Heat exhaustion can kill you. Tips to prevent it

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Stay hydrated

If you’re like me, you would much rather soak up some sunshine and nature while working out instead of being cooped up in the gym. Exercising outside can be good for your mind and certainly can be more challenging than the treadmill. That means more calories burned! Before you get out in the heat there are some guidelines you should follow to prevent heat stroke.
First: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! By the time you feel thirst it’s already too late. Start drinking your first 8 oz of liquid well before you begin and continue doing so throughout your work out. As for sports drinks, those are really only useful if you are exercising for more than an hour. If you just like the taste, make sure you’re exercising at a vigorous pace to make it worth the calories.
Second: Unless you are running a race, go easy on yourself on hot days. If you’re body is telling you it wants a break, listen up! Your best bet on hot days is to divide your work-out into 15 to 20 minute blocks, stop to rehydrate and catch your breath, then continue.
Third: Save it for the early morning or the evening. The sun is at its strongest between noon and 1 pm with UV rays remaining high until around 3 pm. Going for that walk, run or bootcamp well clear of those times and exercising in shade can help you last longer.
P.S. Vitamin D is a hormone that is activated by sunshine. If you are a dark skinned person that lives in the North, you might need up to 30 to 60 minutes of sunshine time to get your daily dosage; lighter skinned people need just 15 to 20 minutes. A brisk, early morning walk to get some sunshine time in before putting on sunscreen can help your vitamin D levels.Still, Melanoma is no joke: stay clear of the harshest sun rays. Yes, this goes for Black people too!

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Rewind!

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Jungle gymRemember when you were a kid, roaming around your neighborhood on your bicycle or in rambunctious packs with your friends? Skinny little arms hanging off tree limbs, unselfconsciously round belly shimmying up poles just because you could? Back then fitness was all about the urge to play and explore, certainly not about fitting into skinny jeans or juice cleanses. My reason for this trip down memory lane is that I believe it is helpful to remember your childhood self when thinking about physical activity. Sure, adulthood can be a far cry from the freedom you felt as a child. Back then the biggest questions on your mind were : “what’s for lunch?”and “what will I get for my birthday?” Okay, those thoughts might still be on your mind but moving on. See, your little kid self had it right. That urge to fidget and bounce around was as human as you can get. Mothers running after and lifting their little ones know this fact intimately. Your body was designed to move, play,dance, love and reach. As we get older, we allow ourselves to forget and “repurpose” our bodies for sedentary behaviors that honestly, take all the fun out of living eventually. Yes, I get it: we get tired! Adulthood is tough! Bills, work, children, partners/spouses, pets, and just getting from Point A to Point B…whew, it can be exhausting to say the least. That’s just external stuff. What about the internal sabotage we wage on ourselves? Convincing ourselves that tomorrow we will be kinder to ourselves, tomorrow we will get more rest, tomorrow we will start being healthier. Reclaiming your child-like zest for life can encourage you to move more, to treat exercise not as something that needs to happen in the gym but as a playful and integral part of your life. Tomorrows are only promised to children. Do what you can for your health today.