Digital Wellness Week of June 1

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This is the weekend that was. As we all take a deep breath in an effort to move forward from the issues that have profoundly hurt this country, your mental and physical wellness become more important. In support of YOUR health we are offering three days of wellness information and activities accessible from your computer or phone.  We hope you take advantage of the information and share it with others who are looking for their “new” normal. Please stay safe.

  • Mindful Monday for Self Care, Stress and Self Management
  • Webinar Wellness Wednesday
  • Fitness  Friday

Mindful Monday – Foundation Training For Back Pain and Alignment   – June 1

Several years ago I was asked to write about Foundation Training (FT), an exercise format focused on safely stretching the back muscles while strengthening the core. It’s been touted as tool for reducing back pain, an affliction that according to Mayo Clinic is one of the most common reasons people go to the doctor or miss work, and it is a leading cause of disability worldwide. Click here to learn about this natural back pain and body alignment remedy.  https://tinyurl.com/y8b2trvk

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Webinar Wellness Wednesday – June 3

Hitting a Weight Loss Plateau – Wednesday, June 3, 2020 11:00AM – 11:30AM  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7252478060073817101

Between healthier eating and exercising you’ve been doing so well with your weight loss.  Now the scale won’t budge even though you’re still plowing ahead with your new healthy lifestyle.  Ahh.. you’ve hit a plateau.  I hate when that happens… 

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Fitness Friday  – Let’s take a Trip to India for Bhangra! June 5

If you thought the only way to experience a new culture was to travel overseas, think again. This Masala Bhangra workout from India is fun, upbeat and easy to follow. Masala literally means “spicy” in Hindi, so the more spunk you bring to the dance floor, the better. https://tinyurl.com/y5wk97cs

Digital Wellness Week of May 25

In support of YOUR health, BGHL and Durham County Public Health offer three days of wellness information and activities accessible from your computer or phone. We hope you take advantage of the information and share it with others who are looking for their “new” normal.

  • Mindful Monday for Self Care, Stress and Self Management
  • Webinar Wellness Wednesday
  • Fitness Friday

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Mindful Monday – Learning How to Mindfully Meditate and Why  May 25

Mindful Meditation is about focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state. During these unprecedented times, meditation can help us manage stress and anxiety, helping us to think clearly through the noise of uncertainty. Click here to learn how to begin the journey.  https://durhamcountyhealthed.wordpress.com/2020/05/21/learning-how-to-mindfully-meditate-and-why/

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Webinar Wellness Wednesday  May 27

The Mind-Body Connection – Wednesday, May 27, 2020 2:00pm-2:30pm  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7513216246843571724

Your body responds to the way you think, feel, and act. People who have good emotional health are aware of their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Most importantly they have learned healthy ways to cope with the stress and problems that are a normal part of life. Join us for this webinar to learn how YOU can have a better mind-body connection

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Fitness Friday May 29

30-Minute Hip-Hop Tabata  Tabata workouts focus on 20 seconds of intense moves followed by 10 seconds rest and are a great way to get that calorie burn we’re missing while we’re stuck at home. Adding hip hop moves makes it fun!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwkXyHjgoDM

Digital Wellness Week of May 11

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 Mindful Monday – May 11

Mindful Monday – The Pursuit of Self-CareIn our focus to be good parents, employees, caretakers and you fill in the blank; we need to engage in self care. It’s a necessary link to our well being that is easier to achieve than you think. https://tinyurl.com/ybcmxnaz

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Webinar Wellness Wednesday – May 13

Webinar Wellness Wednesday- Today Public Health Offers two Webinars!

