Guest Post from Project Girl Get Fit: Beat the Heat!

Hi there! well my vacation is coming to a close but I have a great post again from a Sweat Pink Sister Casey! She gives you so awesome tips on how to keep cool in this heat! Enjoy 🙂

Beat the Heat (Project Girl Get Fit)

It’s officially summer and that means that we’ll probably be seeing some scorchingly hot days coming up soon, or at least we will be in Chicago! From crazy sunburns and dehydration to heat exhaustion and just plain ol’ crankiness because it’s SO hot, make sure that you are taking the time to take care of yourself as you are headed out to play!

One of the things that it is really easy to forget as you are soaking up the sun is how much water you are losing just from hanging out all day. Once you add in working out and probably working up a pretty good sweat, forget it! Healthy water is the most important nutrient that we consume. It’s responsible for every physical function in our systems and according to GotWater.net, it only takes a loss of only 1% – 2% of your body’s ideal water content to cause dehydration, which you easily drop when you are sweating it out in the sun. This is especially true for all of the fitness lovers out there exercising in the summer heat. Make sure that you are taking breaks to drink water! 90% of people do not drink enough water and suffer from chronic dehydration, leading to a number of health problems.

Water plays a big role in how our body responds to physical activity. We sweat to regulate our body temperature. If we don’t get enough water, our body cannot sweat properly and our temperature rises putting us at a risk for heat/muscle cramps, general tiredness and a lack of coordination. Some basics to remember are:

  • Drink water frequently. Your body will feel cooler if you are hydrated. Try drinking eight ounces of water at least every hour. Adding mint leaves, or orange, lemon or cucumber slices to your water makes it more refreshing.
  • Keep the back of your neck in shade (wear a cap backwards, or raise your collar) or put a wet handkerchief on the back of the neck. The sensor for our body temperature control system is in this area, and so with this method you can make the rest of your body think that you are “cool”.
  • Chill your pulse points by running cold water over your wrist for a minute or so each hour. Splashing water on your temples or face can produce a similar effect.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol as these will promote dehydration.
  • Make sure that you are eating and drinking enough and taking breaks to cool off to ward off the general crankiness and moodiness that can accompany getting overheated.

Sunburns are probably tied neck and neck with not drinking enough water for problems in the summer. I know that when I was younger, I never thought anything of running around all day in the sun without sunscreen and would be miserable the next day when my previously glow-in-the-dark pale Irish skin would be lobster red and SUPER painful. L No fun. These days I don’t even go out for a jog without spraying on some SPF. And with those nifty spray sunscreens they have now, it couldn’t be easier to make sure that your skin is protected as you are outside living life! Anyone from any race can get sunburned and need protection from the sun’s rays, so everyone should be lathering up, not just the pale Irish folk like me. With skin cancer on the rise (nearly 2 million people are diagnosed annually), make sure that you are loving your body by protecting your skin!

Quick SPF fun facts from the American Association of Dermatology:

When should I use sunscreen?

  • Every day! The sun emits harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays year round.
  • Even on cloudy days, harmful UV rays can penetrate your skin.
    • On a cloudy day, up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays can pass through the clouds.
  • Snow and sand increase the need for sunscreen.
    • Snow reflects 80 percent of the sun’s rays, and sand reflects 25 percent of the sun’s rays.

Q. How much sunscreen should I use, and how often should I apply it?

  • Use enough sunscreen to generously coat all skin that will be not be covered by clothing. Ask yourself, “Will my face, ears, arms, or hands be covered by clothing?” If not, apply sunscreen.
  • To be sure you use enough, follow this guideline:
    • One ounce, enough to fill a shot glass, is considered the amount needed to cover the exposed areas of the body. Adjust the amount of sunscreen applied depending on your body size.
    • Most people only apply 25-50 percent of the recommended amount of sunscreen.3
  • Apply the sunscreen to dry skin 15 minutes BEFORE going outdoors.
  • Skin cancer also can form on the lips. To protect your lips, apply a lip balm or lipstick that contains sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.
  • Re-apply sunscreen approximately every two hours or after swimming or sweating heavily according to the directions on the bottle.

As you’re getting ready to hit the beach or the streets for some summer fun, remember to slather on that SPF and grab a bottle of water on your way out the door!

20 Tips to Staying cool from Active.com

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