Health & Fitness

By Michelyn Camen

Summertime doesn’t mean the living is easy. As much as we love barbeques, days at the beach (wearing SPF 30+ of course) or lazing by the pool, don’t let hot weather derail your exercise program. Warm weather workouts present challenges, so we asked Greg PT, a highly accredited NYC personal trainer (and a former United States Marine who served and trained in the Gulf War under desert conditions), for ten summer-smart workout tips:

1. Build up or acclimate slowly to working out in hotter weather. In other words, don’t just jump in and do your hardest work-out in above normal temperatures without having built up stamina and baseline fitness before hand. One example is to try working indoors first…without the A/C!

2. Avoid working out during the hottest part of the day, early morning or later in the evening is best. Wear clothes that wick away moisture and sweat from your body. Greg recommends Nike and Under Armour brands. If you must wear cotton, have a change of clothes available to change after you’re done sweating. Clothing should be loose and light colors.

3. Always wear a hat when training in the sun to help prevent sunstroke. The hat should be mesh so there is ventilation.

4. When body fluids are not adequately replenished, sun exposure can cause rapid dehydration. Sunstroke is caused by a failure in your body’s cooling system. When its cooling system fails, your body is overwhelmed by excess heat. Symptoms that scream sunstroke are sudden dizziness, weakness, headache or faintness.

5. Always apply sunscreen to exposed areas because once you have a sunburn, the body doesn’t cool itself as easily in that area.

6. Hydrate well BEFORE you get to your work-out (there is no set amount; drink until your urine is clear) Once you start feeling thirsty, you are probably already dehydrated!

7. Drink some form of liquid (preferrably water) every 15 minutes- about 20 ounces every hour for relatively rigorous exercise. Also sip small amounts throughout your work-out to keep the right fluid levels and to keep your mouth from becoming dry. Only drink Sport drinks if it helps you to keep drinking. They are only necessary if your activities are VERY rigorous and last over two hours (when electrolyte replenishment will be necessary).

8. AVOID drinking alcohol, coffee, and tea. Any drink (yes ladies, this includes the coveted Red Bull) containing caffeine should be avoided; caffeine will accelerate fluid loss.

9. STOP if you feel ANY dizziness, nausea or pain or ANY ill effects during your work-out. Stop exercising and don’t resume until you have cooled off and symptoms subside. Listen to your body. It’s ok to sit down and rest!

10. Before taking on working out in the heat of summer, familiarize yourself with the heat conditions that could affect you. Go online or read up on how to recognize the most common summertime exercise health hazards. The conditions to familiarize yourself with are Heat Cramps, Heat exhaustion, and Heat Stroke.

If interested in training with Greg contact him at: gtdig123@nyc.rr.com>

Originally published July 2007
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