  1. 30 Reasons to Exercise – 11:00am-11:30am
  2. Getting Older is Inevitable: Looking & Acting Old is Not! 12:00pm- 12:45pm         Click to register for both! https://tinyurl.com/y97sns7q

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Fitness Friday – May 15

Today’s Fitness Friday is a 25 Minute HIIT Workout, No Equipment Needed! This is a time efficient workout. The instructor is not wearing sneakers, but for those with knee or ankle issues, I suggest supportive fitness shoes. Have fun keeping up with Toni!  https://tinyurl.com/yavzezw5

Upper Body and Barre Exercises for the Home

If you have weights handy, try my round robin exercise while watching the news (helps to level off news viewing anxiety). Hold a 3 to 5 pound weight in each hand and perform the following in succession. Rest at end.

  • 10 side arm raises, raising arms to shoulder height and returning to side, follow with 20 pulses at shoulder level
  • 10 scapulae retractions, lowering shoulders, bending elbows and squeezing shoulder Follow with 20 pulses.
  • 10 incline presses, bend knees slightly, with bent elbows at side of body, lengthen arms diagonally above head bringing weights or hands together, and return to bent elbows. Follow with 16 pulses with arms extended
  • 10 pec flies, bend elbows at side of body, bring elbows together and return to side. The goal is for elbows to touch, follow with 20 elbow pulses.

The small repetitive moves from a barre class need no equipment and have a high activity quotient. Click here for two exercises to try.

  • This upper arm toning move I call “walking your arms through the park”. While standing or kneeling, extend arms long in front of you and alternate raising and lowering ‘each arm about 3 inches, keeping shoulders relaxed. Continue alternating for about 90 seconds, at a steady pace. For more challenge you can hold a soup can or light weight in each hand.
  • For this quad move, find a steady support like your kitchen counter or chair. Bring your feet to parallel and raise your heels as high as you can. From here slightly bend your knees and commence lifting and lowering your hips about 3 inches each direction for one count for 60 seconds. Follow with quick bounces for 45 more seconds.

COVID 19 ONLINE WORKOUTS

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With the Covid 19 virus pandemic leading to drastic lifestyle changes, social distancing has provided one of the biggest challenges for exercising. A trip to the gym or to your favorite exercise class is no longer a matter of tying on your sneakers and heading out the door.  Most states have mandated gym closures and activities which for many people kept them if not fit at least sane, have disappeared.  This idea of staying home to combat the spread of the virus has impacted those who, even if they didn’t exercise, got steps in because of their daily routines.  And we all know the downside of how this lack of movement can end up; weight gain and exacerbated health issues.

In response to our current normal, many organizations and individuals have come to the rescue with digital workouts ranging from stretching to heart pumping intervals.  Those with treadmills and other equipment have an advantage and there are workouts for you to minimize the monotony and get the heart rate up. If you can snag some hand weights from who ever is still open (Walmart, Target) or on line, they will only increase a workout’s effectiveness.  I’ve listed a few below which require little or no equipment, and there are many more available on Youtube..

Orange Theory  bills itself as a science-backed, technology-tracked, coach-inspired group workout designed to produce results from the inside out. This popular chain focuses on the premise that heart rates matter in the exercise world.  #Orangetheoryathome has a daily workout regime that started March 21. The  workouts last between 30 and 40 minutes and so far have not required any equipment. I tried it today and by the end I was pleasantly surprised that I worked up a sweat.

Gold Gym has a variety of  categories of exercise videos including HIIT, Fit over 50, Core and more and right now they are free!  This site has something for everyone so click here to go to their offerings.

Planet Fitness has gotten into the act with their instructors truly showing at home workouts in their homes. The workouts are presented on FB live where you can interact and react in live time.  Currently there are  seven workouts which are available on their FB page. The fun difference with Planet Fitness is that some of these workouts are family  affairs  with wives, husbands, kids and even the pet dog and cat getting in on the fun.

YMCA 360   Your friendly, neighborhood Y has joined the digital party with their 360 offerings of workout videos on demand. Again they offer a wide range of workouts including Tai Chi, Active Older Adults, Barre, Yoga, Boxing and Boot Camp.  Note that some programs require equipment like body bars, balls or weights. Click here to check them out.

