Stay Active: Even In The Heat!
The hot Houston days are still lingering with us. With that comes the continuation of social media car dashboard photos displaying 100+ degrees and rants about just how hot it truly is outside. Houstonians, are you really that surprised by the heat? It seems that even after summer comes to an end, the same rumblings of Houston’s heat can be heard citywide. While we patiently wait for those three or four blissful weeks we call fall, let’s embrace these last few weeks of heat. (Hey, we have the longest pool season, right?!) The heat is certainly very real and can be very uncomfortable, but it’s no excuse to put your exercise and healthy routines on pause while you wait for breezier temps.
Embrace the Heat
When properly hydrated, you can actually make the heat work for you. Exercising in warmer temps can allow for a quicker loosening of stiff muscles and a higher calorie burn. You certainly wouldn’t want to exercise outdoors in the heat of the day, but early morning and late evening workouts on these extra hot days can work in your favor.
A few things to remember if you choose to exercise in the Houston heat:
- Stay hydrated! There are so many wonderful products on the market now that you can take with you when you run or cycle outdoors. There are barely-there water bottles that you can carry right along with you on your run. These new bottles aren’t the bulky water belts you might be used to seeing. They are hand-held, often have a small storage pocket for tissues or a key, are easy to freeze, and are easy to clean.
- Use sunscreen! Though the sun may not have fully risen or fully set, you are still at risk for harm from UV rays. The market has recently been flooded with wonderful new sunscreens that are geared toward athletic use, which means they won’t run in your eyes or drip off of you regardless of how much the heat gets to you!
- Listen to your body! Don’t be a hero. It is completely okay to turn around if you get too hot. It’s also ok to slow down from a run to a walk. The point of exercise is to get moving. Be proud of yourself for facing the elements head-on, and if the heat is just too much for you, look for ways to beat the heat and exercise indoors.
Beat the heat! If the Houston heat is too much for you, our beloved Bayou City is full of places that offer calorie-torching ways to work out! For a lot of us, the idea of running on a treadmill in a crowded gym just isn’t as satisfying as an outdoor jog, but the heat can certainly be more than uncomfortable in these last days of summer. Because of this, I went around Houston and found some of the most fun ways to work out indoors (and in many cases, I had so much fun I forgot I was burning a ton of calories).
Here are just a few places I would suggest:
- Trampolines aren’t just for kids! The notion of jumping on a trampoline might seem downright silly, but the only silly thing about an hour of jumping indoors is how many calories you can burn! Not only does an hour of jumping burn between 300 and 500 calories, it’s also easy on your joints and is likely to make you smile bigger than you have in quite some time.
- Take a dance class! I can feel you rolling your eyes from here, but trust me, there are dance classes offered all over the city for all levels of dancers. As an avid runner and retired dancer, I scoffed at the idea of a Zumba or other fitness dance classes. After one hour at Houston’s Tropa Z dance studio, I burned over 500 calories and could barely keep up with some of the women and men in the room who were twice my age.
- Join a gym! Gyms can be very intimidating, and that’s one of the main reasons people avoid them. The fitness industry has changed over the past couple of years and has revolutionized gyms as we knew them to be. More gyms and athletic clubs are become boutique style studios that hire fitness professionals who are degreed and certified in exercise science. As such, there are more opportunities for gym members to ask for help from qualified professionals. Also, most gyms now offer rich orientations full of workout designs and meal planning, in-depth explanations of equipment, and body composition analysis to help you set goals and have a more active role in your time at the gym. DEFINE body & mind offers you a variety of class options by some of the Top Instructors in Houston!
Whether the heat gets you down or gets you going, don’t let it keep you from staying active. Remember, before starting any exercise or physical activity, partner with your doctor to make sure he or she feels you are fit to hit the ground running, the trampoline bouncing, or the dance floor dancing!
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