Staying Cool in the Heat

  Staying Cool in the Heat

Summertime in Houston…It’s enough to make you cringe.  The humidity ranges from 99.1%-99.9%…at least that’s what it feels like.  The temperature is a sweltering 100 degrees. Sweating is a daily routine, regardless of whether you work out or not.
So, what are the best ways to avoid the heat, or at least cope with it.  Well, you could stay indoors all day everyday, in the comfort of the air conditioner.  For most of us, that is not an option.  So when it comes to working out, here are some tips for staying cool.
•    Staying properly hydrated.  This is an obvious one.  The more we sweat, the more fluids we loose.  Remember, your body sweats to keep you cool. So, when we loose those fluids, we need to replace them.  Drinking plenty of water is key, but there are other nutrients that are lost as well.  One of my favorite additions to my water is nuun tablets.  They add electrolytes that we loose during physical activity.  Plus, they taste good.  Just break one in half and add it to your water bottle, let it dissolve, and enjoy.
•    Work out early in the morning, or late after dark.  Believe it or not, it’s cooler at 5am then it is at noon!  Yes, it stinks to get up early in the morning, but if the heat gets to you during the day, this is a good option.  Also, after dark when the temperature has dropped is a great option as well.
•    Cool your head.  Remember, heat rises, but it is also lost up top as well.  The majority of the heat is lost from our head.  Have you ever seen a football player take his helmet off in the middle of a winter game?  You’ll see the steam coming off the top of his head.  This works the same when cooling.  If you can “cool your head,” you’ll bring your temperature down. Use cold water, ice, or one of those cooling towels to help speed up the process.
•    Use technology.  With advancements in athletic apparel and “wicking” fabric, we can sweat smarter.  It can keep you cooler in the summer, and warmer in the colder months.
Remember, working out in the heat can also be a good thing.  For one, it’s easier for your body to warm up, decreasing the chance of having an injury such as a pulled muscle.  Sweating can help to detoxify your body, getting rid of impurities and harmful chemicals that we ingest on a daily basis.
Enjoy the summer, but be smart!  Prepare yourself for the heat and take care of your body!

-Coach Kevin Gerszewski

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