Most people have heard the weight loss formula. If you haven’t, here it is:
eat less + move more = weight loss
The summer brings some challenges to putting this formula into action, especially when the weather gets hot. These tips help keep you active and on track but more importantly, they keep you safe.
1. Beat the sun or wait it out. Walks and runs are safer when the sun isn’t high in the sky. Heat stroke happens when your body temperature gets too high, 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
Exercising, especially high intensity exercise, in the extreme heat puts you at risk for this dangerous condition. Immediate medical attention is necessary to avoid damage to the brain and other organs.
Symptoms of heat stroke are altered mental state or behavior, change in sweating, nausea and vomiting, flushed skin, rapid breathing, racing heart rate and headache. Milder forms of heat stroke, known as heat exhaustion or heat cramps may precede or warn of imminent heat stroke, or you may not have any warning signs.
If outdoor physical activity is part of your weight loss plan, get out early in the morning while it’s cooler or wait until the sun goes down.
If there is no break from the heat, exercise inside in a cool location or skip it altogether. If it’s too hot to exercise outside, try to do all or most activities standing that you normally do seated. This helps to keep metabolism revved and your body to break down fat.
2. Be visible, even in broad daylight. In the winter when the daylight hours are few people pay attention to making sure they’re visible when exercising along the dark roads. Many people are completely unaware how hard it might be to see them when it’s sunny.
Jogging, walking or bike riding on a road shaded by lots of trees is pleasant, but it’s also dangerous. Darker colored clothing and the dappled sunlight coming through the leaves works like camouflages making you hard to see by drivers of automobiles. The camouflage effect is increased when the driver is wearing sunglasses. You see them, but they don’t see you and that’s how accidents happen. Never assume you can be seen; avoid unpredictable movements.
Wear bright day-glow colors to ensure you’re visible. If you’re riding a bike use flashing lights on both the front and the back. It can keep a car from cutting you off when pulling out of a driveway or side road.
3. Protect yourself from sun damage. Sun screen, hat and sunglasses are musts, but there is more you can do to protect your skin. Eating plenty of fruit and vegetables protects your skin from the inside out. Produce is a great source of antioxidants. Antioxidants protect your cells from damage including damage from the sun.
Fruits and vegetables especially effective in sun protection include citrus fruits, tomatoes, carrots, strawberries, pomegranates, red grapes, and green, leafy vegetables. Almonds and green tea are also known to help protect skin from sun damage.
4. Stay hydrated. Getting enough fluids to replace what you’re losing through perspiration is critical. Sports drinks aren’t the best choice. They often have a lot of sugar. That means that they provide more than hydration, they come with a hefty calorie count. All of those calories sort of defeat the purpose of exercising to create a calorie deficit. Drink water and plenty of it!
5. Have fun. Physical activity is good. When it’s fun it’s so much better. The more you enjoy physical activity, the more you will do it and the easier it will be to find the time.