We’ve been blessed with cooler temperatures but we all know the sweltering heat is right around the corner. It’s important to be mindful of the weather and the dangerous effects it has on the human body.
High heat and humidity lead to two problems in the exercising body: 1) increased core body temperature and 2) dehydration. Increased body temperature (hyperthermia) leads to decreased muscle endurance, which means the muscle’s ability to contract repeatedly or in a sustained manner over long periods of time. High core temps also cause a shift in energy production from aerobic to anaerobic mechanisms, which means the body has to use up its muscle energy stores more rapidly. Unfortunately, during a longer athletic event, the rate of adding energy (sports drinks, energy bars, gels, etc) can’t keep up with the rate of losing energy when heat and humidity are high. Finally, high body temperature causes a decrease in blood flow to the heart as blood pools in the limbs. If the heart doesn’t get as much blood, it can’t pump as much oxygenated blood back to the muscles.
Dehydration often occurs long before some athletes realize it or before cramps set in. Athletes can lose as much as 2 to 8 % of their body weight during high intensity exercise, and the rate of fluid absorption from the gut just can’t keep up with that rate of loss. Dehydration causes a decrease in VO2max, which means the body can’t utilize oxygen as efficiently to provide energy. Dehydration also contributes to the decrease of heart blood pumping mentioned above.
Here are a few tips to keep you safe during the summer:
Run early or run late. Avoid running during peak temperatures.
Protect your skin with sleeves/sunscreen
Drink plenty of water throughout the day, during your workout, and long after the workout has concluded.
Take it easy. You don’t have to go super hard. The heat will make fatigue set in much faster so adjust your “push” to sustain your workouts.
Avoid big breaks from working out. Heat spikes out heart rate so if you stay conditioned, it won’t effect you as much as someone who is inconsistent in the gym.
Workout of the Day
A.)Front Rack Reverse Lunge 3 x 6-8 (Heavier)
10 Minute AMRAP
20M Walking Suitcase Lunge (50/35)
*You lunge 20m, I lunge 20m.
1 Minute on, 1 minute off x 10 minutes
Max Push Effort Push Ups