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Thursday, July 19, 2012



Come on people!... This just in:FLASH: you cannot lose fat weight running in 100 deg heat!!
Man, does it drive me crazy seeing people running in this oppressive heat! There is nothing but BAD that comes of this and I will explain in brief, yet, vivid details what is happening to the you boil it by driving up core temperatures to dangerous levels. Folks, heat does not  burn off fat!!! It boils at 360 degrees!

The purpose of sweating is to cool the body. It does this by dilating the blood vessels just under the skin so the blood can get to the surface to cool off. That 'blush' you see on most people is the blood cooling the surface via evaporation. This is very important to prevent overheating which can lead to heat stroke where you stop sweating, but are hot to the touch. This is NOT GOOD. Most of the water from sweating comes from the blood. Lets say you are out for a run and your sweating like crazy. The heart begins to pump harder to cool the other organs but as you begin to exercise vigorously the blood gets warm which ultimately starts the sweating mechanism.

Now the sweat collecting on the skin now gets cooled through evaporation. So as soon as sweat hits the skin surface the blood gets cooled; you feel this  when there is no humidity and the sweat can evaporate pretty easy. However, when the humidity is high the evaporation rate slows down due to the excess moisture already in the air making it harder for the sweat, now sitting on the body, to evaporate. Get the picture?!

So lets say that you keep running, pretty soon the blood gets 'sludgy' because you continue to sweat as more water is drawn from the blood in an attempt to cool the body. Nevertheless, the body core is increasing and as the blood goes to the lungs to pick up oxygen, it does not deliver it to the muscles efficiently enough. Next thing you know you are feeling  clumsy and disoriented. STOP. This is 'true' dehydration! To ensure that blood gets to the muscles in your dehydrated state the flow of blood to the skin decreases and sweating diminishes in order to conserve water. This drives up the body core temp which leads to the dreaded heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Unfortunately, this chain of events happens often during August when football teams, especially,gather to begin preseason training. Often kids come to these preseason practices overweight and outta shape. So they will attempt to cut weight by 'layering' clothes to increase sweat output thinking it will cause weight loss. True: weight loss in water form NOT fat form!! Sadly, the result has been death in some cases.

My recommendation to prevent the deleterious of effect of training in the heat is simple. DON'T RUN WHEN IT IS 95+ DEGREES AND THE HUMIDITY IS HIGH! Duh!! There is NO evidence to support this training method. N-O-N-E. Now before you think I am an alarmist I want to stress I am talking about the brutal heat wave washing over the city these past few weeks. Otherwise, unless you will be competing in arid conditions and you must acclimate,then by all means go for it. For most of us though it is senseless. Swim laps in a pool if you want to do cardio!  if you have read my other blogs, I under rate running as the only method of weight loss. Instead, go to an air conditioned gym and pump some iron to maintain good core posture and lower extremity stability.


UPDATE TRAINING WEAR: Cotton is dead!!! Buy dri-fit. Dri-fit is a 'wicking' fabric that keeps the body cool. I am still amazed at the number of clients that still wear cotton. We take notice when we see they are struggling through a session especially if it is their 4 one. I will often take note of what they have on. Often times it is layered!! two cotton shirts and it is soaked with sweat! Remember we want the body cooled by the sweat via evaporation. Dri-fit facilitates that and can be found in any sport goods store ie. Dicks, Dunhams, ect.

ACCLIMATE! ACCLIMATE! ACCLIMATE!: I only use air conditioning at home. No matter how hot it is I don't turn on the AC in my car, unless my darling wife is with me! Don't spend too much time insulated from this climate then boldly go out and train in it! I am suggesting you try not using the car AC ALL the time.  I encourage our young athletes to do this because I know they are inside all day in AC.  My son has been doing this since he started playing sports and he is glad he does. He often sees his lacrosse teammates having a hard time adjusting due to this 'insulation' effect and understands the benefit and adaptive effects of acclimating. You to should 'feel' the heat and when you do this you will be surprised how cool 85 degrees is from 102 degrees. ACCLIMATE!!!

HYPERHYDRATION AND EUHYDRATION: The first term, hyperhydration is consuming liquids before training. I suggest 1 hour before training to consume a 160z gatorade type drink.  Drink, euhydrate, throughtout your training every 15 minutes or depending on conditions. This is highly recommended especially if you will be training more than 90 minutes. If you read my previous blog then you know what to consume after training! If you are training less than one hour then water is sufficient. There is water in food too, so you are getting your share hydration there especially if your training diet is solid.

WATER FOR DOUSING: I have what I call a 'hot head'bottle for clients who need to cool off quick. We have a water spicket on our building. We simply have our client fill it (water bottle) and douse their heads with it. Great relief. Sometimes better than the cold water for instant cooling! This method increases cooling due to evaporation. So if you are running take enough to consume and douse!!

SAFETY ROUTE: If you go out at least make the destination a 'cooling station' or safety route. It can be the library for instance where you can literally chill and get water or my fave, a 7-11store  where its always a brisk 50 deg in the summer time! Damnn its chilly in there..and don't get me started on the Slurpee's..

DON'T GO OUT: Common sense is under rated so I m not going to say much here.
*if you are experienced this may not matter to you. More for the neophyte.

Follow these tips and you will find the challenge of running in this heat not  so insurmountable. However, my recommendation is to redesign your training day to stay inside or go early in a.m. or later p.m. 

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