If you are like most of us in the US – you may have been faced with some pretty high temperatures and humidity over the past few weeks. So other than sitting in an air condition from morning to night – what should we do to operate the best under this pressure of oppressing heat?
DRINK MORE WATER!! OK so it may be sort of a no brainer, but still, really be conscious of how much water you’re getting in. Obviously the heat can dehydrate us quick, and then being dehydrated has many ripple effects. Your blood is mostly water, so when your body is low on water, blood volume is lower which in turn lowers the amount of oxygen and nutrients that reach your organs and tissues. Dehydration also SLOWS your metabolism. Lack of water puts pressure on the kidneys and the liver, which slows fat metabolism. Avoid caffeine and alcohol as these will promote dehydration.
EAT! But wait, don’t load up on a couple of big meals or processed and fatty foods that require a lot of work for our body to digest ’cause you’ll be ready to zonk out in no time. We should eat many small meals, every few hours on a regular day – but it is even more important when you are constantly exposed to high heat and humidity. Eat small, light meals every few hours, consisting of a lot of fruit and vegetables that will aid in getting more water in, and lean protein. It’s also good to get some salt in to help absorb water as well. Drink healthy fruit smoothies or make healthy smoothie popsicles that even the kids will love and help keep everyone cool.
WORKOUT Early! Hey, I’m not exactly a morning person either – but in the heat it’s best to get up before the sun does and get your workout in before it heats up outside. Otherwise, if working out later in the evening doesn’t cause you to have a hard time falling asleep, that’s another option.
And of course, if it’s super hot and you don’t have air conditioning or access to a pool and the hose or sprinkler just ain’t cutting it, visit a local community pool or head to the library, local museum mall or movie where it is air conditioned to get a break.