We are officially in the "dog days" of summer with this heat and humidity that we are dealing with. This is the time of the year that I can honestly say that I dread, but I have learned over the years to be smarter when I want to be outside with the temperatures and heat index very high. The beaches will definitely be packed this coming weekend unless there are some people taking advantage over vacation time during the week.
For those who still strive to be active with the temperatures are this crazy hot, there are ways to beat the heat and still be safe too. Here are some tips on how to handle it without being burned:
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate - This is extremely important with the weather this hot. If you are going to be outside for a long time, make sure that you are alternating between water and an electrolyte beverage. It is important because the water will help your body cool down its inner core and keep your internal organs functioning.
- Watch your caffeine intake - Do not down 2 Venti's from Starbucks and expect to go out full speed. WRONG! Caffeine is a diurectic and will just cause you to run to the nearest bathroom instead of staying on the lakefront path. It will also cause you to become dehydrated especially with the combination of the heat. That's not what you want. All of your fluids should be coming from water and/or an electrolyte source. One 8 oz of coffee is fine for a little boost of energy, but nothing more.
- Love your skin with sunscreen. Apply the sunscreen about 30-40 minutes before you plan to go out in order to allow the product to sink into your skin. Then re-apply following the product recommendations - between 40 minutes to 2 hours - especially if you are sweating like a pig (if they do actually sweat!). Make sure that the product that you use has both a UVA/UVB coverage in order to provide a broadspectrum coverage.
- Slow your a** down! If you are running outside, do not expect to do speedwork outside in this heat. Slow down your pace especially if your body is not acclimated to the heat.
- Be a tree hugger! Seek the shade from the trees or anything that you can find if you find yourself being too hot quickly from the heat until you cool down.
- Know the signs of heat stroke and heat exhausion - Look for the following and get Emergency treatment if necessary:
- High body temperature. A body temperature of 104 F (40 C) or higher is the main sign of heat stroke.
- A lack of sweating
- Profuse sweating
- Dark colored urine (should always be lemonade-like color)
- Muscle Cramps
- Pool it! This is a good time of the year to hit some water like a swimming pool or beach. The water will keep your body from the excessive heat. It is a good excuse to show off of the work that you are have been doing.
- Do your workout before the birds wake up or when they go to bed. These times are better when the temps are slightly cooler and the sun does not make you feel like you are doing the Battaan Death March for your workout.
- Treat yourself to something cool after your workout. Bring out the frozen smoothies and frozen treats after your workout to cool down our inner core.
Speaking of cool treats, I have enclosed my favorite post-workout smoothie recipe that's also gluten-free and vegan (if you use soy protein instead of whey.) Enjoy!!
2 c. of coconut milk - unsweetened.
1/2 c. of frozen sweet cherries
1 whole frozen banana
1 tsp. of instant coffee
1 tsp of cacao nibs
1 tsp cacao powder
1/2 c. of frozen strawberries
1 scoop of Protein Powder (your choice)
Place all ingredients into a blender and mix. Makes 2 servings.
Stay cool and be safe!