers sporting these simple accessories anymore! And I question, WHY?!?!? I think we need to bring back the days of the heavy-duty sweat accessories ASAP. Go get yourself a serious headband. Like the thick terry cloth variety– the closer to a kitchen sponge, the better. It will absorb your sweat, keep you cool, and keep moisture out of your eyes and hair. If I am trying to be cute (which is always) I do try to cover up my old school headband with a more stylish, patterned one. (Sigh.. the things we go through.) I also love a wrist sweat band, preferably of the terrycloth family so I can keep my “glow” to a minimum while I’m doing my workouts. They may not be the most stylish, but my 80’s-inspired accessories undoubtedly beat looking like I got caught in a downpour.
- Become an Early Bird: We are not all morning people, but your body would LOVE you if you moved that hard-core outdoor workout to the wee-hours of the morning. Even in the middle of the summer, on the hottest days, the morning is always the coolest and usually less humid too! If you want to avoid the summer haze, wake up before the sun (or soon after) to get your workout over with, and bask in the glory of your air-conditioned home or office for the rest of the day!
On a more serious note, we all need to understand the signs of heat stoke and exhaustion. If you are feeling some of these symptoms or see someone else suffering, take a break! If the symptoms continue, call 911! (It really can get THAT serious)
No matter what, keep it moving (but keep it cool while you move)!
© July 2014