Feeling The Heat!

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
Temperatures are rising and it is important to remember that exercising in hot weather can put additional stress on your body. If you don’t take care when exercising in the heat, you can endanger your long-term health.
 
You may want to tweak your workout to prevent heat-related problems such as heat stroke or heat cramps while keeping active. Here are a few important pointers to keep in mind:
 
• Drink Water. We sweat more when the temperature’s hot, especially when working or exercising in the heat. You also burn more calories working out in hot weather due to the extra cardiovascular effort required to cool the body when blood is pumped to the skin — this results in increased perspiration. It’s important to drink water to replenish the fluids lost by any excessive sweating.
 
• Acclimate. Give yourself time to adapt to the heat and take it easy at first when you exercise in the heat. As your body adapts to the heat over the course of one to two weeks, gradually increase the length and intensity of your workouts.
 
• Eat regularly. Your appetite may be reduced on hot days, so try eating 5-6 small meals throughout day. Eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, they’re in season and nutritious.
 
• Watch the humidity. There may be days when it’s just too hot and humid for you. Heat combined with humidity increases the risk of a heat-related illness, so consider other exercise options when temperatures spike.
 
• Avoid the midday sun. Plan your outdoor sessions before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m.
 
• Know your medical risks. Some medications or medical conditions may increase the risk of a heat-related illness. Talk to your medical adviser about precautions!
 
However, there is new, very interesting research being done on heat and fitness. A recent study from the University of Oregon followed the performance of twelve extremely high-level cyclists over a 10-day training period in 100-degree heat. The participants included 10 men and 2 woman and had a 2-day break during the program. A control group followed the same exercise regimen in 55-degree room. Both groups worked in the same humidity — 30 percent humidity.
 
The findings? The cyclists who worked through the heat saw a 7% improvement in their performance, while the control group showed no improvement. Additionally, the group that worked out in the 100-degree heat not only acclimated to the heat, they also improved their performance in cooler weather.
 
It’s a fine line, pace yourself, be mindful of your environment, and have fun with it!
 
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Winter Water Needs

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
Many people feel they need to drink less in the winter because they sweat less. It’s important to understand that our need to be hydrated isn’t less in winter. We still deplete our fluids. The clouds of steam we exhale when walking in the freezing weather is even more noticeable when sitting in a cold car watching windows quickly fog up. Indoors dry, heated air pulls moisture from our skin, adding to the risk that we may suffer from dehydration. Our view of winter water needs is further confused when our body’s thirst response is reduced substantially — up to 40 percent in cold weather — as our blood vessels constrict to conserve heat by limiting blood from flow to hands and feet to conserve heat! Remember, chapped lips and dry skin are the most common symptoms of dehydration in the winter.
 
Water makes up approximately 60 percent of our body weight and serves many important functions. It is vital for the proper function of all our organs and cells and moves nutrients to our body’s cells as it clears the body of toxins. Water lubricates our joints and keeps our ears, nose and throat moist. Water is needed for perspiration, which keeps body temperature in balance, and it moves the food we eat through the intestines, alleviating constipation and other digestive problems. Water is vital in the formation of saliva, mucus membranes and maintaining eye health. Consistent dehydration can severely reduce all these vital functions, possibly with lasting effects … and don’t forget the damage dehydration causes to your skin!
 
Pay attention to your water needs in winter, the basic rule is the same as during the summer — rink a minimum of eight glasses of water a day!
 
Start every day by drinking 1-2 glasses of water in the morning.
 
• Keep a water pitcher in the refrigerator.
 
• Drink water before you feel thirsty; if you feel thirsty, you’re already mildly dehydrated.
 
• Drink pure water — tap water is the bargain of the century. If water in your locality is questionable, there are plenty of excellent, reasonably priced filters.
 
• Avoid processed juices and sodas that are high in sugar content.
 
• For every eight ounces of a caffeinated beverage or alcohol you drink, supplement with an additional eight ounces of water.
 
• If your lips are dry or chapped you are dyhydrated, have a drink!
 
Water is vital for all our bodily functions helps keep us looking AND feeling good ALL year round!
 
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Water Facts

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
We all know we need to drink water, and you may feel you’ve heard it all before. However, research shows that 75% of Americans have mild, chronic dehydration … be sure you don’t let the term ‘mild’ fool you! A consistent state of dehydration has serious effects. Tending to your fluid intake is a year-round concern, but it’s even more important in warm weather.
 