Barrys is a gym with an international presence and bills itself as the original strength & cardio interval workout specializing in immersive, high-energy workouts. Their home action is on instagram and there are 13 workouts to choose with most taking about 20 minutes of your precious time. Barrys tends to be on the intense side so beginners be warned.

I’ve outlined free options and this list is not exhaustive. There are many more offerings online including those that cost. These suggestions will get you started on your home gym workout which should commence today.   None of us has a clue how long we will be left to our own devices and the longer you wait, the harder it will be to get back into the groove.

Please respond with any questions and have fun!

www.healthyheritagelifestyle.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Avoiding the Summer Slump

The heat is on this summer. As temperatures rise it may be difficult to get that run in because let’s face it, who wants to sweat more?  In sweltering heat it’s nice to sit outside and enjoy a cool drink or find a nice, air conditioned venue to escape to.

But the summertime is the best time to get outside because of the variety of exercise opportunities. Bicycling, running, canoeing, swimming, skating and hiking are some of the fun multi-sensory opportunities to get fit and enjoy your surroundings, another motivation for exercising outside this summer.  Below are some tips for promoting summer fitness.

  1. Time of day – exercise during the cooler times of day when the sun is not at its peak. Completing your workout out before 10:00AM or starting after 3:00PM is the optimal time period for avoiding serious sun and heat.

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2. Try new activities – A new outdoor park opened near us that offers paddle boating.  It’s a fun and different way to enjoy the outdoors close to home. Have you ever wanted to be part of a crew team?   In Philadelphia there is a community rowing group that gets crews together to row, giving participants a sense of the teamwork involved while providing a great workout on the water!

3. Clothing – stick with light colored, light weight clothing that reflects light and deflects body heat. Find fabrics made of natural fibers such as linen, cotton or even rayon (it’s semi-synthetic but it’s made from natural materials and breathes well). Loose weaves and fine threads will make for a more breathable garment, one that will not retain moisture and air but instead keep you cool.

4. Stay hydrated throughout your workout and replace electrolytes and salt lost through sweating.

5. Choose the route – if running is your thing, choose routes that take advantage of shade, through parks and shaded paths. USTAF has running routes in its database for most cities.  Go http://www.usatf.org/routes/ to check routes for your town.

Fitness Magazine offers these additional tips.

6. Stay on the dirt – Try to walk, run, or cycle on dirt or gravel paths, since asphalt and concrete tend to radiate heat and reflect the sun’s rays, making you feel hotter. Live near water? Take advantage of the breeze on even steamy days; if possible, start out with the wind at your back, so when you’re finishing you’ll be running into a headwind, which is cooler.

7.Cool down with essential oilsDabbing a few drops of peppermint or eucalyptus oil on the back of your neck and at your temples just before your workout provides a cooling effect and also opens up your nasal passages, so you can breathe a little easier when the air is humid, says Minna Lessig, creator of the Tank Top Arms, Bikini Belly, Boy Shorts Bottom In fact, research has found that athletes who sniffed peppermint during their workout ran faster, had greater grip strength, and could do more push-ups than those who didn’t.

8. Practice random acts of fitnessSneak in little bits of exercise with some summer-friendly activities. For example: Washing the car for 30 minutes burns about 100 calories for a 140-pound woman; gardening burns 128. Other options: throwing a Frisbee, walking the dog, playing a game of volleyball (all about 100 calories), mowing the lawn (176 calories), biking around the neighborhood (192 calories), or hula-hooping, which burns about 50 calories in just 10 minutes.

9. Refuel with fruit – They’re more than 80 percent water, so fruits such as grapes, watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew are a tasty way to replenish fluids and boost your energy post-workout, says Leslie Bonci, RD, director of sports medicine nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Keep ’em frozen for a refreshing treat. Other good options: Smoothies, frozen yogurt, or Jell-O with fruit chunks. “They provide the perfect mix of carbs and fluid and they’re easily digestible in the summer heat,” explains Bonci. If you’ve lost a lot of salt (hint: your clothes have white sweat stains after a workout), replace sodium by drinking V8 or a sports drink.

