Big Names...Low Prices Delivering VALUE since 1937

Archive for the ‘Fitness’ Category


Aerobic Fitness

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
Aerobic exercise pumps oxygenated blood from the heart to working muscles. To accomplish that, it stimulates the heart and breathing rates throughout your exercise session. As a rule aerobic exercise can be light-to-medium intensity activities that can be performed for extended periods of time, such as walking, jogging or biking. Whatever your age, weight or athletic ability, aerobic activity is a health booster that gains efficiency as your body adapts and gets stronger and fitter!
 
What are the benefits offered by aerobic exercise?
 
• Reduces Fat: A study published in the American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology and Metabolism found that vigorous aerobic exercise such as jogging or brisk walking beats weight or resistance training for reducing belly and visceral fat.
 
• Increases Stamina: Increased stamina improves your overall physical health and the power to endure disease, fatigue, and illness.
 
• Protects the Brain: A new study from the University of Washington School of Medicine and Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System finds that regular aerobic exercise can protect the brain and even improve cognitive performance in older adults showing signs of mental decline. It’s important to note that the study found that memory gains may take 6 months or longer to emerge.
 
• Boosts the Immune System: Aerobic exercise activates your immune system. This leaves you less susceptible to minor viral illnesses, such as colds and flu. Aerobic exercise may accomplish this by flushing bacteria out from the lungs, and may even flush out cancer-causing cells by increasing output of wastes, such as urine and sweat. It also sends antibodies and white blood cells through the body at a faster rate, allowing them to detect illnesses earlier than they might normally. Additionally, the temporary rise in body temperature may inhibit bacterial growth, allowing the body to fight the infection more effectively.
 
• Strengthens Bones: In a new study, step aerobics offered the greatest gains in leg, spine, and heel bone density, while hip bones health was heightened most with weight training.
 
• Reduces Health Risks: Aerobic exercise reduces the risk of many conditions, including obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, stroke and certain types of cancer.
 
• Strengthens the Heart. Regular aerobic exercise increases the heart’s efficiency,leading to a reduced risk of developing heart disease. When a person is aerobically active, more capillaries develop as the oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange between blood and cells increases. If for any reason an artery is damaged or blood flow is blocked, the blood can easily be rerouted to deliver the necessary oxygen.
 
• Increases Good Cholesterol, Burns the Bad: Research shows that moderate aerobic exercise increases the number of HDLs in the bloodstream and reduces the number of LDLs by increasing lipid metabolism. Like fat, cholesterol is a lipid that can be oxidized, or broken down, for energy.
 
• Supports Mental Health: Aerobic exercise relieves depression, and promotes relaxation. Exercise also slows down the release of stress-related hormones.
 
Remember, if you’ve been inactive for a long time or if you have a chronic health condition, talk to your doctor before you start. Begin slowly and build each day.Try walking five minutes in the morning and five minutes in the evening and add a few minutes each day. Pick up the pace and soon you’ll be enjoying all the benefits of regular aerobic activity!
 
*To receive exclusive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, enroll in our e-mail or text message programs (or both). Sign Up Now

Cold Weather Workout Tips

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
Winter weather can wreak havoc on your workout schedule, but don’t give up! That winter weight gain isn’t all tied to eating more or lack of exercise. New research shows how important exercise is … especially in the winter. In this study, researchers from the University of Colorado followed a group of twelve women and six men in both summer and winter. They discovered that their production of ATLPL (Adipose Tissue Lipoprotein Lipase), the chemical that promotes fat storage, almost doubles during the winter and dropped during the summer. They also found that the increase of muscle enzymes gained from exercising can help to counter the increase of ATLPL, and help the battle against those extra winter pounds.
 
Winter workouts carry their own dangers, here are a few tips to protect you on the coldest days.
 
