From the desk of Sarah J. Rogers, LMT...
Yeah yeah, it's like flossing and stretching and making time for yourself - hydration smydration. Somehow it is one of those things that many of us have a very hard time staying - HYDRATED that is. With the onset of warmer weather, it becomes even easier to get dehydrated with our bodies continuously sweating and acclimating to the heat. Ensuring that you are properly hydrated will help you in many ways: improving muscular function, brain functioning, energy levels and overall body health. If you are a fitness guru and cannot help but want to run outside and get your workout on, take some precautions and always pay attention for the onset of any of the following signs/symptoms associated with heat-related sicknesses:
- Muscle cramps
- Nausea or vomiting
As they say, waiting until you are thirsty or miserable usually means that your symptoms have progressed enough that it's too late to reverse them quickly and, obviously, too late to prevent them. The Mayo Clinic suggests the following preventive measures to keep from experiencing heat-related illnesses:
- Watch the temperature. Pay attention to weather forecasts and heat alerts. Know what the temperature is expected to be for the duration of your planned outdoor activity.
- Get acclimated. If you're used to exercising indoors or in cooler weather, take it easy at first when you exercise in the heat. As your body adapts to the heat over the course of one to two weeks, gradually increase the length and intensity of your workouts.
- Know your fitness level. If you're unfit or new to exercise, be extra cautious when working out in the heat. Your body may have a lower tolerance to the heat. Reduce your exercise intensity and take frequent breaks.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Dehydration is a key factor in heat illness. Help your body sweat and cool down by staying well hydrated with water. Don't wait until you're thirsty to drink. If you plan to exercise intensely or for longer than one hour, consider a sports drink instead of water. Sports drinks can replace the sodium, chloride and potassium you lose through sweating. Avoid alcoholic drinks because they can actually promote fluid loss.
- Dress appropriately. Lightweight, loosefitting clothing helps sweat evaporate and keeps you cooler. Avoid dark colors, which can absorb heat. If possible, wear a light-colored, wide-brimmed hat.
- Avoid midday sun. Exercise in the morning or evening, when it's likely to be cooler outdoors. If possible, exercise in shady areas — or do a water workout in a pool.
- Wear sunscreen. A sunburn decreases your body's ability to cool itself.
- Have a backup plan. If you're concerned about the heat or humidity, stay indoors. Work out at the gym, walk laps inside the mall or climb stairs inside an air-conditioned building.
- Understand your medical risks. Certain medical conditions or medications can increase your risk of a heat-related illness. If you plan to exercise in the heat, talk to your doctor about precautions.
For those who don't spend much time in the sun - hydration plays an equally important role in your life !!!!! Strenuous exercises, especially those done outside in the heat or in hot conditions - certainly put additional strain on the body - making hydration an even more immediate concern, but always remember - our bodies require water.
For sunscreen, OMBE recommends BADGER sunscreens. A trusted and wonderful brand - good for the skin, good for the environment.
Sarah J. Rogers, LMT
Licensed Massage Therapist
Sarah J. Rogers is a licensed massage therapist and an internationally certified personal trainer. She received her training at The Cortiva Institute in Watertown, MA and The American Academy of Personal Training in Boston, MA. She is a member of the American Massage Therapy Association and of the American College of Sports Medicine. Having received her BA in Anthropology and History of Science at Smith College, she shares a deep intellectual and philosophical connection to her clients and work.
Sarah works with each client to develop a comprehensive treatment to suit each client’s goals. She incorporates neuromuscular therapy, advanced osteopathic stretching, myofascial release, stretching, and personal training. She also integrates relaxation, meditation and motivation techniques. Sarah understands and appreciates the various ways in which people use their bodies to get through their every day lives, and enjoys the process of tracing the source of discomfort and injury.
A life-long athlete, Sarah enjoys yoga, running, swimming and biking among other things. Sarah has coached swimming, participates in special education wellness programs (Cantor Youth & Special Olympics). Sarah believes that holistic and traditional health should be equally accessible to every individual. She participates in the Collaborative Health For All initiative by Jill’s List in collaboration with Boston Medical Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.
"Good for the body is the work of the body, good for the soul is the work of the soul and good for either is the work of the other." -Henry David Thoreau.