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How to Stay Cool and Wet in August…

July 23, 2014
hightemperature"How to Stay Cool and Wet in August" by King Hoover – Internationally-recognized Fitness Expert “The Triple Digits are here the Triple Digits are here!” could be Paul Revere’s riding call here in North Texas, but he wouldn’t be able to ride very far or fast because he’d be stopping for water or letting his horse cool off every couple of miles. Summer in Texas is great if you’re looking for warm, clear days to go outside and play, but these beautiful, sunny days have a ‘dark side’ that we need to protect our athletes against. On hot days, it’s more difficult to maintain optimal operating temperatures in your car, the needle leans more toward the Red side because the hot air isn’t conducting heat out of the radiator as efficiently. A good coolant and properly working radiator ensures that your car has been Summer-ized by a Car Care Specialist, even if the Specialist is you. That’s fine for your car, but how do you Summer-ize your body? You have an ‘optimal operating temperature’ as well- 98.6 degrees and absorbing the sun’s heat in Texas can move your needle into the Red quicker than you can say ‘Meteorologist’. Many summertime activities are active, lots of running around, jumping or sport-related programs and there lies the challenge. All these activities raise internal temperature, combine that with heat absorbed from the summer sun and you are soon ‘playing with fire’. Unlike your car you don’t have a fan that goes with you everywhere, blowing on you to keep you cool, but you do have your own built-in radiator for days like these. When your body gets warm, the capillaries in your skin dilate or get bigger, to allow for the heat your blood is carrying to be cooled by radiating it out across your skins surface. This takes the heat away from your body’s core where all the important organs are and under good conditions, get rid of it. The problems come when we haven’t had enough water across the last couple of days and our blood volume is low, with less blood to carry the heat away, it is more difficult to lower your temperature as quickly as it may be needed. Children and young athletes are at greater risk for this type of overheating since they’re smaller and have less skin area to radiate their heat from. The longer their needle is in the Red, the greater the chance for some not-so-great complications. Dehydration causes a host of problems from weakness, nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps, reduced performance, dizziness and confusion and in rare cases – death. How do we protect ourselves and the little ones we love against the awesome power of the Texas sun? In glad you asked… Adolescent and youth athletes can lose anywhere from .5 to 1.5 liters of water per hour in practices or games, making sure they are drinking water all day and every day is the only way to keep their radiator full. Sports drinks that contain sodium increase desire to drink water by up to 90% and refusing to allow the use of energy drinks in the Texas heat is vital. Caffeine causes more frequent urination and encourages dehydration and the energy is just short-term anyway. If they are eating foods that are nutritious and are using a multivitamin because their athletics demand better nutrition, they will have all the energy they need. Making sure they get enough carbohydrates is a must, carbohydrates are stored in the muscles as glycogen and help the athlete, employee or spouse-working-in-the-yard to keep more water in their muscles to maintain proper temp. (carbo-hydrates) The best, most researched sports hydration drink is still Gatorade. The University of Florida spent a lot of time and money to determine how to keep their athletes performing well and keeping them healthy, benefit from their research and save millions of dollars- or maybe, a Life. Try to limit the amount of sodas, especially the full-sugar type during summertime activities or even at home. Unlike Gatorade or sports drinks, the amount of sugar in a can of soda is so great that your body has to pull water out of its tissues to dilute the solution in the gut before it can pull the sugars and water back in. If you’re already dehydrated, this doesn’t work too well. Another great tip is to use honey to sweeten teas and give a tablespoon of honey to your kids before they go outside. Honey has water-absorbing properties that help keep plenty of H2O in circulation. Keeping plenty of the right coolant in your kids will prevent overheating under the most severe conditions. Help them care for their own ‘sport utility vehicles’ by following the tips given here and they’ll be glad that you are their Car Care Specialist too. King is a 30 year veteran of the fitness / wellness industry and is educated by some of the top Coaches and Experts in the field. Although he is based in North Central Texas, his innovative and effective methods are accessible anywhere in the world. For more information, you may contact him by email at transformingathletics@gmail.com .

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