• Wear layers. Insulate yourself against the wind and cold with a layered barrier rather than a single, bulky garment. The first layer that’s directly touching your skin should be a lightweight synthetic or polyester material. It will dry quickly and wick away moisture. The second layer should be wool or polyester fleece. The outermost layer — worn in the rain, snow, or wind — should be lighter weight and water-repellent to help you stay dry.
 
• Keep your head covered. It is believed that between 50 and 70 percent of body heat is lost when your head is unprotected in cold weather. Wearing a hat can help your body retain heat.
 
• Protect your feet and hands. Keeping hands and feet warm is vital. Your body concentrates on keeping your internal organs warm in cold weather. Gloves also help prevent skin damage and frostbite. To keep your feet warm, make sure your torso is properly insulated and keep feet dry with winter athletic socks that have an inner layer that moves moisture away from the skin to an outer absorbent layer.
 
• Wear a face mask or scarf in frigid temperatures. A loose layer over your nose and mouth can warm cold air before you inhale and protect your lungs.
 
• Drink Water. You don’t feel as sweaty as you do in the summer, but water is just as important in winter months. It even keeps you warm by helping the body retain heat!
 
• In extreme cold, which we’ve seen this winter, move your workout indoors to the gym. Can’t make it to the gym? Develop a workout regimen you can do at home, take the stairs at work or speed walk through the mall!
 
• Finally, consider some traditional warming foods. Ancient Chinese medicine advised adding fresh ginger, garlic and cayenne to your food as a way to boost the immune system! Eucalyptus and juniper also stimulate the circulation and help protect the immune system.
 
It may seem more difficult to exercise when the weather gets cold and days seem shorter, but it’s important to work against the natural increase in fat storage that occurs during the winter months!
 
*To receive exclusive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, enroll in our e-mail or text message programs (or both). Sign Up Now

Keeping Your New Year Resolutions

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
The new year is a time to reflect on our lives, to embrace the opportunity for change a new year brings and to look forward with hope to the future. With hope for the future in mind, millions of Americans make New Year resolutions. If you’re one of them, try these seven helpful pointers to help reach your goal!
 
1. Decide on realistic goals. Realistic goals can help you stay on track and reach your target. Weight control experts use the term ‘false-hope syndrome’ for unrealistic expectations about how long it will take to lose extra weight. Planning realistic goals can be applied to all situations, set a target that is attainable, reaching that will spur you on to greater heights
 
2. Make a plan. Be specific. Whether you’re going to be counting calories, making more time to spend with your family or quitting smoking — give yourself a plan. How you will deal with the urge to skip a workout, have potato chips instead of celery, or have just one more cigarette? This can be as simple as breathing deeply while you count to ten, calling a friend, or having a list on-hand to remind you of the positive effects of sticking to your plan.
 
3. Write down a “pro” and “con” list. Writing and seeing a list of of the positive effects of keeping your resolution and the negative effects of continuing as you are on paper strengthens your resolution. Keep the list with you to help you through the rough periods.
 
4. Practice mindfulness. Alan Marlatt, director of the Addictive Behaviors Research Center at the University of Washington, offers a quote from author and Holocaust survivor, Victor Frankl. “Between stimulus and response, there’s a space, and in that space is our power to choose our response, and in our response lies our growth and freedom.” Recognizing the triggers to actions you want to stop gives you the choice to respond positively.
 
5. Keep track of your progress. Remember, your larger goal is at the end of a road of small successes. Breaking a large goal into smaller segments or timeframes will help guide you, give you a ‘checking mechanism’ and keep you motivated. Break a weight-loss regimen into 5 pound segments, keep a work-out diary for your fitness regimen or a phone log for those old friends and family members you reach out to.
 
6. Treat yourself to something special. Go out to a movie or sports event, have lunch with a friend … celebrate your success by treating yourself to something you enjoy that does not contradict your resolution!
 
