How to Stay Active & Healthy in the Heat: Your Survival Guide to a Central Valley Summer
The human body does a remarkable job of self-regulating and adjusting to various temperatures year-round. This is a fundamental survival tool called thermoregulation. Thermoregulation requires a lot of our cells to work properly. However, we often “detrain” this process through lifestyle habits rather than promoting this valuable tool. Here are a few ways to teach your body to adjust with the increasing heat.
1.) Most of us enjoy the luxury of air conditioned spaces; however, research shows that spending too much time in air conditioned spaces actually detrains the body’s ability to self-regulate to not only temperature, but humidity as well. The skin is the largest organ we have. It also contains billions of temperature receptors that communicate temperature change to the brain. The sudden influx of energy needed to instantly acclimate to a drastic temperature change places a lot of work on cells in the human body. In other words, sudden changes in temperature make the body go into overdrive.
- What’s the solution? Rather than spending the majority of your time in a cooled space this summer, set the thermostat at a temperature that’s more tolerable than the current outdoor temperature. Not only are you preparing your body to transition to the outdoor temperature, it is more energy efficient and saves your household budget too!
2.) Staying hydrated is one the best things you can do to prepare your body for the heat. Hydration is much more than simply drinking water. Dietary habits play an equal role as water in hydration. In a recent study involving endurance athletes, it was shown that drinking water did not solely contribute to hydration. In other words, the body requires a specific nutrient profile, such as trace minerals, to retain the water properly. Numerous studies have shown that water consumption alone can make the cells in our bodies waterlogged, thus negatively impacting how cells function. A healthy diet rich in leafy greens, lean meats, a wide variety of vegetables, and fruit satisfy mineral requirements that contribute to proper hydration. Combining adequate water consumption with a healthy diet is a recipe for success when it comes to staying hydrated in the summer heat.
- A healthy diet rich in leafy greens, lean meats, a wide variety of vegetables, and fruit satisfy mineral and water requirements that contribute to proper hydration. Combining adequate water consumption with a healthy diet is a recipe for success when it comes to staying hydrated in the summer heat. It’s also important to avoid beverages that contribute to dehydration, such as soda.
3.) Staying active is proven to be the number one factor in keeping our brains healthy and our minds sharp. Many times, when the summer temperatures rise, we tend to relax, stay indoors, and essentially avoid being active. A healthy diet and regular exercise go hand in hand, and often when we become less active, we make poor food decisions too. The body requires activation (mild to vigorous exercise) to stay happy and healthy.
- Don’t shy away from physical activity this summer! Find a pool, train very early in the morning, do a short workout in your living room, or come join us at A3 Bakersfield where the facility is cooled! We offer many programs over the summer (including a Sports Performance Camp for ages 8 – 18). Whether or not you have worked out in years or are training to hike Mt. Whitney, A3 will make sure your goals are met!