5 tips for exercising in the heat

Exercising in the heat

The warm, sunny days of summer are here inviting us to step outside. However, venture out in a 90-degree heat stretch, and it often doesn’t take more than a few steps for our workout-motivation to hit a roadblock. Sweat-drenched and out of breath, the great outdoors can begin to feel not entirely too great when those hot waves start rolling in.

Why does it feel harder to workout in the heat? In summertime temps, your heart must do double duty to keep you up and running (biking, hiking, or even walking). It not only must pump blood to your working muscles but also sends blood to your skin so your body can release internal heat into the environment to help cool itself down. The latter process signals your body to sweat, and as those drops begin to evaporate into the air, will help you feel cooler. However, all of that sweating speeds up your heart rate. It rises three to five beats per minute for every 1% of water loss you experience, making you feel like you’re working out harder than you really are. Profuse sweating also increases your risk for dehydration and heat-related illnesses.

However, if you’re mindful, you needn’t let sizzling temps fizzle out your outdoor workout routines. There are tons of science-backed benefits of exercising outdoors, including everything from increasing energy levels to improving mood to reducing stress, which means you may not want to run inside just yet.

Use the tips below to keep those heat waves from crashing your summer exercise routine.

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How to Stay Healthy On Superbowl Sunday

Healthy Super Bowl

While it’s not possible to predict for certain the final outcome of the Superbowl game, you can guarantee a win for your body. Take some conscious steps before and during game-day celebrations, and you can be sure to feel like a champion, no matter how the game plays out.

Don’t believe me? Think of it this way: feeling physically good when the 4th quarter concludes will make a win from your favorite team feel that much better. And if your team loses? Walking around the following day with a headache and a sense of heaviness will only make that loss feel worse.

Stick to these simple tips to keep it healthy on Superbowl Sunday, and wake up the next morning a winner.

Pre-game Rituals:

Wake up and work it out: Fit in some of your own on-field running before the social festivities begin. Starting the day off right can set a healthy tone for the remainder of your day. Hit the gym. Take a run. Go to a yoga class. You name the exercise of your desire. The key is to get moving before hours of TV time follow and tempting snacks fill the room. Then head into an afternoon of watching others sprint their butts off, knowing you’ve already sweated it out yourself.

Get cookin’, good-lookin’: Superbowl parties tend to be filled with lots of calorie-heavy snacks. While you can’t stop your friend from bringing his favorite 7-layer-burrito dip, you can make sure to show up with a healthy side of your own. Guarantee there’s at least one nutritious and delicious option on the table by cooking up your own touch-down treat. For some ideas to get started, check out FitSugar’s roundup of lightened up SuperBowl fare.

Prime-time Tips:

Utilize the water cooler: There’s nothing like kicking back with a beer once the first kickoff goes down. If planning to consume a brew or two, however, make sure to be mindful of moderation and to alternate with water. Make a goal to consumer one full glass per quarter. And when you’re feeling thirsty, reach for a glass of H20 first before allowing yourself to have a beer. This will keep you conscious of how much alcohol you are consuming throughout the evening so that Monday morning isn’t clouded by a hazy fog and your own bloated stomach. (Also take a peek at what Men’s Health list of top recommended low-cal Beers, here.)

Fumble away certain foods: Football players on average consume 3,000-7,000 calories per day.There will undoubtedly be some food on the table that’s best left to the other players around you. (Although, we recommend you encourage them to eat healthily with you, too.) Don’t drop the ball on your body by filling up on unhealthy choices. Instead, try to steer clear of fried foods, and opt to fill at least 3/4’s of your plate with options from the veggie plate or fruit bowl. Save the last 1/4 for a treat of your choice, and eat slowly to fully savor it. Also, be weary of dips, which are often mayonnaise or cream cheese laden and filled with a surprising amount of calories. The 150 added calories from a can of soda is also an easy option to sidestep.

Get up and cheer: To combat too much couch-sitting, get up and root from your feet ever so often. Designate commercial breaks as a time to hop up and move around. Grab a glass of water, or simply walk around the room a bit. During game-play, let someone else have your chair for a few minutes and sit down on the floor and stretch. Every bit of movement counts.

Post-game wrap-up:

Walk and talk: Consider asking your friends/family to take a walk with you and continue enjoying the time with those around you. Get some fresh air by walking around the neighborhood. Use it as a time to exchange thoughts about the game or catch up on what’s in store for next week. A post-game stroll is a good way to wake back up, get your energy flowing, and walk off some of that food and drinking from the afternoon. Hit the streets so you can send yourself home feeling refreshed.

Hit the water cooler (again): Just like your favorite team’s players, you should revisit the water cooler throughout the day, and make sure to rehydrate post-game. Superbowl food is often salty, and alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it interferes with the balance of salts and water in the blood and can cause dehydration. This is what triggers headaches, hangovers and fatigue. Stay pumped up by fueling up with extra water.


When Cravings Attack

Cravings attack

By Lizzie Meyers

It strikes when you least expect it: You’re sitting at your desk, feeling satisfied from lunch. Yet, suddenly, out of nowhere, the chocolate cake sitting in the fridge pops into your mind. Once the craving takes over, often there’s no turning back.

Unfortunately, the holiday season makes mouth-watering treats all too accessible. Before falling victim to leftover Thanksgiving pie or mom’s homemade peppermint bark, put these crave-curbing tips to use.

1. Drink Water

  • If you’re craving something salty, this may be your body’s way of telling you that it’s dehydrated. Hold off on the potato chips and go for a big glass of water instead. Chances are, the hydration and the full feeling obtained from the water itself will curb your cravings for the time being.

2. Distract Yourself

  • Ever notice how cravings often occur when you aren’t doing anything particularly riveting? Too often, we eat out of boredom. It’s a mindless habit that can pack on some serious pounds when not kept in check. Next time you find yourself reaching for a snack as you watch TV or catch up on emails, switch directions for a moment. Get up and take a walk, or call a friend, or do five minutes of stretching. Focusing momentarily on something else can help you forget those unwarranted cravings.

3. Indulge without indulging

  • Most cravings can be satisfied with much healthier options than the high-cal, fatty foods that people tend to reach for most. See below for some better alternatives.

If you’re craving this: Try eating this:

Chocolate – Chocolate! But skip the milk and white. In moderation, dark chocolate (70%+ cocoa) is a low-calorie, heart-healthy way to satisfy a sweet tooth.

Potato Chips – Kale chips or taro chips are a much healthier substitute for a bag of Lays. A small handful of lightly salted nuts may also do the trick, and will lend a dose of protein, too.

Sugar – Rather than indulging in products packed with refined sugars, opt for the most natural sugar fix of all: fruit. Eat alone or add your favorite variety to non-fat yogurt for a satisfying and filling snack.

Keep these simple guidelines in your back pocket the next time a leftover pumpkin pie sneak attacks your mind. If these tricks fail to satiate, this could mean that you are truly hungry. In that case, opt for a snack containing protein and fiber to eliminate your hankerings and keep it on the small side.