7. Be forgiving. Relapse is a common part of changing behavior. If you have an occasional slip, learn from it and keep going. Make the best of each day, and take each day as it comes. It takes about 21 days for a new activity to become a habit, and about 6 months for it to become part of your personality. With a little patience, new habits will become second-nature in no time.
 
Good luck on your resolutions! Wishing you a Healthy and Happy New Year!
 
*To receive exclusive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, enroll in our e-mail or text message programs (or both). Sign Up Now

Get a Better View of Your Fitness Level with iFIT Vue

Put a Fitness Band on your Holiday List for a Fitter 2016.
 
The holidays are approaching and for many of us, that means a little extra food and drink. With so many events vying for our time, it can be difficult to stay on our fitness goal. It’s at times like these that we need a little incentive to get moving, whether in the form of a friendly competition or simply setting a target and monitoring your progress. Many have found the additional impetus to exercise by purchasing and constantly wearing fitness bands, including the iFit Vue. These devices have turned once passive exercisers into fitness enthusiasts who are making a concerted effort to get fitter.
 
What I like about the iFit Vue is that it allows you to track your goals and check your progress toward that goal throughout the day. For example, you may wish to walk 10,000 steps or run five miles. You can check your progress at any time during the day and adjust your activities – such as going for an after-dinner walk or getting on the treadmill – accordingly.
 
Keeping Track
 
The iFit Vue features MoveReady technology that, in addition to detecting your specific types of movement patterns, it also knows when you switch activities, such as if you’re walking versus running or swimming versus sleeping. This means you’ll get accurate data and feedback that’s meaningful to you. By the way, yes, you may wear the iFit Vue while swimming without fear of damaging the product.
 
In addition to tracking activity, the iFit Vue can help you track calories. They can be entered on the wearable device using the built-in calorie counter, allowing you to quickly log your meals when you’re at home or on the go. Since at its most basic level a healthy lifestyle requires expending more calories than we take in, the iFit Vue provides you with your net calories (calories taken in minus calories burned). It shows your net calories in real time and your progress percentage toward your goals. The iFit Vue even tracks your sleep and sleep patterns and sends and receives message to keep you motivated.
 
One really nice feature is the ability to sync your smartphone to the iFit Vue, allowing you to see caller ID and read text messages on your fitness band. Another bonus is exceptional battery life. According to the company, the battery in the iFit Vue will last through seven days of continuous use and can be recharged using the included USB charger.
 
The iFit Vue can also be connected to an optional Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) strap, enabling you to constantly monitor your heart rate right on your wrist.
 
The various data are shown via an organic light emitting diode (OLED) display. The use of OLED technology ensures the data is visible even under the most difficult light conditions. Touch the screen to toggle through the data, such as the amount of calories consumed and steps taken.
 
The iFit Vue even sends you quick and friendly messages, reminding you when to move or when it’s time to wake up. A gentle vibration and the OLED display provides you with the motivation you need to achieve your goals.
 
Get the App
 
There’s an app for nearly everything nowadays and the free iFit app greatly enhances the iFit Vue experience. For example, you can use the app to enter your meals, snacks and drinks from a wide-ranging food library or by using the built-in barcode scanner, ensuring greater accuracy and convenience.
 
The app provides a wealth of information: calories, proteins, sugars, saturated fat. Once wearers understand their behaviors during the day, including what they’re consuming, they can then see where they’re struggling and adjust their activities for a healthier lifestyle.
 
You can also use the app to set your goals and get notifications when those goals are achieved. The app further provides in-depth details of your day, as well as easy-to-read charts of your activity.
The iFit app is available for Android and iOS platforms.
 
Other iFit Products
 
The iFit Vue is one of many iFit products available at your local Dunham’s Sports, including the less-expensive iFit Link. Think of the iFit Link as the minimalist version of the iFit Vue. Rather than numerals shown on an OLED display, for example, iFit Link uses four lights to display your progress. As you reach 25 percent of your goal, the first light illuminates. When you reach 50 percent, the second one lights up and so on.
 
