Monday, August 29, 2011

Hot enough for ya?

If one more person says to me, “Hot enough for ya’?” I think I will scream. I don’t know how it is where you live, but here in SC it has been a scorcher of a summer. Our wonderful world-famous peach crop burned up really fast and I hate that! I am burning up too.

I am trying to keep my exercise commitments, but we all recognize that it's harder to motivate yourself when it's hot. It takes so much more effort, your body perceives this as more work. I have a couple of things I do, personally, to help me psychologically get my workout in. I take a walk in the cool of the day. Well, I guess I should say the “less hot” time of the day here in SC. With the added hours of sunlight, it does make it a little easier not to have the sun beating down on me.

You will also notice that the heat will slow you down. Studies show that for every 10-degree increase in air temperature above 55 degrees, there's a 1.5 percent to 3 percent increase in average finishing time for a marathon. (Translation: An extra 3 to 6 minutes for a 3:30 marathon with every 10-degree increase.) This slow-down occurs because heat impacts runners at a physiological level through various means, including dehydration, increased heart rate, and reduced blood to the muscles used for running.

So, what else can we do? My other favorite tip is “frozen washcloths.” I bought about 12 of the inexpensive kind that come in a pack and I wet them thoroughly, and then roll them up and freeze them in a gallon freezer bag. They have saved the day in my boot camp class and in my cardio classes. We exercise in an old gym that does not have much air conditioning, so we are doing whatever it takes to stay cool.

How about you? Can you share your summer workout secrets? I would love to know what the rest of you are doing to keep your exercise commitments. Please share!


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