Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. This blog is a unique perspective of one persons journey into fitness. Not all clients and participants at Parsons Training undergo the same training, and each person makes his or her own decisions regarding dietary discretions.
By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
June 22, 2017
So this is the time of year for Arizona. This is the time of year where roughly seven million people start complaining about the weather, even though they know full well this hellacious weather comes every year. I mean, I love it when I hear people’s primary reason for living in this armpit…the winters are great! Yes, the winters can be great, especially when didn’t even have to turn on your heater during the entire winter. Yup, that happened to me! And global warming is some hoax?! Yeah right!
Anyway, this past week marked the official beginning of summer, and boy were we reminded how awful the weather can be at this time of the year. I’m sure my two pups are happy to know they get to hang out inside rather than spend their time outdoors. I wouldn’t wish that punishment on anyone. Anyway, the turn of weather was so bad that many people were not prepared. I sure as heck wasn’t. My first really bad night was on Tuesday when the heat stayed at 100 degrees until one in the morning. Unless you have some really good air conditioning, there is really no way to get around that heat. I suffered that night, having a hard time just trying to fall asleep. It didn’t help the work crews around my house doing the freeway project were especially loud. Dozens of trucks also came through the neighborhood, causing a racket as I couldn’t really get myself comfortable enough to fall into a deep sleep. And it was worse considering my neighbor’s little dog Marley was making a racket for hours on end. Seriously, the little scamp barked for three hours! I felt like going outside and yelling at the guy, but that could have led to a messy confrontation with other people. Anyway, I maybe got to sleep roughly at one in the morning, which is not good considering I had to peel myself out of bed around 4:30. So yeah, I was pretty ornery with the customers the next day. For one thing, no really got on my nerves, not even the guy that tried demanding $625 dollars in credits for something he screwed up with. By the way, when we offer you half the cost…take it. The guy got nothing from a higher up manager because he got greedy. Some people don’t know how to quit while they are ahead. Anyway, when I woke up, I also had a pretty strange reaction. I was seriously feeling like garbage. And this will lead to my first piece of advice when it comes to the summer heat….
STAY HYDRATED! For crying out loud, I was seriously dehydrated when I woke up on Wednesday morning. When I did my morning constitutional, I was a pretty dark yellow, which is not a good thing when you are trying to stay healthy in this heat. Let me tell you one thing when it comes to surviving…never stop drinking fluids.
Now you might think this will be a good time to start stocking up on the massive deals that Gatorade or Powerade is offering at the store. But these drinks are merely Trojan horses, designed to sucker you in with sexy names and pretty colors. While a swig of Fruit Punch might help if you are really in desperate need for electrolytes and sugars, drinking a lot of that stuff can seriously hurt you in the long run and especially in the short run. Just remember this, elevated sugar levels can cause some additional issues with your hydration. Elevated blood sugar can lead to osmotic diuresis, where the sugar exits through your kidneys and carries water out with it into the urine. As a result, your kidneys are unable to reabsorb the water. Throw in the fact that sugar can also compel you to keep drinking fluids, which means you might be compelled to drink more surgery drinks. For me this is not a real problem anymore, since I rarely drink sports drinks while completely abstaining from soda and energy drinks. Water is always the first point of action, even if it does not replenish you faster. I just look at it this way…get that sports drink or drink tablet like NUUN and then drink nothing but water after that. Kind of a good situation right there and that is speaking from experience. Plus drink a good swig of water before you go to bed if you live in a warmer house like mine. Trust me, that will definitely be a lifesaver. And on a final rant note, what the hell has been going on with the Gatorade flavors? I mean we used to maybe have six or something, now we have the Fierce, Frost and G2 series. Yes, simplify guys! Or at least bring back the lemonade flavor for crying out loud. C’mon man! Making too many junk favors only makes your product stink! Anyway, the rant is over, because let’s look at this fact that I initially eluded to….