For optimal convenience, iFit Link can be worn a wristband or as a clip on. The wristband is ideal for most situations, while the clip on option is handy for those times when you want to be more discreet. Either way, the choice is yours.
 
Every year, millions of Americans make a resolution to get fit. Go beyond promises by actually doing something about it. In addition to healthier eating choices, exercising will deliver the most benefits toward that goal. One way to get motivated is with an iFit band available at your local Dunham’s Sports store. Visit with one of our knowledgeable fitness representatives and take the first step (or 10,000 steps) toward a healthier you.
 
Happy Holidays.
 
-Fitness Fanatic
 
*To receive exclusive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, enroll in our e-mail or text message programs (or both). Sign Up Now

Spreading Holiday Health!

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
Are you taking a dish to a holiday a holiday potluck? Having friends over? Share the gift of healthy food for your friends and loved ones! Whether making your traditional seasonal treats or experimenting with new and adventurous dishes, you can create a great, even indulgent holiday spread while protecting against growing waistlines and rising cholesterol levels.
 
Try some new ideas for the healthiest holiday foods to add to your table!
 
• Roasted Brussels Sprouts: Brussels sprouts have come roaring in from the culinary cold! Sweet and piquant, brussel sprouts are as tasty roasted as they are simple to prepare with an added nutty flavor. Simply toss with olive oil, a touch of garlic and salt, then roast until crisp on the outside. Easy to prepare, tasty and packed with nutrients, roasted Brussels sprouts are an extremely healthy dietary choice.
 
• Collard Greens: Collards offer exceptional nutritional value with low caloric overhead and are a popular dish on any dinner tabl. Sadly, the traditional method of cooking greens with fat-back or bacon overwhelms the benefits of this great veggie. If you crave the flavor of traditional collards without the cholesterol-causing bacon or fatback, try using smoked turkey wings and a drizzle of olive oil!
 
• Green Beans: One of America’s favorite vegetables, green beans are one of the healthiest holiday foods. They are an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K (important for bone health) and manganese. They’re generous in vitamin A, dietary fiber, potassium, folate, and iron. Unfortunately, that yummy green bean casserole served with traditional holiday meal is high in calories due to the butter, cream of mushroom soup and cheese. Try tossing with sauteed fresh garlic and top with toasted almond slivers. It’s your next, healthy holiday favorite!
 
• Pecans: Sprinkle pecans over salads with dried cranberries or cherries, or gently roast for a pre-meal snack. Pecans are a great source of vitamin E and magnesium. They’re also packed with fiber, protein, and the same “good” fats that are found in olive oil.
 
• Winter Squash: If winter squash isn’t a staple in your winter nutritional regimen, it should be! Try an apple and squash casserole as a tasty and healthy replacement for mashed potatoes. Pumpkin empanadas with whole wheat crust are a great appetizer that will disappear off your buffet table as fast as you get them there!
 
It’s the rich desserts and cookies that will really catch you, but there’s plenty of ways to make those holiday favorites healthier while retaining the flavor.
 
• Use whole grains like oatmeal, dried fruits and nuts in holiday cookies and breads.
 
• Make a low-fat ricotta cheesecake!
 
• When baking gingerbread and deep-hued cakes and cookies, replace half the flour with whole-wheat flour to increase the fiber, they will fill you up quicker and make you feel full longer.
 
• Try using an egg substitute to cut cholesterol.
 
• Add the simple elegance of baked, poached or roasted fall fruits to the dessert menu. Making tarts? Reduce the amount of sugar and let the fruit flavor shine! Decorate with some fresh mint leaves and cranberries for that seasonal touch!
 
Let you creativity shine through! You’ll not only share a loving feast made with the well-being of your guests in mind … you may create a new holiday tradition to share for years and years!
 
