Weight Watchers Get Healthy Freestyle Journey – Week 18
Exercise In The Summer Heat
Can you believe it’s MONDAY already and time once again to reflect on the past week?! In the recent weeks we have looked at milestones, how to stay motivated, the smart use of free foods, some tactics for dining out, surviving the holidays while dieting, the benefits of a 5% weight loss, diabetes, the importance of exercise, starting an exercise routine, and beginner exercises. Mother’s Day and Memorial Day have also come and gone. Last week, I continued with my new exercise routine and am working on adding to the time and reps I do. Now that the heat of summer is really starting to kick in I wanted to take a look at what steps I needed to take to make sure that I stayed safe. This week I’d like to share what I learned with you.
How To Exercise In The Summer Heat
Summer is the perfect time to go outside and have fun. It’s one of my favorite times of year because there are so many outdoor activities to enjoy. Everything is more fun outside, whether you’re playing ball, swimming, walking, running, or cycling. When it comes to sweating it out in the summer heat, common missteps can lead to dangerous health risks. While you may not be running a marathon in the desert or playing beach volleyball for gold, there are some things to keep in mind when it comes to exercising in the heat. Protect yourself by taking these steps:
- Don’t Protein-Load Before Your Workout. Some research has suggested that too much protein before a sweat session could elevate your basal temperature, making you feel even hotter. Save the protein bar for after your workout when it will help you rebuild muscle.
- The time of day is important. Generally, the early morning is the best time to workout. Unless, you are training for an event that takes place in the daytime heat, avoid exercising during the hottest part of the day, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Wear loose, light-colored clothing. Lighter colors help reflect heat and cotton material helps the with the evaporation of sweat. If you can afford them, specially designed “hi-tech” clothing items are often made from material meant to keep you cool.
- Sunscreen is a must. Dermatologists recommend using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, which blocks 97 percent of the sun’s UVB rays. With a history of skin cancer in my family, I wear one that is higher just to be safe. You’ll want a broad-spectrum sunscreen for both UVB and UVA protection Ingredients to look for are benzophenones (oxybenzone), cinnamates (octylmethyl cinnamate and cinoxate), sulisobenzone, salicylates, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, avobenzone (Parsol 1789), and ecamsule (Mexoryl SX). No matter how long-lasting it’s supposed to be, reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours, and more often if you’re sweating or getting wet.
- Decrease the Intensity. When it’s hot outside, it’s harder to exercise at your normal level of intensity. Heat and humidity both raise your heart rate, and your body has a harder time dissipating extra heat. Because of this, you should plan on only working out at 60-70 percent of the intensity of your normal routine. You’ll get the same amount of exercise, and you’ll be safer.
When the temperatures first start to climb, take your workouts down a notch: do fewer intervals, or save that long endurance ride for a cooler day.
- Acclimate Yourself. When traveling or switching from exercising indoors to outside, remember that it takes your body 10-14 days to adjust to a new temperature. Start slow and easy, and increase your workouts over the course of two weeks.
- Stay hydrated. Drink water all day, not just before or after your workout: Staying hydrated will help prevent some of the symptoms you may experience from exercising in heat such as dizziness, stomach cramps, and headaches. It can even result in kidney failure or in extreme cases, death. During your run, sip four to eight ounces of water every 15 to 20 minutes.
DO use the “lemonade test.” When you look in the toilet immediately after you urinate, you want to see liquid the color of pale lemonade; if it’s a vibrant yellow or looks like apple juice, you need more fluids.
- Replenish your electrolyte and salt intake while exercising. When you sweat, your body loses not only water but electrolytes and salt, too. This delicate balance of water and electrolytes is crucial to keep your body functioning properly. If you drink too much water without replenishing your electrolytes, you can experience hyponatremia. You may experience confusion, nausea, muscle cramps, seizures or even death in extreme cases.
The highest concentration of electrolytes lost from sweat is from sodium and chloride (i.e. table salt) followed by potassium. You can add a pinch of salt to a glass of water to replace sodium and chloride. Salty foods like broth or vegetable juice are also good for replenishing sodium levels. Fresh tomatoes and lettuce can help replenish chloride. Be sure to also eat foods that are high in potassium such as banana, dates, raisins, coconut, and avocado.
- Listen to your body. Stop immediately if you’re feeling dizzy, faint, nauseous, or display any of the other signs of heat stroke. Any time you begin to feel dizzy or nauseous, immediately stop what you’re doing and drink something. These are early symptoms of dehydration, and ignoring your body’s need for liquids can lead to heat-related illness.
- Know the symptoms of heat stroke. Heat stroke is a serious threat that can be fatal. Symptoms include:
- High body temperature (104° F/40° C or higher)
- ABSENCE OF SWEATING with hot, flushed, or red/dry skin
- Throbbing headache
- Rapid pulse
- Difficulty breathing
- Strange behavior
- Dizziness and light-headedness
- Muscle weakness or cramps
- Nausea and vomiting
As the great outdoors beckons with its warmer weather and longer days, we all like make the most of the season by turning your tired indoor routine into fun outdoor workouts. Whether you’re at the lake, in the mountains, on the beach, or at the pool just make sure that you do it safely!
Part of my workout inspiration is working off the summer treats like ice cream.
How my freestyle weight loss week went:
With fewer appointments this week, only three out of five days this week, I had more time to focus on my weight loss, exercise, and my blog this week. I’ve got a new favorite snack. Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich – PB Fit spread on a banana sliced in half length-wise as the bread!
Sunday was spent with my daughter cleaning my aunt’s place. She bought us both Chinese for our efforts. Good thing we were able to work off some of that chicken and broccoli made with General Tso’s sauce and white rice. Before we got busy I stepped on the scale and was pleased to see that I was back on track. I had lost two pounds! The biggest difference that I’ve noticed so far is more than the number on the scale. It’s how I feel and how my clothes don’t fit. Until next week… Remember to stay positive and keep looking forward.
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TALK TO ME
Where are you on your journey? What is your favorite activity to do when the weather gets warm? Do you have a summer workout tip?
Share your thoughts below or on my Facebook fan page.
I am not a medical professional. The contents of this website are for educational purposes and are not intended to offer personal medical advice. You should seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.
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Check out the entire series of Weight Watchers Inspirational Posts.