Archive for the 'Heat Wave' Category

Hot as Ballz!

June 22, 2012

This season is already sizzling hot. My street has become people stew and smells like it…the subway platform a marinated mess of stinky feet and underarm sweat. Marathon training? Ha! I’m just trying to get from one block to the next without frying like an egg!

My favorite mode of transportation (walking) hasn’t been the smartest: Wednesday, after back-to-back clients and a doggie stroll, I was exhausted. I took a catnap and woke up dizzy and lightheaded. Dehydrated and overheated, I was forced to chill at home, dog licking my face, husband playing nurse. It turns out several clients have fallen victim to the heat, too.

Unless you have extra sick days stored up and money to burn, don’t push yourself in this heat. Below are some warning signs that you may need to slow down:

  • A headache
  • General lethargy
  • Abnormal fatigue
  • Lack of motivation to do anything productive
  • Moodiness
  • Muscle soreness that lasts more than 48 hours
  • Body aches
  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth and throat

Feel exhaustion coming on? Get in remedy mode!

  • Hydrate. Drink coconut water, watered-down gatorade, plain ol’ water with lemon or sparkling water with a splash of fruit juice.
  • Skip your workout today. And maybe tomorrow. A few days of rest won’t make you fat! In fact, you’ll come back stronger and better.
  • Rest up! Take a nap! Shut-eye helps restore hormone levels.
  • Get a massage. Take a load off and smooth out those sore muscles!
  • Eat vitamin-rich foods like leafy greens, colorful berries, legumes & lentils, fish & other lean proteins, and healthy fats like nuts & avocado.
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Heating up!

June 3, 2012

Outdoor workouts

Summer heat can be stifling. My later-than-usual Sunday run today was unbearable! I found myself trudging up the Harlem hills rather than my usual happy stride, but I made it. Not unscathed, however.

Tonight, my lungs actually hurt. Which got me thinking: how dangerous is it to breathe in hot, humid and polluted NYC air?

After a brief google search and combing through my resources, it turns out that vigorous exercise in excessive heat and air pollution is more damaging than I realized! Remember the media buzz leading up to the Beijing Olympics? Many articles warned of pollution affecting the athletes’ performance. According to the NYTimes:

A 2004 review of pollution studies worldwide conducted by the University of Brisbane, Australia, found that during exercise, low concentrations of pollutants caused lung damage similar to that caused by high concentrations in people not working out.

Given what can be in the air, “people who exercise outdoors should probably be more worried” than many are, said Dr. Morton Lippmann, a professor of environmental medicine at the New York University School of Medicine.

Fine particles can sail past nasal hairs, the body’s first line of defense, and settle deep in athletes’ lungs. Some remain there, causing irritation and inflammation. Others, so tiny they can bypass various bodily defenses, migrate into the bloodstream.

Hoo boy. So what can you do to avoid pollutants and health hazards but still get your workout on?

  • Time your workouts carefully. Get it done before the hazy sun rises in the sky and prior to exhaust fumes from rush-hour traffic settle in.
  • Avoid high-pollution areas, like near a freeway, highway or busy road. According to the Mayo Clinic, pollution levels are likely to be highest within 50 feet (15 meters) of a road.
  • Monitor air quality levels. On heavily-polluted days, take your workout indoors.
  • Listen to your body. If you’re feeling chest pains, asthmatic or find it hard to breathe, stop immediately.

Yeah, It’s Hot. So?

July 19, 2011

So, it’s a sauna out there.  Everywhere.  The subway, the park, the gym…shoot, even my taxi’s a/c was broken this morning.  And all across the country, I hear!

Too bad the heat is no excuse to fall off your healthy lifestyle regime.  You see, there are many ways to either include the heat into your program, or beat it altogether.  Let’s look at ways you can use the heat to your advantage:

  • Swim laps at the community pool (use waterproof sunblock)
  • Have a water balloon fight  (save the birds: pick up those balloons post-fight)
  • Wake up with the sun (get it done)
  • Jog on the beach (cool off in the water afterwards)
  • Get in some gardening (pull those weeds)
  • Go for a bike ride (along a shady trail)
  • Mow the lawn for an elderly neighbor (then turn on the sprinklers)
  • Try some outdoor trapeze (for inner strength)
Not such a humid-summer-day fan?  Try these tricks:
  • Do your workout at home (hello stairs, calisthenics and plyometrics)
  • Retreat to the gym (push yourself past your comfort zone)
  • Stroll the mall (with the blue-haired ladies)
  • Try a new fitness class (like spin, kickboxing or pole dancing)
  • Clean your house (with vigor and fury)
  • Go ice skating (at a year-round rink)
And no matter what you end up doing, replenish your body with electrolytes and sodium.  I recommend coconut water or G2 Gatorade.  Add cucumber, mint and lime to your water for an added flavor twist and vitamin C boost!