Unless you live under a rock or have not gone outside this week, you know it’s been blazing hot all over the Northeast. We’re talking like a hundo degrees, your shoes are nearly melting to the ground type of heat. My 12 minute walk from home to Metro, DC’s public transportation, has been misery even at 8 am. The humidity leaves me flushed and sweaty before I even get to work. I often wear a work dress or separates a few times, but forget about that after days like these. Prepare to work over-time my dear washing machine.
But why does it really feel so terrible? I read a great article yesterday in the Express, DC’s free daily paper, about dealing with the heat. It discussed that the discomfort many of us have been experiencing from the heat won’t last too much longer. Reason being that your body begins a process called acclimatization. This process gets your body to a place where you can better deal with the heat. You haven’t had to deal with these temperatures- or anything like them- for several seasons so your body is essentially in shock. According to the article, the shift to coping with the heat more efficiently can occur in as as few as a couple weeks. Your health and fitness level and age does play a role however. Those who are fitter/healthier acclimatize quicker than those who don’t exercise often, who are elderly, or who are overweight. No matter who you are, stay on top of being hydrated and don’t overdo it with outdoor activity. Take time to cool off inside regularly. No shame in it! To learn more about the acclimatization process, check out the “Take the Heat” article from the Express on page 13.
If you’ve been running, doing boot camp , or cycling outside as of late, hats off to you and don’t give up! Even if you’re feeling like your performance has been poor, the good news is that you will be accustomed to the heat- and faster than most. Personally, I’m what I call a “fair weather” runner. You’ll see me running during the spring and fall months, but typically not in the summer and winter ones. I’m admittedly a baby with the heat so I prefer an air-conditioned gym this time of the year. Still, this insight into why the heat has hit me so hard recently and the promise of it becoming more bearable is encouraging. I hope you feel the same way! Who is braving the heat for workouts? Leave your comments proudly.