Move It. Lose It. Live Healthy.

Friday, August 08, 2008
By Sara Moore


Don’t let the summer heat get in the way of your workout. Dr. Thomas B. Gillian, author of Move It. Lose It. Live Healthy. shares his tips on how to exercise safely outdoors so you can enjoy the beautiful weather.

Move it. Lose it. Live Healthy.

Do regular hydration checks
Don’t assume you’re hydrated enough because you aren’t feeling thirsty.
Regularly monitor your hydration status through urine assessment and weight check.
If the volume of urine is diminished and is a deep yellow, you are either dehydrated or becoming dehydrated.

During extreme temperatures, weigh yourself daily. A loss of more than 2 percent of your body weight following an exercise routine is a loss of fluid, and if it is not replenished before your next exercise routine, you are more susceptible to dehydration. Therefore, do not return to the exercise routine until your body weight returns to the pre-exercise level.

Drink up!
Drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after your exercise routine.
Drink about 16 ounces of fluid just prior to your workout, then drink small quantities during your workout, and another 16 ounces after your workout.
If you are training in extreme heat, a sports drink might be more appropriate because it contains electrolytes. Because the sugar in the sports drink may slow the re-absorption of fluid back into the digestive tract, dilute one part sports drink to one part water. Adding water also reduces the number of calories consumed.
If you are a casual walker, drink water.
Since your body does not monitor thirst very well, it is important to consume fluids even if you are not thirsty.

Be careful not to over hydrate
Believe it or not, it is possible to drink too much water. Endurance athletes in particular need to be careful about over hydrating. They’re susceptible to a disorder called hyponatremia, which is a severe dilution of the sodium in the body that can lead to death.

Lay off the caffeine and alcohol
They may have a negative effect on fluid retention or rehydration.
Don’t soak up too many rays
Give careful thought to what you wear during your exercise routine in extreme heat. On one hand, you want to expose as much skin as is possible to accelerate heat loss. On the other, you don’t want to expose your skin to too many harmful UVA and UVB rays.
Choose white or light-colored clothing because it repels the heat.
Be sure to protect your skin with sunblock and your eyes with a good pair of sunglasses.

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