How to deal with heat while exercising
FIT TIP: Wow what a summer so far! The sky is blue and the wind is light, and the temperatures are up around the 30 degree mark.
This is quite clearly going to have an effect on exercise. So how do we deal with it?
Obviously, the first options would be to exercise at the cooler times of the day. Between 6-8am or after 8pm. Choosing a lightweight, breathable fabric for your clothing will help a lot too.
But what if you need to exercise in the hottest parts of the day? If you play organised sports, or if you can’t change your routine, then you need to find a better way to deal with it!
During high intensity exercise in the heat, your core body temperature can increase by about 1 degree every 5-7 minutes. We can’t tolerate our core temperature being elevated past 40 degrees for very long. As such, the body is forced to dissipate heat effectively or reduce exercise intensity. In sport, the team that reduces intensity the least (or is the most effective in causing their opposition to keep playing at an intensity that is above their capacity) will be the one that runs out the matches the strongest.
This is a complicated area but essentially the body functions best in a core temperature range slightly either side of 99.5 degrees fahrenheit. Ice baths and ice vests certainly make us feel cooler but they actually do very little for cooling the core. They trick our brain into thinking our body is cooler. This enables us to keep working but at the risk of overheating because we continue to cook from the inside.
The most effective way we’ve found to date of cooling core body temperature is consuming slushed ice drinks. This was a common strategy in the Football World Cup in Brazil last year.
Particularly common is a sports drink slushie. The liquid needs to have a reasonably high sugar content (about 9%), otherwise it doesn’t slush, it just freezes.
You can buy these drinks ready to go (Frozen Coke) or make one yourself (Powerade in the freezer!). Use these drinks to deal with the heat and keep on exercising!!
For everyone who owns a business!
FIT TIP: I’m very proud to announce that Busy Body has been approved for the SMEAEP program to offer Personal Training services that can be claimed through your business… exempt not only from GST but also Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT)!! This effectively almost halves the cost of your Personal Training sessions. Pretty amazing stuff!
SMEAEP stands for “Stress Management Exercise Association Endorsement Program”. It’s a long title but the message it is sending to employers is welcome – look after the physical wellbeing of your staff and they will work to their full potential. SMEAEP is a collaboration between Exercise New Zealand and the Inland Revenue Department based around the legal requirements in the new Health and Safety Bill coming into effect.
There are only a handful of approved providers for the SMEAEP program, so Busy Body joins a very exclusive club.
The new legislation for workplace health and safety will bring many changes to the way we operate and bring the welfare of you and your staff to the forefront, so if you are an employer it will be important to make yourself aware of the changes and we recommend you look at the following websites http://www.dol.govt.nz/whss/ and http://www.mbie.govt.nz/what-we-do/workplace-health-and-safety-reform to find out more.
Will cardio burn muscle?
FIT TIP: To put it simply… NO!
High intensity cardio will not burn muscle for 99% of the population! In fact, programs incorporating high intensity cardio work incredibly well with weights training.
There are 4 states we want the body to achieve: fit, strong, flexible and relaxed. Many regular gym users will focus on just the one: strong. Ignoring the full 4 states will cause issues for your body, but there is a common misconception about cardio that bodybuilders have held for years.
If you are a professional bodybuilder with less than 6% body fat, AND you are not eating carbs, your body may convert protein from the food you eat into energy for fuel, rather than repair and maintain muscle tissue. But if you don’t meet both these conditions, you have nothing to worry about!
The fear is often based around the fact that cardio will help to remove fat from the body. Fat is 3x the size of muscle, so as the fat disappears, the body will visibly shrink. Many bodybuilders have worked hard for months or years to ‘bulk up’ and to begin to shrink is a horrible thought!!
If your goal is to get as big as possible, which will include fat as well as muscle, then by all means stay away from cardio.
If you’d rather just look ‘buff’, get a 6-pack, and have all those lean hard muscles on show, then cardio is a recommended addition to your exercise regime… and will provide the ‘fit’ state for your body as well