Note that it’s important to listen to your body. Feeling light headed, dizzy, or weak or if you incur muscle cramps, rapid heart rate, headache or tightness in the chest, are all stop signs especially if you’re not used to exercising in warm weather.  Everyone should take it easy in extremely high temperatures and everyone should understand how to exercise safely and effectively at the height of the season. So enjoy that cool drink after your summer workout, you’ve earned it!

 

Learn about Benniegirl Divas at www.healthyheritagelifestyle.com

 

Fitness Trends 2019

This year we are again highlighting top fitness trends for the year. Some of the top trends are continuing from 2018 and some are new in the mix. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) annually surveys fitness experts from around the world and below are this year’s top results.

  1. Wearable technology
  2. Group Training
  3. High-intensity interval training
  4. Fitness Programs for Older Adults Body weight training
  5. Bodyweight Training
  6. Yoga
  •  Wearable Technology has continued in a top spot in 2019, reflecting heart rate monitors and apparel that can track vital workout statistics including activity trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors, GPS tracking devices, smart eye glasses, smart fabrics wearable beltand interactive textiles. One of the newest offerings is Welt’s smart belt which looks like a looks like a regular leather belt but is packed with tech that helps you to monitor your health. This belt communicates with a paired smartphone, delivering information about your current waist size, your daily step count, how many large meals you’ve eaten, etc. Check out these other wearable items.
  • Group Training entails classes led by exercise instructors to motivate and guide participants to their best fitness goals.  It continues to maintain a top spot for 2019 and includes traditional group fitness classes and dedicated fitness retail outlets like Orange Theory. Group training also entails the Meetups app providing the opportunity foindo-rowingr like-minded fitness individuals to get together in groups outside the class setting and includes activities like running, trekking, climbing, rowing and cycling.  These groups provide a social element that inspires and motivates through accountability and engagement for exercising in a group setting.
  • HIIT also continues to maintain a top position and is defined as exercise sessions consisting of a warm up period, then several repetitions of high-intensity exercise separated by medium intensity exercise for recovery, then a cool down period. The high-intensity exercise should be done at near max heart rate. The medium exercise should be about 50% intensity. The number of repetitions and length of each depends on the exercise. Interval training is known to extend the fat burning metabolism benefit hours after the session is completed. Eric Salvador, NASM, NSCA, head instructor at The Fhitting Room in New York City notes that “this after burn effect is referred to as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) and is the reason why intense exercise will help burn more fat and calories than regular aerobic and steady-state workouts.”  Orange Theory and TABATA are versions of HIIT and their popularity  continues to increase.

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  • Fitness Programs for Older Adults takes the number four spot and reflects workouts catering to the fitness needs of baby boomers and older generations. People are living longer, working longer, and remaining healthy and active much longer. Exercise programs include brand workouts like SilverSneakers andZumba Gold. In conjunction with the growth in wearable technology, counting steps is also contributing to older adults increasing their fitness activity.
  • Bodyweight Training has made its way to number 5 on the list and focuses on using one’s own body weight as a resistance tool, against different modalities. The Total Gym is the leader in this category, using one’s own body weight as resistance to perform muscle building and toning exercise against variable gravity levels.
  • Yoga continues to be a dominant class favorite in 2018 in line with society’s continued need for mind body awareness.  In addition to traditional offerings of Bikram Yoga, Iyengar Yoga and Ashtanga, new yoga formats have increased interest including goat yoga for animal lovers and beer yoga, well for beer lovers. This also reflects the increase in older adults identifying gentler ways to stay fit.

