Summer fitness tips – The Philadelphia Tribune

Posted by on Jul 27th, 2016 and filed under Fitness News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Summer fitness tips – The Philadelphia Tribune

Exercising during the summer can be fun, but it can also be plagued with a lot of serious problems. These can include heat-related illnesses, accidents, lightning, life-threatening situations and medical problems. Most can be prevented with a little common sense. You can’t just stop working out. But you should use all the science available.

Summer heat can cause heat-related illnesses and even death. These illnesses include heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. All these illnesses are caused by overexposure to the heat and loss of body fluids. Two-thirds of your body is composed of water making it the body’s most vital nutrient. Water provides a valuable source of minerals like calcium and magnesium. It carries nutrients to organs by way of the bloodstream. Water also helps digest food and absorbs the nutrients into the body. It carries away bodily waste products and cools the body through perspiration. Water moistens mucous membranes and lubricates the joints. Water can also help to prevent some serious heat-related medical problems.

We’ve talked a lot about the importance of water during extremely hot weather. You have to drink water, or you’ll have some serious problems. We lose about a half-gallon of body fluid during the day. That’s about 2 percent of your body weight. If you work out, you’ll lose even more and this could be dangerous. With a 3 percent fluid loss, you’d have a hard time maintaining your body temperature. With a 4 percent fluid loss, your muscles stop working properly. A 5 percent fluid loss is life-threatening. At 150 lbs., a 5 percent fluid loss is only 7-1/2 lbs. That 5 percent fluid loss can affect the body in a variety of other adverse ways.

Water is the best liquid you can drink before, during and after a workout. You should drink small amounts of water at 10- to 20-minute intervals. The body doesn’t store water very well, so if you drink a lot of it at one time your body will just get rid of it. Read your body, if it’s running out of energy or it seems affected by the heat, stop. You don’t want to stop working out just because it’s hot, but you should use a little common sense when working out in hot weather.

Drinking water during your workout helps to increase your blood volume, which will increase cardiac output. Cardiac output is the amount of blood being pumped during each heartbeat. The more blood your heart pumps with each heartbeat the more nutrients are transported throughout the body. These nutrients provide energy for work. Many people run out of steam during an exercise session because they don’t replace water lost through exercise.

Studies show that drinking water before, during and after a workout increases energy production. This is true during hot and cold weather. Don’t wait until you become thirsty; by then it’s too late and your body will start to fatigue. As the humidity rises, adjust your workout even if you’re in good shape. If you’re overweight, slow down your workout pace. Your extra body fat and the heat will make your body work overtime.

If you exercise outdoors, there are some safety tips that will help protect you.

The very first accessory you should buy if you’re going to be riding a bike or skating is a good helmet. It makes good sense when you figure that bikers and skaters get some sort of hit on the head in three out of every four accidents! And a head injury is more likely to kill you.

Bright-colored helmets make easier for you to be seen. It’s the perfect place to tape a quarter or two for a phone call for help. You can also put any information that your doctor might need.

Be sure the helmet and strap fit correctly. The helmet won’t do you any good if it flies off your head.

Most important, be sure you buy a helmet that has a Snell Memorial Foundation Standard or ANSI label. That’s how you know the helmet will give you the best protection.

Being seen is important while riding, skating, walking or jogging. If you’re riding a bike, during the day a bike flag will help drivers notice you. A whistle will help to warn drivers if you need to get their attention. If you’re riding a bike at night you’ll need reflectors … white or yellow for the front and red for the back. You can also put them on your pedals. Most state laws call for lights on the front and back if you’re riding a bike during the night. Halogen lights and rechargeable batteries are your best bet.

You should wear brightly colored clothes that are different from the landscape. Yellow is good because it never blends in. Red is great and Day-Glo orange will definitely be seen.

If you’re going to work out outside you should wear sunglasses. Everybody needs sunglasses, and not just in the summertime. Exposure to ultraviolet light over the years can damage the lenses of the eye. Any sunglasses are better than no sunglasses. Here is what you should look for in a pair of sunglasses. The tint is not what blocks ultraviolet light. It’s the special chemicals added when the lenses are made. Brown or amber tinted lenses block the sun’s rays best but they sometimes distort your vision. Gray and green lenses don’t block as much ultraviolet light but they don’t distort your vision. Wraparound frames are good, they block light above and below the eyes, but they shouldn’t block your side vision. Your sunglasses should be dark enough so you don’t see your eyes in a mirror. Plastic lenses are light but glass lenses don’t scratch as easily. Mirrored lenses offer extra protection against glare but scratches are a problem. Double gradient lens sunglasses are darker at the top and the bottom. These glasses are good for sports such as tennis and skiing. They are not good for highly reflective sports such as bicycling and water sports. Everyone’s sunglass needs are different but everyone needs sunglasses. If you have special problems you should see a professional.

A few people have been injured and killed by lightning already this year. Lightning strikes somewhere on the surface of the earth about 100 times every second. In the United States alone, lightning sets 10,000 forest fires and causes $ 100 million in property damage every year.

Lightning is the No. 2 storm killer in the United States. Lightning kills more people than hurricanes or tornadoes on average. Lightning strikes central Florida more than any other region in the U.S. Lightning has caused about $ 5 billion of economic loss annually in the U.S. Your house has a 1 out of 200 chance of being struck per year. You have a 1 in 280,000 chance of being struck by lightning. From 2003 to 2012, 350 people died from being struck by lightning in the US. Fortunately, not everyone who is struck by lightning dies. Eighty percent of lightning strike victims survive. But twenty five percent of survivors suffer major aftereffects. Many of the aftereffects of lightning are difficult for inexperienced medical professionals to characterize.

To tell if the lightning is too close, count the number of seconds between the flash of the lightning and the sound of the thunder and divide by five. This is the number of miles that the storm is away from you. If the number you get is less than seven, the storm is too close and you should try to find safe shelter.

Whether you’re riding a bike, running, walking or skating you should ask yourself: Have I taken all the steps I need to make my outdoor workout safe. Use a little common sense and make your outdoor workout safe.

If you have a fitness question or concern you would like addressed write to “Tips to be Fit” P.O. Box 53443 Philadelphia, PA 19105 or tipstobefit@gmail.com. Or call (215) 387-3081. If you’ve missed an article of “Tips to be Fit” go to www.phillytrib.com and search “Tips to be Fit.”

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