*To receive exclusive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, enroll in our e-mail or text message programs (or both). Sign Up Now

Cardio Crossover

As long as there is fitness, there will be a constant flow of fads that people will latch onto. From aerobics in the ’80s to Pilates in the ’90s to Tae Bo in the early 2000s, there will always be a “latest and greatest” form of exercise that will guarantee results.
 
Now, the mid-2010s have brought us CrossFit, a brand of exercise so popular and followed that it’s generated its own Olympics-like event each year. A combination of strength training, plyometrics and cardiovascular exercise, CrossFit is a fantastic alternative for those who want to achieve both results and health while keeping the routine mixed up.
 
CrossFit-Cardio Comparison
 
With all of the various exercises CrossFit offers, not to mention the expensive per-month costs for classes, is it a better alternative than your typical cardio exercise? According to fitness guru Peter Nielsen, they’re both great options—as long as everyone has a game plan of what they want to accomplish in the long run.
 
“Cardio training is taking the most important muscle, the heart. Cardio exercise also helps with bone density and can burn excess body fat,” Nielsen explains. “Walking, riding bike or elliptical, you’re in control. You’re the CEO of your body.”
 
Nielsen also suggests finding the right piece of equipment for you; find something you enjoy and are able to use. Also, if you’re also integrating a strength training plan, a good tip is to do the cardio exercise after lifting weights to burn glycogen storage, which then taps into the body fat.
 
CrossFit, however, is a great way to mix it up, especially if you’re not crazy about going to the gym. It’s a way to keep from getting bored, get through the winter or take fitness to the next level.
 
“People like CrossFit because most people don’t like to exercise. It breaks up the monotony,” said Nielsen. “A lot of people get injured when they get into it and they think it’s an answer to everything.”
 
The Answer Lies Within
 
“People need to have a vision and a game plan of what to accomplish,” said Nielsen. “To maintain, build strength, lose weight, CrossFit is a good option. For toning and focus on body parts, get body fat to lowest, cardio is a more methodical approach.”
 
Nielsen reiterated that the real decision people need to make about starting any exercise program, including cardio and CrossFit, comes from within.
 
“People need to find something they enjoy and find reason why they want to do this,” Nielsen stressed. “Everyone asks, ‘How do you lose weight and gain muscle?’ You could Google it and be three clicks away. You have to ask yourself ‘Why?’ Dig deep and find the right reasons.”
 
The Price of Fitness
 
A big consideration that those debating CrossFit over a regular cardio routine need to factor is cost. CrossFit classes can cost around $125 a month, and gym memberships can be pricey as well. An alternative to shelling out the monthly fee for classes or a personal trainer would be picking up a piece of equipment. For those who have a better idea as to what works for them, picking up a weight set, elliptical or treadmill can save money over the long haul.
 
As someone who’s operated several health clubs, Nielsen suggests starting your own program, some of which are totally free and can be very effective.
 
“You could do a walking program, ride a bicycle, snowshoe, cross-country ski. It’s wonderful when knowledge is power and you don’t have to spend a lot of money,” Nielsen explained.
 
“Intensity is King”
 
The key to keeping your heart healthy and burning fat is the intensity of your workout. According to Nielsen, “Intensity is king.” The amount of intensity, be it with CrossFit, cardio or a strength workout, is the determining factor in how much it works.
 
The example he used is if someone walks a mile and another person runs it, the person who runs will burn more calories and spend less time working out. It also burns more than someone who’s lifting weights, takes a break, takes a drink, talks to their friend and gets back to lifting. Intensity is the key.
 
“I’ve seen the best of the best get sick because the intensity was too much, and they were professional athletes in great shape,” told Nielsen. “Intensity is king when it comes to getting in shape.”
 
There are countless pros and cons to both cardio and CrossFit exercises. While cardio can be more customized to someone’s physical ability and overall goal, for some people, it could become monotonous. CrossFit, conversely, will constantly keep it changing, which is good for people who might not necessarily like going to the gym and using the elliptical for an hour each day.
 