Other trends include taking mindful ownership of self-care. Optimizing sleep, performing mindful movements or exercise, taking slow deep breaths, are ways that people are taking better care of themselves.  The trend will be to value, prioritize, maximize and optimize our wellness. This trend also includes restorative exercise. Maggie Winzeler, a wellness coach, exercise physiologist and fitness expert notes, “now there’s a growing wave of interest in restorative experience: float therapy (involving sensory deprivation while submerged in a pod), cryotherapy (i.e. cold therapy for soft-tissue ailments), grounding (a form of connecting with nature) and restorative yoga/stretching.”

Home Workouts including The Total Gym, the Peloton bike or treadmill, are allowing busy folks to get a workout in if they miss the gym. Video and interactive classes provide well rounded classes that can include inexpensive equipment like weights and resistance bands.  It was noted that searches for resistance on Pinterest were up 1913% last year, “Bands are the versatile, go-anywhere accessory for customized resistance training — from mobility work and pull-up assistance to banded squats and bench presses,”

Lastly workout out apps like Aaptiv, AloMoves, Fitbit coach and MyFitnessPal, will provide immediate justification for workouts and eating decisions.

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Exercises at the Desk

office-exerciseHow many of you have heard the news that sitting is the new smoking? An analysis of 13 studies found that those who sat for more than eight hours a day with no physical activity had a risk of dying similar to the risks of dying posed by obesity and smoking.  Health concerns affiliated with prolonged sitting include higher blood pressure, sugar levels, cholesterol and weight gain. These conditions of course increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer.  In addition prolonged sitting also impacts our posture by elongating our glutes or butt muscles and shorting our hip flexors, leading to pressure on the lower back.

So it appears that prolonged sitting which is what many of us do at our desk all day, promotes health risks. More studies are being conducted but it would seem from these preliminary results that exercising at work is one of the best activities you can do to mitigate these health issues. Note that after extended sitting your body will give you signs that it needs to move. Your legs, shoulders or neck cramp, you have to shift positions, and you might get a headache.  Getting up or stretching every 30 to 45 minutes will allow you to respond to these signs.  I suggest using a timer to remind you.

More energy is expended standing compared with sitting so if your company will spring for it, a standing work station can provide the perfect opportunity to shorten sitting time. Or sitting on a stability ball at your desk several times a day can help maintain core stability and expend more energy compared with sitting in a chair

I recently moved and started a new contract. Both locations require a three floor walk up and of course I refuse to take an elevator. I can tell you that I have lost at least 5 pounds over the past month because of these lifestyle changes that encouraged me to walk more. I encourage you to consider these opportunities every day, to walk stairs or to a colleague’s desk, or even convene walking meetings.

Below are 10 exercises you can perform in or around your desk to get you started on the habit of moving during your workday

Knee Hugger – With a bent knee, lift your right leg up and grab it with your arms and pull it in as close to your chest as you can. Hold for 5–10 seconds and make sure and do it on the left side, too. Perform 10 on each side.

Rubber Neck/shoulder rolls – Sit up tall and drop your right ear down towards your right shoulder (you don’t have to touch it!) and hold for a few seconds and repeat for the left side. Alternate for 10 times total. Roll shoulders forward and backward 10 times to loosen tension in the neck and shoulders.

Reach for the Stars – Interlace your fingers and reach up towards the sky, as high as you can … keeping your palms facing up towards the ceiling.

Dance around desk – Take the opportunity to do a line dance which can provide several minutes of movement. For example try The Wobble as demonstrated courtesy of Texas A&M. What fun for the mind and body!

Chair Squats –From your chair, stand up, sit back down and repeat 10 more times. You can use your desk for support. Remember to engage your core as you rise and sit.

Calf Raises –Stand up behind your chair and hold on for support. Raise your heels off the floor until you are standing on your toes. Slowly lower yourself back to the floor. Do 2 sets of 12.

Knee bend/extend – Stand holding both hands on desk or stationery chair, bend over at the waist so upper body is parallel to floor.  Lift your right knee and then extend leg behind, staying in bent position to reduce pressure on back. Repeat 10 times on each leg.

