Whew! What a furnace out there!
Here in Central Texas we have had a long, hot, brutal summer.
A severe drought has evaporated our beautiful lake into a small
river. I think we’re on day 67 (or some ridiculously high number)
of 100-plus degree days. As in 107, 108, 109 as our daily highs.
To top it off, everyone I know is having major allergy problems.
Seems the air is so hot and dry that any little thing like molds
or pollen that may be out there is causing even more problems
Many hardy souls – including yours truly – continue to soldier on
through the heat. We are determined to go to the park and play
with our kids outside. We continue to do our daily runs and walks.
But – we are also trying to be smart about it.
For me, this means playing or exercising outdoors has to occur in
the morning. Afternoon and evenings are just too tough.
It also means that anyone spending any amount of time outside needs
to be realistic about the intensity and duration of their workouts.
Shorter and less intense is mandatory to avoid heat exhaustion.
To “beat the heat” (which is a bunch of BS really, you can’t
actually beat the heat, you have to accommodate it), you should
ensure you are adequately hydrated. Drink water, juices, decaf
teas, etc., all day long.
Here’s the other substance you should pay attention to: salt.
Salt consumption is surrounded by controversy and differing
opinions within the health and medical industries.
It’s well-known that over-consumption of salt can lead to high
blood pressure and increased chances of heart disease. Problem
is, most of the research on salt has been done on refined salt,
not on natural, unprocessed sea salt.
I think salt gets a bad rap.
Besides improving the taste of your food, here are just a few of
the things salt does for you:
-Aids in balancing blood sugar
-Aids in preventing muscle cramps
-Clears the lungs of mucus plugs and phlegm
-It’s a strong anti-histamine
-It helps maintain the structure of your bones.
Of course, if you eat a lot of processed foods, or salt your foods
with regular table salt, then you need to watch your consumption.
Regular salt has chemicals such as aluminum and acetate added
during the refining process.
I highly recommend you switch to a natural sea salt, such as
Celtic Sea Salt. Trader Joe’s also sells a good natural product.
Natural sea salts are dried in the sun and retain the iodine
content from the sea (versus refined salt, where the iodine has
to be added back in). Sea salt also contains many trace minerals
that are beneficial to your body.
In hot weather, you should (of course!) drink a lot more filtered
water throughout the day, even if you’re not that thirsty. Stay
ahead of your thirst. If you are thirsty, you are already
dehydrated. The heat causes you to sweat more, whether you
exercise or not. And you lose a lot of minerals through sweating.
Try adding a pinch of sea salt to your water. It will help
replenish and refresh you better than water alone. It can also
help restore your energy levels, especially if you have been
You know, there are a lot of foods that get a bad rap…that
conventional “wisdom” says are bad for you. (I hammer on some of
these misconceptions about food and dieting in the “Fire Up Your
We have all been mislead and sold a bill of goods when it comes
to eating in a way that supports our health, wellbeing and energy
The truth is, you don’t have to deprive yourself and feel lousy
all the time to boost your body’s natural fat burning, muscle
Imagine that: you can actually eat “real food”, enjoy yourself,
and feel and look great.
But I digress…
So, get out there and work out, even in this heat. Just be sure
to time your workout during the morning or late evening hours;
pace yourself while exercising; drink lots of water; and add a
little extra salt to your food.
You Can Do It!
“Best Breathing Exercises: Transform Body Mind and Spirit with
Dynamic Energy Exercise!”
Copyright, Karen Van Ness, 2011