Remember how I was complaining about the lack of sun? Well, no more! Tuesday and Wednesday hit 70 for the high, and Thursday we got past the 80 degree mark. I entertained the idea of going for a hike on Thursday, but we also had an air quality/ozone warning for coastal Maine, so decided to table that plan.
Last night I was going to go for a walk after work, but the combo of heat and pregnancy hit me pretty hard (and for the first time I had swollen feet- in spite of being super uncomfortable, it did make me laugh a bit). Instead I fell asleep on the couch for a bit, and we decided to walk into town and see Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and enjoy some movie theater AC 🙂 In spite of being on the water where things usually cool down a bit after we lose the sun, our walk back home was still pretty warm.
Of course, in typical Maine fashion, it’s supposed to drop back down to “more reasonable temperatures” this weekend/next week. I don’t mind a good warm streak, even if my feet do get a bit puffy!
Here’s a look at this week’s fitness, before we get into today’s topic:
Monday: Plyo Fix Extreme, 15 minute walk, Aqua Aerobics
Tuesday: Upper Fix Extreme, Master’s Cardio, 45 minute walk, Insanity Max 30: Sweat Intervals (modifier)
Wednesday: Cardio Fix, 20 minute Pilates (via YouTube), Aqua Aerobics
Thursday: Lower Fix Extreme, Focus T25 Speed 2.0, 30 minute walk (round trip to see Guardians of the Galaxy 2)
Friday: Cardio Fix Extreme, PiYo Sculpt
How to Beat the Heat.
Summer is around the corner, which can mean anything from 40s to 90s in Maine. Occasionally we get a few hot days early on in May, like we did this year.
Anyone who is trying to workout in extreme temperatures will notice that it’s a lot harder when it’s hot out. I’ve run races in the heat and my times are always a bit slower than normal because of the extra exertion- and if it’s a marathon, I always flop (this has happened to me three times). The worst is usually the first hot days, especially if we have had a cooler spring, when our bodies haven’t had a chance to get used to the heat yet.
Our bodies exert themselves even more when it’s hot out, and I really think there is such a thing as “it’s too hot to do anything.”
Being 7 months pregnant and getting hit with 80+ degree weather is not necessarily fun times, either.
This article breaks down the affect heat has on our bodies when we’re running (and I think this applies generally to physical activity) when it’s hot out. Basically, we cool off by moving blood flow closer to our skin (which causes our faces to get red) and sweating it out. However, if we’re also trying to run or work out, that requires extra blood flow to the heart and muscles. So when it gets hot we have a few conflicting areas that need blood flow, but usually the cooling off mechanism wins out (read more here). Basically, if it feels a lot harder to perform at your “usual” ability when it’s hot out, there’s a legitimate reason.
So besides not working out, what are some ways to beat the heat? Here are my ideas:
- Hop in the water- whether it’s lake, ocean, or pool. Swimming is a fun full body workout, plus it’s low impact (and bonus for pregnant ladies, it’s a reprieve from gravity).
- Hydrate! No matter what you’re doing, you’ll be sweating more, and it’s important to match your water intake to the loss. Bring a water bottle with you on your workout, or if you’re running, plan a route or loop that takes you by some sort of water stop.
- Take it Inside. Most gyms have air conditioning and (obviously) shade, so you won’t be outside languishing in the sun and heat. If it’s really hot, or if you can only workout midday, doing your workout inside is probably the safer bet. (Some people hate running on the treadmill, but if it’s dark or extreme weather/temps, I’m more than happy to take it inside).
- If you can’t, opt for early mornings or later evening workouts. If you can’t do your workout inside, aim to do your workout at the cooler ends of the day. This may mean setting your alarm clock earlier or working out after a long day at work, but it will still be more comfortable than dealing with midday heat.
- This article from Runner’s World offers some running specific tips.
As a bonus, I used to love this chart because it was a way of cross checking my ego with reality, especially during summer races/training. Just because your pace has slowed down a bit when it’s hotter doesn’t mean you aren’t working as hard- it’s just the way it works!
How do you beat the heat in the summer?
What did your week of fitness look like?