But to make the right choice, a person really needs to look deep within themselves to find out what their long-term vision and goals are. Cardio or CrossFit, you ask? You tell me.
 
-Fitness Fanatic
 
*To receive exclusive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, enroll in our e-mail or text message programs (or both). Sign Up Now

Tips to Good Health This Winter

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
It’s been unusually cold the last two winters, which can wreak havoc on your workout schedule! Don’t give up. That winter weight gain isn’t all tied to eating more or lack of exercise. New research shows how important exercise is … especially in the winter. In this study, researchers from the University of Colorado followed a group of twelve women and six men in both summer and winter. They discovered that their production of ATLPL (Adipose Tissue Lipoprotein Lipase), the chemical that promotes fat storage, almost doubles during the winter and dropped during the summer. They also found that the increase of muscle enzymes gained from exercising can help to counter the increase of ATLPL, and help the battle against those extra winter pounds.
 
Winter workouts carry their own dangers, here are a few tips to protect you on the coldest days.
 
• Wear layers. Insulate yourself against the wind and cold with a layered barrier rather than a single, bulky garment. The first layer that’s directly touching your skin should be a lightweight synthetic or polyester material. It will dry quickly and wick away moisture. The second layer should be wool or polyester fleece. The outermost layer — worn in the rain, snow, or wind — should be lighter weight and water-repellent to help you stay dry.
 
• Keep your head covered. It is believed that between 50 and 70 percent of body heat is lost when your head is unprotected in cold weather. Wearing a hat can help your body retain heat.
 
• Protect your feet and hands. Keeping hands and feet warm is vital. Your body concentrates on keeping your internal organs warm in cold weather. Gloves also help prevent skin damage and frostbite. To keep your feet warm, make sure your torso is properly insulated and keep feet dry with winter athletic socks that have an inner layer that moves moisture away from the skin to an outer absorbent layer.
 
• Wear a facemask or scarf in frigid temperatures. A loose layer over your nose and mouth can warm cold air before you inhale and protect your lungs.
 
• Drink water. You don’t feel as sweaty as you do in the summer, but water is just as important in winter months. It even keeps you warm by helping the body retain heat!
 
• In extreme cold, which we’ve seen the last two winters, move your workout indoors to the gym. Can’t make it to the gym? Develop a workout regimen you can do at home, take the stairs at work or speed walk through the mall!
 
• Finally, consider some traditional warming foods. Ancient Chinese medicine advised adding fresh ginger, garlic and cayenne to your food as a way to boost the immune system! Eucalyptus and juniper also stimulate the circulation and help protect the immune system.
 
It may seem more difficult to exercise when the weather gets cold and days seem shorter, but it’s important to work against the natural increase in fat storage that occurs during the winter months!
 
*To receive exclusive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, enroll in our e-mail or text message programs (or both). Sign Up Now

Bicycling

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
Bicycling is a popular activity — especially in the summer — and it’s gaining popularity. It’s a great, low-impact, aerobic exercise that can be just as effective as running, without the knee pain. A 135-pound woman who bikes 6 miles a half hour burns 242 calories in a half hour, add another mile to that and you’ll burn 311 calories in a half hour!
 
Cycling works the hamstrings, back of the thighs, and quadriceps.The core muscles help with control and balance, while they power your turns. Calf muscles help you pedal. Stand up and cycle for some intervals, it will add some intensity and extra work for your glutes! Try riding up steep hills while pulling up on the handlebars to really activate those glutes and biceps! As always, there’s more!
 
• Think Clearer. A study published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research found that people scored higher on memory, reasoning, and planning tests after 30 minutes of spinning on a stationary bike than they did before they rode … and they finished the tests faster!
 
• Get Energized. A study published in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics found that bike riding improved energy levels by 20 percent and decreased fatigue by 65 percent by triggering the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine.
 
