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Tips for Exercising Safely in the Heat

By Lisa Spodak (ResultsNotTypical@worldnow.com)
Provided by WorldNow

Week 22 Weigh In:

Change this week:  -2 lbs.
Change overall:  -48.5 lbs.

After last week’s weigh-in, I was really gearing myself up emotionally to deal with the possibility that I might be hitting a plateau. 

There’s no denying that my weight loss has slowed down.  In the first four weeks of my program, I lost 14.5 pounds; the second, 12.5 pounds.  That quickly dropped to less than 10 pounds a month – and during the last two weeks, I’ve dropped a grand total of 1.5 pounds.

And that’s okay.  In fact, it’s more than okay!  I’ve been working on this for 22 weeks, I’m still dedicated and  focused and, while there have been blips and challenges, I’m still losing weight and feeling better and better every day.

I think the one thing that has helped keep me from hitting a sustained plateau has been exercise.  I’ve been pretty good (remarkably good, for me, actually) at going to the gym at least 2-3 times per week.  And this week, I added additional workouts – in the form of starting to train for The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.

Back in January and February, my excuse for not starting to train for the Walk in Houston was that it was too cold outside.

Guess what my excuse has been since June, when I should have started training for October’s Walk here in New York?  That’s right – too hot!

One of the things that I love about the Avon Walk is that, in addition to being for a cause that’s very close to my heart, it’s a personal challenge that requires significant training.  You can’t just walk a marathon (26.2 miles) on a Saturday and follow it up with another half a marathon on Sunday on a whim.

So, this week, I finally strapped on my fanny pack complete with two bottles of water and went outside for a brisk 3.7 mile walk

When I reached  my destination, all red-faced, hot, and a little light-headed, I remembered that you have to be careful when you’re exercising in the heat!  So I went out and found some info that’s really helpful for all of us.

The National Athletic Trainer’s Association has put together tips to help reduce the risk of heat-related illness while exercising.  Here are the steps they recommend:

  1. Gradually increase activity in terms of intensity and duration in the heat. This prepares your body for more intense, longer duration exercise in warm conditions, and helps prevent injury and heat illness.
  2. Intersperse periods of rest during activity and assure adequate rest between exercise bouts. Rest breaks are an important defense against heat illness, and proper sleeping habits decrease your risk as well.
  3. Begin outdoor activities only after you’re properly hydrated. Drink water or sports drinks throughout physical activity in the heat.
  4. A darker urine color is a quick indicator of dehydration. Your urine should look more like lemonade than apple juice.
  5. Exercise during cooler portions of the day (early morning or late evening), if possible.
  6. Do not participate in intense exercise if you show signs of an existing illness (i.e. fever, diarrhea, extreme fatigue, etc.). These can decrease your body’s tolerance for heat and increase your risk of a heat illness. Back off on exercise intensity or duration if not feeling well (i.e. walk instead of run, cut the session short, etc.)

How many days are there left in summer??


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