Your body is composed of about 60% water. These fluids accomplish numerous vital tasks and facilitate all chemical processes in the body– digestion, nutrient absorption, circulation, maintenance of body temperature and much more! A reduction of as little as 4-5% in body water results in a 20-30% decrease in performance, while a 10% decrease causes significant health risks. Here are a few specifics:
 
• A recent study separated 48 inactive, overweight and obese Americans aged 55 to 75 into two equal groups. The control group followed a calorie-controlled diet; the second group followed exactly the same diet, but also drank 2 metric cups of water before each meal for 12 weeks. Both groups lost weight on average, but the water-drinking group lost an average of 5 additional pounds! In other words, drinking water before meals made the diet 30% more effective.
 
• Dehydration causes cells to shrivel, which can result in muscle fatigue.
 
• Drinking enough fluid is important when exercising. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends drinking approximately 17 ounces of fluid two hours before exercise, and the replacement of fluids lost by sweating at regular intervals during a workout.
 
• Your skin contains a lot of water and it is your body’s protection against fluid loss.
 
• Body fluids transport waste products in and out of cells. Your kidneys cleanse the body of toxins as long as your intake of fluids is adequate. Additionally, if your water intake is consistently low, you may be at higher risk for kidney stones, particularly in warm climates.
 
• Water even lubricates your joints!
 
You should drink a minimum of eight glasses of water a day… if that sounds like a lot try these tips to get started!
 
• Start every day by drinking 1-2 glasses of water in the morning.
 
• Keep a water pitcher in the refrigerator.
 
• Carry a thermos of water with you.
 
• Drink water before you feel thirsty; if you feel thirsty, you’re already mildly dehydrated.
 
• Drink pure water — if you’re unsure of your tap water, there are plenty of excellent, reasonably priced filters.
 
• Avoid juices and sodas that are high in sugar content.
 
• For every eight ounces of a caffeinated beverage or alcohol you drink, supplement with an additional eight ounces of water.
 
Water… truly the fountain of life!
 
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Muscle Cramps

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
Cramps — also called charley horses – afflict 39 percent of marathon runners, 79 percent of triathletes, and 60 percent of cyclists at some time, but they’re not alone! Cramps can occur anywhere and to anyone. Whether you’re young or old, extremely active or usually sedentary, chances are you’ve experienced a muscle cramp. Researchers have found that infants, the elderly, the overweight, and athletes are at the greatest risk for muscle cramps, which demonstrates how wide-spread they are!
 
During common cramps, muscles of your calf or foot suddenly become hard, tight, and extremely painful. They are are caused by muscle spasms, involuntary contractions of one or more muscles. While most common in the foot and calf muscles, the front and back of the thigh, the hands, arms, abdomen, and muscles along the rib cage are also common locations for cramps. They occur during, immediately after, or as long as six hours after a workout.
 
The specific factors that lead to muscle cramps has not been clearly defined, however there are several possible causes, including:
 
• Strain on the calf muscles while exercising.
• Insufficient stretching before working out.
• Muscle fatigue.
• Dehydration.
• Magnesium and potassium deficiencies.
• Spinal cord injuries.Pinched neck or back nerves.Poor blood circulation in the legs.
 
If you find yourself grimacing with charley horses there are a few things you can try!
 
• Eat foods high in vitamins and magnesium and calcium.
• Drink plenty of water and stay well hydrated.
• Stretch properly before exercise.
 
Muscle cramps usually go away in a few minutes, but if you experience them frequently for no apparent reason you may want speak to your doctor. Your body may be try to tell you something!
 
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Water

[Written by Peter Nielsen].
 
Your recommended daily intake of water is _______ ounces (one half of your ideal body weight).
 
Water is the forgotten nutrient. It is crucial to every function in the body; temperature regulation, circulation, metabolism, immune system and waste elimination.
 
Don’t drink water 15 minutes prior to eating. Give your stomach up to one hour after eating to digest your foods undiluted by water. Mealtime is not the time to take in large amounts of liquid. Skim milk is the only beverage that serves as an exception, as it becomes a semi-solid in the stomach.
 
Drinking enough water is the best treatment for fluid retention. When the body is not getting enough water, it perceives a threat to its survival and tries to hold on the every drop. The best way to overcome this problem is to give the body what it needs, plenty of water. Only then will stored water be released. Water suppresses the appetite naturally and helps the body metabolize stored fats. An overweight person needs more water than a person at their ideal/healthy weight.
 
Water helps aid the body in waste removal. During weight loss, the body has more waste to get rid of. All the metabolized fat must be shed. Adequate water intake helps to flush out the waste. The average person loses two cups of water daily through the respiratory process. An additional two cups are lost through perspiration, even when no strenuous activity is being performed. The intestines and kidneys combined lose another six cups daily. Therefore, taking into consideration that approximately four cups are provided by food metabolism and ten are lost through normal functions; a person needs to drink between six and eight cups of water daily to keep the functioning properly.
 
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