• Prevent Heart Disease. The American Heart Association suggests a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days per week. In a recent study, 32 women cycled three times a week for a minimum of a half hour at moderate to high intensity. The study found that the women had lowered their blood pressure, their LDL cholesterol and increased their aerobic fitness.
 
• Sleep Better. A study out of Stanford University School of Medicine had sedentary insomnia sufferers cycle for 20-30 minutes every other day. As a result, participants found the time it took for them to fall asleep was reduced by half, and they slept for an hour more!
 
New bike lanes on thoroughfares make it easier for cyclists to commute to work and beautiful bike paths in parks offer a calming and enjoyable outdoor environment for your fitness routine. Give it a try … you’ll be stronger, fitter and happier!
 
*To receive exclusive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, enroll in our e-mail or text message programs (or both). Sign Up Now

Controlling Your Body Temperature

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
Working out in the heat creates additional challenges for our ability to maintain fitness regimens. After a cold winter of longing for summer, we can find ourselves overwhelmed when summer really kicks into high gear. That’s because of how we normally regulate our temperature. Knowing how your body regulates its temperature can help you make better choices for your summer workouts.
 
When your body is cool, vasoconstriction — the narrowing of blood vessels to skin capillaries — keeps blood away from the surface of the skin, reducing the loss of heat from the skin. If your body is too warm, blood vessels leading to the skin capillaries dilate, allowing blood to flow near the surface. Heat is then released through the skin by radiation. To further reduce body temperature, sweat is produced by the sweat glands and evaporates, cooling the skin. The importance of your body’s ability to regulate temperature becomes even more important when your muscles produce more heat during exercise and the environment becomes hotter, causing radiation to become less effective in reducing body heat.
 
Any time we exercise, the working muscles call for more energy through an increase of blood supply and oxygen. The heart works harder to accomplish that. Additionally, the working muscles also create heat by using the oxygen in your blood’s hemoglobin to convert the glucose in your bloodstream into usable energy. This increase in core body temperature can put the the functions of the your central nervous system and muscle cells at risk, especially when heat loss is challenged by warmer environmental temperatures that make it difficult for the skin to cool.
 
At this point, our bodies direct more blood to the skin for cooling at the same time it is needed for the increase in the muscular workload when you’re working out. Skin and working muscles compete for the limited blood flow (think oxygen) that the heart produces, raising the risk of heat stroke or muscle fatigue. The good news is, we can acclimate to the weather and improve our overall performance at the same time.
 
Professional and high-level athletes often exercise in warm conditions to improve performance and prepare different climate factors. For people engage in light or medium-level exercise or have increased risk of heat-related illness, avoid exercising in peak heat. Instead, develop a gradual and incremental workout that increases your cardiovascular and thermoregulatory tolerance.
 
Take precautions to reduce the likelihood of heat illness.
 
• The time of day is important. Avoid exercising from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It’s the hottest part of day. If the weather is particularly hot, the best time of day is early morning.
 
• Wear loose, light-colored clothing. Lighter colors help reflect heat. Cotton material helps sweat evaporate. Try some running shirts and shorts that are designed specifically for working out.
 
• Protect your skin. Use sunscreen with SPF of 45 or 50.
 
• Cool off with water sports. Swim some laps a couple days a week instead of running. The variety will refresh you in more ways than one!
 
• Stay hydrated. Before you go out, drink a glass or two of water. Carry a bottle of water. Take a drink every 15 minutes, even when you’re not thirsty and When you’re done with your workout, have a few more glasses of water.
 
• Check the weather forecast before you start your workout. If there’s a heat, pollution or high ozone advisory, protect your lungs and think of working out indoors.
 
Listen to your body. Stop immediately if you’re feeling dizzy, faint or nauseous. Take precautions and have a great workout!
 
*To receive exclusive Dunham’s coupons and information on new products, events and sales, enroll in our e-mail or text message programs (or both). Sign Up Now