It’s no secret that it’s hot here in the LowCountry. With heat advisories daily in Mount Pleasant and Charleston, a workout can feel like a CHORE. Dangers of heatstroke are REAL. So what are we DUFFNATICS to do? We want to hit the GYM and stay FIT. But how do we stay cool???
Read on for THREE WAYS to STAY COOL before, during and after your workout.
Pro-athletes deal with high performance exercise in the heat on the reg. The BBC interviewed Dr Jamie Pringle, senior physiologist at the English Institute of Sport to get the scoop on how these world class athletes prevent heat-related illness. “Over the last few years we’ve been working on ways to pre-cool the body before competition and before exercise, by simple methods such as getting in a cold bath, or by taking cold water and icy, slushy drinks before exercise. Having those in the stomach before beginning exercise allows you to absorb more heat.”
SWEAT IT OUT DURING YOUR WORKOUT
ABC reminds us that our bodies are pre-equipped with cooling aids built in! While we often try to AVOID sweating, we need to remember that sweating is an essential part of keeping cool: “While your natural reaction may be to towel off, Jessica Matthews, the senior advisor for health and fitness education at the American Council on Exercise, told Health [Magazine] that letting perspiration stay on your skin will actually help you feel cooler. ‘It’s not just the act of sweating that keeps your body temperature regulated, but how that sweat is evaporated by the body,’ she says. ‘Letting yourself sweat and letting it pool on your skin allows the evaporation process to happen, and that’s what keeps you cool.’ Matthews also suggests using a spray bottle to mimic this feeling at the start of your workout. ‘Just a little mist beforehand gives you that feeling of a light sweat and that process of evaporation already happening, so that’s a great thing to do before you head out.’”
HIT THE POOL POST-WORKOUT
How many times have you wished you could just dive into a giant swimming pool after a sweaty workout? So WHY DON’T YOU!?!? LiveStrong recommends taking a plunge and stretching at the same time: “Most swimming pools are kept at a low to moderate temperature — certainly lower than body temperature. Sit or stand in neck-deep water and relax for five to 10 minutes. For hygiene reasons, you should always shower before entering a swimming pool. To save time, stretch your muscles as you cool off rather than stretch in the gym. Immersion in cold water may also prevent post-exercise muscle soreness.”
IMPORTANT NOTE: Heat Stroke is REAL
With all this talk about how to stay cool, it’s important to keep in mind WHY its important to watch the heat. The Mayo Clinic has a thorough article about Heat Stroke and how to prevent it. In a nutshell:
- Watch the temperature
- Get acclimated
- Know your fitness level
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Dress appropriately
- Avoid midday sun
- Wear sunscreen
- Have a backup plan
- Understand your medical risks
Click HERE for full descriptions and more information.