I’m teaching a class this weekend and the temperature has shot up 10 degrees this week. I was really hoping it would stay down in the 80s, so much for planning and hoping. This post is to help you deal with the heat, especially if you aren’t always outside.
First of all I’m getting acclimated again. I’m sitting outside right now typing instead if my air-conditioned house. If you know you are going to be outside in the heat in a class or just for fun and you normally have an office job, go outside as much as you can. You don’t have to sit outside and work all day, but eat your lunch outside, and after work do something outside. A little bit goes a long way. I’m working mostly outside today and tomorrow and will do a run tomorrow morning instead of the gym to get use to the heat.
Next and most important thing is hydrate. Drink more water then you think necessary. Most people live in a semi-dehydrated state, which is no big deal if you stay in an office and your air-conditioned house all the time. I have a big bottle of water that I will finish by the time this post is done. Keep a full glass or bottle next to you for the three days before you will be in the heat. It takes your body three days to get completely hydrated.
If you want a measurement of how much water, think a gallon a day. Eight 8-ounce glasses is so you can function sitting behind you computer all day. If you do anything else you need more. The way to know if you are hydrated or not is by your bathroom schedule. If you are totally hydrated you should be going to the bathroom about once every hour. If you can’t remember the last time you had a bathroom break, you are probably dehydrated. A quick (kind of gross way) to tell if you are hydrated or not is look at your urine color, generally the more yellow the color, the more you are dehydrated. Keep drinking water until your urine looks clear.
You also need to lay off the soda (like none), cut out energy drinks, cut way back on the caffeine, and limit your alcohol to a drink or less a day. I have to admit I have no problem without soda and alcohol, but I love my Monster Energy drinks. If you must have an indulgence, drink more water. I drank a Monster this morning and will drink an extra bottle of water. If you are going to drink something that isn’t good for you, you should drink one for one of water to indulgence on top of the gallon you should be drinking today already. So I will drink about 1.5 gallons today because of the Monster and I went to the gym. Yes it’s kind of pain….hold on I have to go to the bathroom… okay I’m back. Yes it’s a pain that you have to go to the bathroom all the time but the alternative is to go to the hospital for a heat injury, get sick, or just have a lousy day. Going to the bathroom every hour is much easier.
When you are packing to go out into the heat, take at least a gallon of water. Even if someone says there will be water there, just buy a $.99 jug and put it in the car. If you don’t need, you lost a buck. If you need it, it will be the difference between having a good time and getting sick. Also don’t forget the sunscreen, bug spray, sunglasses, and hat. Even if you normally don’t wear any of these, they will all make your day more enjoyable and the heat more bearable. Just remember to put them all on before you leave the house. Then put more sunscreen and bug spray on throughout the day.
Tomorrow we’ll talk about ways to stay cool when you are in the heat.
Stay Safe, and drink water,