…So it has been hot… very, very HOT. So hot in fact, that when I went outside to walk the dogs yesterday around 2:30 pm, I could barely breathe. The air is so heavy and humid it just feels dense. Even at 6:30 pm (since at 2:30 it was just too hot for their little paws!) when we went out for a walk after dinner, it was still stifling. I was sweating. And we were not even moving that fast!…
…Today we were back out at 7:15 am. Already it was scorching. I try to let their feet walk on the grass, but they just look so hot trotting along beside me. And then I bike to work… well, I bike to a shuttle that takes me to work. As I was biking along I felt the breeze against my skin… the hot wind. And then, I as I stood waiting for the shuttle, I realized I was sweating. Just standing… and sweating…
…You might be thinking, “Ok, so it is hot… what does this have to do with health and wellness? Or with your blog?” So I was walking into work, I thought to myself- “Well even though it is this hot out, I still see people exercising. I still exercise…” So I figured, that is what I want to write about! I want to share with people some suggestions, tips, and tools for working out even in extreme conditions. Or even further- how to do so safely… maybe some alternatives to think about. So here we go!
- I would be doing a disservice if I did not start out with this one: Drink more water. Even if you are drinking water, even if you think you are drinking enough water, drink more. Especially if you are going to be outside, if you are exercising, or if you are doing anything strenuous. Drink more water. Drink at least half of your body weight in ounces of water. Drink water as soon as you wake up. An entire glass. Drink water with each meal. Drink water all day. Carry a water bottle. And yes, you will be using the restroom more, but that is a good thing! You will be flushing your toxins right out of your system. So drink more water.
- Take it easy and switch it up. If you are thinking about doing an intense cardiovascular workout or a challenging weight lifting routine; think again. Maybe this is the chance for you to focus more on your stretching. Maybe this is a chance to take it easy. Do some less intense, lighter workouts. Instead of pedaling to death in a cycling class, try Yoga or Pilates. Change up your workout routine and try something less extreme.
- Get in the water! In addition to drinking more water, this is a great time to try out those water classes you have been eyeing. Or get into the pool and just move around. Or swim. Or tread water. What a great workout… just treading water for 10 minutes! Move your workouts from land to sea during these hot summer months.
- Allow for a break. Even working out requires a break. They say your body actually benefits from taking a week off from exercise. I heard it over and over from the trainers at my gym. Use this time to rest. Instead of continuously trying to force it and push through the heat, maybe these humid days are reminders to us that it is ok to relax once in awhile. That we all need a break from working out from time to time.
- And finally, balance it out. So I stress heavily that there are many parts that go into our overall well-being. Nutrition, exercise, rest, career, education, relationship, sexuality, finances, etc. So maybe during this time that you take it easier with exercise or take a break from working out- you focus on some of the other areas of wellness in your life. Some folks get stressed out at the thought of taking a break from their workout routine because they worry they are going to fall into idle habits. Not to worry! If you are taking a break from working out, you can move that time and space into healthy food prep. Or you can go take a workshop or class. Or you can read, meditate, or engage in a hobby. There are many, many other healthy things you can be doing to fill that void where your workout was. And guess what… next week when the temperatures break… you can get right back into your exercise plan!
How about you? What do you do when it is this hot? How do you continue to workout safely? Or do you allow for some break time? What other healthy habits do you like to do to fill that exercise void?