Arm Circles – Either sitting or standing, make huge arm circles, 10 in each direction for a total of 20 circles.

Raise the roof (20 reps) – While marching in place, push toward the ceiling with your palms up and thumbs almost touching your shoulders. Make it harder by holding water bottles. Do 20 reps.

Side lifts – Stand holding right hand on desk. Lift left leg to side, raising about halfway between hip and floor, keeping core tight. Return leg to floor. Repeat 10 times for each side.

The Power of LISS

lissHere’s a jolt. You don’t have to run a marathon in order for your body to get exercise benefits.  LISS or “low intensity sustained state” training is low intensity cardio exercising performed for a pro-longed period of time, usually anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes.  It’s about maintaining your heart rate to about 50% of max heart rate during the exercise period.  Consider it the antithesis of HIIT or “high intensity interval training” which focuses on quick bursts of cardio followed by a rest period. This type of cardio raises your heart rate fast from 75 to 90% of max heart rate and can cause an “after-burn effect”, where your body continues to burn fat even after you have stopped exercising. The problem with high intensity workouts is that they cannot be maintained for long periods of time. LISS provides the opportunity to exercise at lower intensity as an offset. LISS exercises include walking, bicycling and basically almost every activity that you can sustain for 30 to 60 minutes.  Consider walking your dog for 30 minutes a LISS exercise.

Although the extra time spent in a LISS workout does burn calories, experts agree that it is not the best way to burn fat and lose weight. However, LISS does have valid benefits that should make it a part of any workout regimen.

Active Recovery – for those with high intensity exercise schedules, LISS provides for an active rest or recovery day that keeps the heart and limbs working to assist in maintaining heart rate and regenerating and conditioning damaged muscles. As in a cool down, these activities reduce post workout stiffness. LISS can also be performed after a workout, as a long, pleasant cool down.

New comers -for non-conditioned newcomers to exercise LISS is a great way to step into an exercise regime without being intimidated. Waking on the treadmill or swimming is much easier to engage in compared with the idea of a tough TRX class, and over time will build up muscle and stamina for more intense workouts with minimal injury risk. Consequently promoting the format should result in more people getting into an exercise regime. Something is better than nothing and going hard in a psycho spin class is not for everyone. Also the simplicity of engaging in these types of exercises makes it easier to maintain over time.  Per a 2015 study in published in Sports Medicine – Open, low-intensity exercise led to better exercise adherence.

Destressor – LISS workouts can provide a relaxing alternative and distraction to stressful situations.

So here is the upshot of all this, you don’t have to go hard and you don’t have to go home when it comes to exercising. LISS provides an opportunity for everyone to get into the exercise game and reap the benefits.

Running In the Heat

running-runner-long-distance-fitness-40751-960x640-1277873669137010720.jpegDie hard runners withstand a lot of obstacles to maintain their daily runs including traffic, animals, difficult terrain and shin splints to name a few. But one obstacle that die hards pride themselves on is running in any weather condition; rain, cold, wind and heat. Some runners discuss overcoming these obstacles as a testament to their mental toughness. Running in hot weather is probably one of the biggest obstacles because if not done properly, it can lead to the hospital or worse.

Surprisingly because our bodies generate heat while running, cooler weather allows the heat to dissipate through sweat and is better for distance runs. The ideal temperature range is between 45 and 60 degrees. As the temperature rises, our body’s ability to give off heat is compromised. Dr. Angel Hillman, an exercise physiologist notes that,

“The cooler the temperature, within reason, the more heat your body can give off to keep you from overheating. You cannot lose heat to your environment when it’s warm as you would if the temperature were lower. You store it internally and this can cause you to overheat.”

Overcast and 45 degrees might not be the sort of weather most folks dream about, but it doesn’t get much better for an outdoor run.