GET PLENTY OF REST. Now this seems like a near impossible solution when you think about it, but I have to tell you that rest and relaxation is the most important thing you can get during these times of high heat. https://www.livescience.com/21431-hot-temperatures-mood.html There is a lot of reasons why people start getting into some bad moods during the summer times, and that is primarily due to the elevating mercury. Lot’s of things are thrown into a whirlwind, and the biggest thing is easily your sleep patterns. Be sure to stay with your structured sleep time, because clearly falling asleep at all hours of the day will mess you up when you truly need to get the rest. This as always my biggest issue when I worked two jobs. I would get out of work at 2 p.m. and then nap for an hour or two, crawling into my second job and then possibly working as late as 11 pm! As you could imagine, falling asleep during those days made it difficult for me. I mean, this is the reason why my coffee habit started, as well as my heavier eating habit. Getting some food in you led to a slight jolt in energy, and of course you would later crash when that giant hotdog you ate started traveling through your bowels. Anyway, that time in my life really set the standard when it came to my weight gain back in the day. There is also something far worse than being tired half the day, for your gains may suffer if you don’t it right….
BE AWARE OF THE HEAT WHEN YOU WORK OUT. So there was a recent story that indicated we possibly had the hottest day in one hundred years when a city in the Middle East registered an official 129 degrees! Of course, there is always the rumor that the heat could get as bad as 142 degrees in some parts of Saudi Arabia, but those are just conjecture for the most part. Either way, this is a rather tough part of the year for us Arizonans to work out. We’ve already heard the obligatory story of someone dying while taking a hike in the middle of the day. And there was also another sad story about a man running a 5K in Bakersfield dying from heat exposure. If anything, this is the time of year when you need to adjust your schedules and start getting in the gym at different times. Fortunately for me, I go to Parsons around 4:45 to 5 p.m. or so, which is an ideal time for working out because the heat will not really affect my workout as much as it could. Now I also have to start thinking about doing morning runs, which might be a good idea once I get my darn cooler fixed. When it obviously comes to working out in the heat, you may have to shuffle your expectations accordingly. Running outside might be out of the question, which means doing that treadmill running will be more beneficial. Heck, cycling could be out of the question as well if you intend to do a lot of riding. And those little workouts you like doing in the park…might be good to possibly pass on them for a while.
Just remember another thing. Don’t be that guy that thinks he can survive a one hour run in the 100 degree heat. Even if you do, do you really think your body is not going to revolt against you when start doing this sort of craziness? Just be careful with the midday running, nothing more than 20 minutes at a time as Jon has told me in the past. Anyway, I’m not saying to not work out, just remember you will be using up fluids at a much faster rate. Then there is the other part op the equation when it comes to staying fit in the summer, for you may need to even change up your diet…
EAT BETTER AND LIGHTER FOODS. One thing that kind of shocks me the most when I used to eat everything in sight, I often think how in the world was I able to do it? I mean, when you eat a whole pizza by yourself in the high heat, wouldn’t you feel like crap? Either way, I must have been some freak of nature due to the fact heavy food eating is the worst thing you could probably do your body. First and foremost, when do you think happens to your body when you start getting dehydrated? Well, if you stated constipation, then you are right and here is an apple. Anyway, this problem can really be an issue during the summer months when you realize the eating habits that sustained you during the rest of the year suddenly make you lethargic and gross during the hottest parts of the year. This was definitely an issue for me when I worked in the hot summers with my father. Here we were doing all of this work outdoors and I would feel like garbage by the time the middle of the day hit us. Maybe all those pizzas and burgers played a huge role in this? Well, I tend to think they did, for I don’t feel quite as “backed up” during the summer time as I used to. So with that being the case, what does this mean for you?
Well, for one thing, this is the best time to start developing some good habits not only for summer, but for your entire life. Some of he most obvious foods you can really munch on are fruits and veggies, not only for the fact they can fill you up without weighing you down, they can also help with the hydration issue that you may run into. Fruits and veggies tend to have a higher water rate within them, and can definitely help you with the abundance of nutrients. While you might be thinking this stuff will not really sustain you during the summer, you can still get in some good fats by eating raw nuts and also eating plenty of avocados (though I will not partake in this expenditure, hehe). Trust me, would you rather eat an abundance of watermelon or eat a stack of heavy ribs? Trust me, the difference will really stupefy you. Trust me on this one.
Either way, as we get ready for the 110+ degree weather here in Arizona, just remember your region of the world certainly has some unique challenges that you must adapt to. For Arizonans, the dry heat is the toughest thing to overcome considering our fluids can bleed out of our bodies with ease. Even if you are indoors, you are gonna be sweating like a pig. So here is the piece of advice I am sure Jon will love….take your own towels to the gym. Trust me, as a world class sweater, this is the best possible advice I can give anyone. I have had to start doing this myself this past week, which means more laundry. Yeesh. Why did I have to be me.
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About Parsons Training
Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.
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Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.
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