Safer Ways To Be Active In The Heat

A woman in shorts running outside with the sun in the distance

(BlackDoctor.org) — When the heat is stifling and the humidity puts the wet blanket on your desire to walk, by all means don’t quit. Take to an indoor track, a mall, or treadmill. Or walk in a pool if you have access to one. Exercising in water provides 12 times more resistance than exercising on land!

Here are more strategies for beating the heat while still being active during the summer months:

Be an Early Bird or a Night Owl

Plan to walk in the early morning or early evening to avoid the steamiest part of the day, which is usually between 10am and 2pm.

Seek Out Shade

Direct sun can make the temperature feel up to 15 degrees hotter! Check your area to see if there are parks with trails through the trees.

Expose Your Skin

Sweat can evaporate more easily from bare arms and legs. Just be sure to wear plenty of sunscreen, even under your shirt/top.

Just Add Water

Wet your shirt, and you’ll have on-the-spot air-conditioning!

Ice Your Thirst

Freeze a half-full water bottle, then top it off as you head out. Take sips regularly while you’re walking. Six to eight ounces of water every 15 minutes should be enough. As an extra precaution against dehydration, weigh yourself before your walk and again afterward. If you’ve dropped a pound or two, drink up. You’ve lost fluid that is important to your body’s cooling system.

Cover Your Head

Wear a breathable hat (not a visor—it will only protect your face, not your head).

Switch Shoes

For warm-weather workouts, you need lightweight, ventilated walking shoes and socks that wick away sweat. Mesh is cooler than leather and dries faster when your feet sweat. Or try a walking sandal. You might also get an extra pair of shoes and alternate between them every day so that each pair has a chance to dry out completely. This helps you avoid fungi, blisters—and smelly feet.

Reduce Friction

Be aware of areas where skin rubs against skin—between your toes, thighs, and under your arms—and apply a small amount of petroleum jelly or use Runner’s Lube, a nonstaining cream made from lanolin, zinc oxide, and benzocaine. It can be found in many sporting goods stores.

Listen to Your Body

Your body will tell you when you can push yourself, and when it’s time to coast. If you develop a headache or become dizzy or weak, stop exercising and head for a cool place. Drink plenty of cool fluids, and rest.

“Bad” Foods That Help You Lose

A bowl of eggs(BlackDoctor.org) — Just about any “bad” food can be part of your weight loss plan if you stick to small enough portions. In fact, dietitians advise against banning your favorite treats. Depriving yourself of the foods you crave could set you up for failure. A better strategy is to set limits on quantity.

Seductive foods seem to lurk at every turn, especially when you’re trying to lose weight. But many foods that have gotten a bad rap aren’t so terrible after all.

Learn which tempting treats can actually help you lose weight and keep it off:

Eggs

When it comes to healthy eating, few foods have sparked as much debate as eggs. The latest research suggests an egg a day is safe and nutritious for most adults — and if you eat that egg for breakfast, you’ll boost your odds of losing weight. The reason: Eggs are packed with protein, which takes time to digest. Eating protein in the morning keeps your stomach full, so you eat less during the rest of the day.

Steak

For years, health experts have been admonishing us to eat less red meat. But steak is not always bad for the waistline. In fact, a lean cut of beef has barely more saturated fat than a similar-sized skinless chicken breast. Like eggs, steak is loaded with protein and can keep you feeling full longer. To get plenty of protein with less fat, choose tenderloin, sirloin, or other extra-lean cuts — and limit portions to the size of your palm.

Pork

Talk about a bad reputation — the term “pork” is used to describe all kinds of excess, so it’s no wonder dieters often steer clear. Here’s a case where the meat itself is not what it used to be. Today’s cuts of pork tenderloin are 31% leaner than 20 years ago. That makes this white meat a lean source of protein with benefits similar to those of lean beef.

Pasta

Rather than avoiding pasta when you’re dieting, make the switch to whole grain and keep your portions small. Research suggests people who eat several servings of whole-grain foods per day are more likely to slim down and maintain healthy weights. According to one study, eating whole grains rather than refined grains can also help burn belly fat.

Nuts

Nuts may be high in fat, but it’s the good kind. And they are also rich in nutrients, protein, and fiber, which can help stabilize blood sugar. Sure, you’ll get a few extra grams of fat from munching on a handful of nuts, but it’s worth it if it helps you avoid reaching for cookies or other sweets. Even peanut butter can be a dieter’s friend. Studies show small amounts of this favorite food can control hunger without causing weight gain.

Cheese

Dieters often try to cut calories by nixing calcium-rich dairy foods, but some studies suggest this is a mistake. One theory is that the body burns more fat when it gets enough calcium, so eating low-fat cheese, yogurt, and milk may actually contribute to weight loss. Calcium supplements don’t seem to yield the same benefits, so high-calcium diets may have other factors at work as well.

Coffee

Coffee only falls in the “bad” category when you drink too much of it or mix in cream, sugar, or flavored syrups. If you drink it black, you get a metabolism boost without added fat and calories. Drink it skinny: Stir in skim milk for added calcium and vitamin D, and artificial sweetener or one teaspoon of sugar.