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It’s Gettin’ Hot In Herre

Your heart is racing, you can’t catch your breath you feel dizzy…no, I’m not talking about being in love 😉 I am talking about heat exhaustion.  And I’ve seen it first-hand. Last weekend my daughter played a full 80 minute soccer game in the 85 degree, humid climate. Three of the girls came off the field crying, unable to catch their breath – one of them being my daughter, who gave us the scare of our lives as we waited for her to regulate her breathe outside of the Morristown ER.

Warmer weather = more outdoor activity/workouts. Often, our bodies are not yet acclimated to the fluctuation in heattemperature, especially when it’s 40 degrees one day and 85 the next.

A high heat index, coupled with strenuous physical activity, can be the perfect combination for a heat exhaustion episode. Humidity levels of 60% or more hampers sweat evaporation, which leads to your body overheating and being unable to cool itself. Heat exhaustion can occur from water or salt depletion and can includes symptoms such as:

  • excessive thirst
  • confusion
  • rapid heart beat
  • weakness
  • headache
  • loss of consciousness
  • dizziness
  • nausea/vomiting
  • profuse sweating
  • goose bumps in the heat
  • muscle cramps

When heat exhaustion goes awry and is not treated, it can lead to heat stroke – which is a whole other level of seriousness as it can damage the brain and other vital organs, possibly even lead to death.

How do I relieve heat exhaustion?

It is essential to get out of the heat immediately and try to cool off your body and rest. Drink plenty of fluids, remove any tight or restrictive clothing, take a cool shower or bath and apply cool towels and/or air.

How do I avoid heat exhaustion?

One of the most important things you can do is listen to your body. If you feel yourself getting overheated, stop all activity and try to get to a cool place. You should also try to wear loose fitting clothing, stay out of direct sun, avoid caffeine and alcohol, drink lots of fluids and let your body acclimate to the heat.

Be careful! Heat exhaustion is not something to be taken lightly – for you or your children.

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Burn Baby, Burn

You might be diligent about going to the gym and spending hours doing cardo on a treadmill or eliptical machine – which is great for your cardiovascular health- but are you left without burn-fat-970x727noticeable results?

In a cardio session, you burn calories, but the calorie burn ends when you finish your cardio session. If you want to maximize your calorie burn, you have to take it up a notch and achieve something called EPOC, or “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption”. It is a “measurably increased rate of oxygen intake following strenuous activity intended to erase the body’s ‘oxygen deficit.'”

What does that mean?

It means, “afterburn” – the continual burn of calories after a very high-intensity workout. It also means your metabolism, highest post exercise, is fired up much longer after you finish a workout session. Your body is working hard to re-coup a normal heart rhythm and resting state. You burn calories by consuming more oxygen. Therefore, the longer it takes you to regulate your oxygen intake, the more calories you are burning. This post-consumption state can burn as much as an additional 150+ calories throughout your day. More calorie burn & a higher metabolism = more results, faster.

So how do you achieve it?

Higher intensity workouts. This means bringing your heart rate to 75% or more of your resting heart rate. The longer you perform high intensity exercise, the larger the EPOC effect. It also means performing a high intensity workout for 30 minutes is much more effective than a steady state on a cardio machine for one hour.

Resistance training (with weights or body weight), especially with high intensity interval training, is one of the best ways to increase EPOC.

Guidelines to reach EPOC:

  • Perform at a high intensity (out of your comfort zone) – at least 75%+ of your resting heart rate
  • Exercise for at least 30 minutes
  • Include resistance training in your workout
  • Incorporate interval training

Although high intensity workouts are effective, it is recommended that you limit this type of workout to only a couple of times/week as you need time to rest and recover your body.

Try to push yourself and work past your current limits and there’s a good chance you will start to see results much faster.

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What’s Your Excuse?

I have a neighbor – his name is Dick Walther – and I call him the bionic man. He is going to be 93 in June and runs circles around most people. His level of energy, IMG_1310enthusiasm and his positive disposition is contagious. He was just highlighted in the “Hero’s Issue” of Tennis Magazine and is the winner of USTA’s 2014 Senior’s Service Award and inducted into the USTA Eastern Tennis Hall of Fame. He is a former engineer and fought in World War II and started playing tennis in the 1940’s. However, it wasn’t until after retirement that he enrolled himself in a Professional Tennis Registry certification course and began coaching at Kent Place School… at the age of 75. He also started the Summit Tennis Association and revitalized and revived multiple tennis courts across the city to repair them for more active play and give back to the community. He still plays in the USTA League event in the 90-95 age group. Dick inspires me.

Dick is the perfect example of the premise mind over matter (my daily mantra in my classes and discussion in a previous blog post) and the notion it is never too late to make things happen.

Once again quoting Deepak Chopra’s book “Ageless Body, Timeless Mind,” based on quantum physics, he advises on how to “defeat entropy,” to “believe” enough to control physical changes and to “reinterpret your body” to create renewal. By practicing these philosophies, we can elongate our lives by perpetuating healthy physical reactions within our body, starting on a cellular level. Chopra’s premise is that the more positive our mind is, the more beneficial the effect it will have on our body.

For example, as a society, we naturally anticipate retirement and have a mental image of what that entails. We tend to fall into that role and our minds and bodies begin to shut down – thinking that is the end of our active life. It is believed this has a direct correlation with a decline in health and increase in disease. Those societies that are not privy to retirement – ie. the IMG_3036farmer who has no choice to feed his family, will work until he can’t work anymore. His mind frame never shifts to “it’s time for my steady decline until I reach the end of the road.” They naturally live a more active, longer life because they never consider the alternative. Similar to the story of Dick. He has never quit or believed it is time to stop.

If you believe in it, it can happen. If you visualize yourself doing it, it becomes real. If you are fearful or convince yourself it’s not possible, chances are, you will have a difficult time and your body will shut down. By keeping your mind in a constant state of functionality, your body will naturally follow.

So just when you think you want to give up, or it’s too late to make a difference, think of Dick.

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  • Robin Kelley

    Loved this article. All so true and never too late to accomplish anything. Thank you so much for the inspiration.

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