Posts tagged with : keep cool in summer summer exercise
Keeping Cool in the Summer
Heat waves have been in the news lately—scorching triple-digit temperatures assaulted the Northeast and Midwest, places where air-conditioning isn’t common or is very expensive. In the US, heat is the most deadly natural phenomenon, killing more people each year than tornadoes, hurricanes, floods or earthquakes.
Excessive heat can be especially dangerous for those trying to stay fit. During summer months, it’s good to avoid outdoor exercise during the peak of the day’s heat. If you live in a cooler climate, you can exercise outdoors during the coolest hours of the day, but if you live in a warmer climate, you might want to avoid outdoor exercise altogether. Treadmills may not be the most interesting way to run or walk, but they’re much safer than exposure to hot weather. Swimming is also a great option; check out water aerobics classes at your gym.
Watching your exercise, while important, is not enough—keeping cool is an important part of life outside the gym too. Ignoring the heat can be dangerous to your overall well-being, including your fitness. Here are some simple tips to keep you cool during the dog days:
- Keeping yourself cool starts with keeping your home cool. Simple things like installing blinds or drapes, running fans (especially ceiling fans) and keeping heat-generating appliances (like computers and incandescent lights) powered down can really cool off your home. Additional tricks include avoiding cooking, washing and drying clothes mid-day, as well as using the bathroom fan if you shower mid-day. More advanced home-cooling tactics require home improvement: shading your air conditioning unit, insulating your attic and painting your roof a light color.
- Of course, there are ways to keep yourself cool no matter where you are. Drinking plenty of cold water, having a personal fan or personal mist-sprayer (or both) and eating lighter meals are great ideas, as well as wearing loose-fitting cotton clothing, in light colors. By all means, you should avoid spending time in asphalt-covered areas, or drinking alcohol or caffeine, which will make you warmer.
The basic rule to follow is this: use common sense. If you’re too warm, go to a cooler place and drink water. That being said, there are some intriguing, less logical cool-off tips that bring a smile to our faces, even if we haven’t been able to verify their effectiveness. The Mother Nature Network suggests eating spicy foods (as they make you sweat), for example, and MedicineNet recommends storing lotions and creams in the fridge.
However you do it, be sure to keep yourself cool this summer. Don’t let the heat derail your fitness goals—best of luck keeping cool and staying fit!