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Stay Fit in the Heat

19 Jul 2010

With temperatures hitting record-highs here in New England, it’s hard to stay motivated to exercise. This can be the best time to enjoy all the indulgences of summer: the beach, ice-cold drinks, frozen dessert, barbecues, and anything that may involve exerting very the least amount of effort so you’ll avoid breaking into an unwanted sweat. It’s hard to stay motivated to exercise and easy to skip out on workouts in the sweltering heat.

Here are a few tips on how to stay cool and focused on on staying fit:

* Exercise in the early morning or evening. If you like to take your workout outdoors, be sure to do it early before work or later on around sunset. Temperatures usually reach their peak between 11 am and 3 pm.
* Exercise indoors when temperatures are at their peak. If you like to exercise during your lunch break, consider hitting the gym. Unless you’ve hydrated well beforehand, exercising in the heat may affect your performance and leave you feeling more drained than energized afterwards.
* Drink plenty of water. As a rule of thumb, you should drink 4-8 ounces of water every 15-30 minutes of exercise. Don’t be surprised if you may need twice that amount on a hot, muggy day. Be sure to keep a cold water bottle on hand if you decide to take your workout outdoors.
* Get customized guidance and support. Summer distractions and record-high heat can make staying fit especially challenging. Sometimes knowing when to exercise and to hydrate may not be enough. Consider hiring a coach to help you with accountability along with a new, customized program to keep you focused on your fitness while you enjoy the summer.

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2 thoughts on “Stay Fit in the Heat

  1. Hi Melissa – What are your thoughts on water versus Gatorade or other exercise drinks that contain electrolytes? Are they better hydrators in extreme heat or is that a myth.

  2. Your choice for hydration will vary depending on the duration and intensity of your workout. In general, ice cold water is best for sessions lasting under 90 minutes. Your body more readily absorbs water than most sports drinks, and you don’t have to worry about massive electrolyte loss for shorter workout bouts.

    Sports drinks are a better choice for athletes during intense activity. But, if you plan to go on a long hike or run, bringing a sports drink may not be a bad idea.

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