It appears the temperature tipping point for re-thinking a run is when the temperature exceeds 80 degrees. Exercise physiologist, Yannick Molgat-Seon, notes that this is the point when additional sweating doesn’t do you any good. “When you’re dripping sweat, there’s lost water as opposed to lost heat,” Molgat-Seon says. You also begin to run into the limits of not only your body, but of physics: There are conditions in which no matter how efficiently you sweat, it won’t evaporate fast enough to keep pace with the rate at which you are generating heat. Your only alternative is to slow down.”

Some of the physical issues that arise from running in the heat are:

Heat Cramps: muscle spasms that are caused by large fluid and electrolyte losses from sweating. They can occur while exercising but also hours after your run. No need to worry, they’re not serious – but make sure you stay hydrated and get enough electrolytes with sports drinks or fruit like bananas.

Severe dehydration: we’re all familiar with dehydration. Up to a 4% loss in fluid levels from exercise is still safe, but any more than that and you may experience dizziness, fatigue, and even mental disorientation.

Heat Exhaustion: if you work out too hard in the heat, you may come down with heat exhaustion – a case of dehydration, headache, nausea, and a core body temperature of up to 104 degrees. It’s much more common in runners who aren’t adapted to the heat.

If you think you have heat exhaustion, stop running, get out of the sun, and cool down with a cold drink and preferably air conditioning. And next time, run earlier in the day!

Heat Stroke: Danger! Heat stroke is very serious since your core body temperature is probably over 105 degrees. Symptoms include disorientation with clumsiness, confusion, poor balance, and a lack of sweating. Immediate medical attention is required where you’ll be cooled with a cold bath, air conditioning, and cold liquids.

If the above warnings don’t scare you, then follow the below tips to give yourself a fighting chance to complete the run.

  • Run in the early morning or late at night, especially in the summer months, to avoid the heat of the day.
  • Make adjustments: Don’t do long or higher-intensity workouts during the heat of the day. If you must run at midday, pick routes with shade. As a general rule, start your workout slower than you usually do. If you’re feeling good halfway through, it’s okay to speed up a little bit.
  • Wear as little as possible: Wear apparel that’s light in color, lightweight, and has vents or mesh. Microfiber polyesters and cotton blends are good fabric choices. Also, be sure to wear a hat, shades, and sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
  • Watch your alcohol and meds: Alcohol, antihistamines, and antidepressants can all have a dehydrating effect. Using them just before a run can make you have to urinate, compounding your risk of dehydration.
  • Drink early and often: Top off your fluid stores with 16 ounces of sports drink an hour before you head out. Then toss down five to eight ounces of sports drink about every 20 minutes while working out. Sports drinks beat water because they contain electrolytes, which increase your water-absorption rate, replace the electrolytes you lose in sweat, and taste good, making it easy to drink more.
  • Be patient: Give yourself eight to 14 days to acclimatize to hot weather, gradually increasing the length and intensity of your training. In that time, your body will learn to decrease your heart rate, decrease your core body temperature, and increase your sweat rate.
  • Seek grass and shade: It’s always hotter in cities than in surrounding areas because asphalt and concrete retain heat. If you must run in an urban or even a suburban area, look for shade—any park will do—and try to go in the early morning or late evening.
  • Check the breeze: If possible, start your run going with the wind and then run back with a headwind. Running into the wind has a cooling effect, and you’ll need that in the second half of a run.
  • Slow down: Every 5°F rise in temperature above 60°F can slow your pace by as much as 20 to 30 seconds per mile. So don’t fight it—just slow down.
  • Have a pre-run slushy. The idea is that ice increases your core temperature capacity—cooling you down so you have more time before you would reach a dangerous internal temperature.

In hot weather consider some safer run options including running an indoor track, running a treadmill or pool-running. Or try some other stamina testing activity like rowing on a row machine. Consistency and stamina are admirable runner attributes, but be safe out there.

Originally posted on Total Gym Pulse

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