Is it Safe to Exercise in Heat and Humidity?

Finally it’s that time of year again.  I promise not to complain about the heat and humidity.  All I need to do is think about all the snow that was piled up behind the gym and I feel cool even while I’m sweating.

Is it safe to exercise out doors in heat and humidity or indoors without air conditioning during hot and humid days?  The simple answer is no.  However if you follow some guide lines you can be safer.  First of all if you have access to an climate controlled,air conditioned gym (Midtown) you can be sure it  will be safe.  However if you opt to exercise during this type of weather either outdoors or inside where it is not air conditioned you should follow some simple rules.

First some general information.  When your body gets overheated,its natural response is to sweat.  When that sweat evaporates off your skin, it lowers your body temperature.  If the temp. or humidity is sky high this built-in cooling system can beak down.  Sweat doesn’t evaporate properly and your skin doesn’t release body heat effectively.  You can become light headed, dizzy, nauseous,  fatigued, and have muscle cramps.  All are signs of heat exhaustion which can  turn into heat stroke.   Exercising in hot weather puts extra stress on your cardiovascular system. Both the exercise itself and the heat increase your body temperature.  More blood circulates through your skin leaving less blood for your muscles, which increases heart rate.  Added humidity gives more stress with the sweat not being able to evaporate which pushes body temperature even higher. Under normal conditions or in air conditioning your skin, blood vessels and perspiration level adjust to the heat.

If you still choose to exercise outdoors or not in an air-conditioned gym:

  1. Exercise during the cooler early morning or later evening hours
  2. Drink plenty of fluids before, during and after the workout to prevent dehydration
  3. Dress in loose fitting, light colored, light weight clothes
  4. When air temperature exceeds 80 degrees and the humidity exceeds 50 percent you are at risk
  5. The body takes 7-14 days to adjust to hot weather, so gradually increase your exercise time
  6. If you see sign that you are putting your health at risk take your workout indoors where it is climate controlled

Exercise Safely……….

Meatless Wednesday (big oops again Thursday)

Here is a burger recipe for your Memorial Day non-meat eaters

Sweet Potato Black Bean Veggie Burger

For Burger

1 medium sweet potato, 1/2 cup dry millet, 1/2 cup rolled oats, 2 tblsp. fresh cilantro, 1 and 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, 1 tsp. cumin, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained, 1 cup corn, 1 tbls. olive oil, 8 whole wheat hamburger buns

For Sauce

1 ripe avocado, 3 oz. nonfat plain Greek yogurt, 1 tsp. fresh lime juice, 1/4 tsp. slat, 1 Roma tomato, diced

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees, bake sweet potato for 50-60 minutes or until soft
  • Cook the millet until soft, 20-30 minutes
  • Once potato is cooled, combine with oats, one cup of black beans, cilantro, garlic powder, cumin, salt, pepper, and 1 tbsp. oil in a food processor.  Mix until smooth.
  • In  separate bowl, mix together the sweet potato mixture with remaining beans the corn, and millet
  • Hat the remaining tbls of oil in a large pan on medium heat.  Place heaping spoonfuls of the mixture onto the hot pan ,and use the back of the spoon  to pat them flat and form four inch diameter patties, brown both sides of each burger.
  • Mash avocado with a fork.  Mix in the Greet yogurt, lime juice and salt.   Stir in the tomatoes,and set aside.
  • Serve on a bun with a dollop of avocado cream sauce.
  • Enjoy and Happy Memorial Day

Meatless Wednesday

BLACK BEAN SALAD WITH CORN, RED PEPPERS

AND AVOCADO IN A LIME VINAIGRETTE

I made this side dish for a Mother’s Day cookout and it was a huge success.

(2) 15 ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained,  3 ears fresh cooked corn, kernels cut off the cob,  2 red bell peppers, diced,  2 cloves garlic, minced,  2 tablespoons minced shallots,  2 tsp. salt,  1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, 2 tbls. sugar,  9 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (best quality),  1 tsp. lime zest, 6 tbls. fresh lime juice, 1/2 cup chopped fresh  cilantro, (optional), (2) avocados, chopped

  • Combine all ingredients except for avocados in a large bowl and mix well
  • Cover and chill for a few hours or overnight
  • Right before serving, add avocados , mx gently, being careful not to mash avocados,
  • Garnish with more chopped cilantro if desire
  • Serve at room temperature
  • Enjoy

May is Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month

Over 10 years ago I found a spot on my leg that looked like a bug bite.  It was a round, raised, red, itchy bump.  After 2 weeks it was still there so I decided to see a dermatologist.  I was shocked to learn that it was a squamous skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States.  Ultraviolet radiation from the sun is the main cause of skin cancer.  UV radiation can also come from tanning booths or sunlamps. The most dangerous kind of skin cancer is called melanoma.  Squamous is next followed by basil.  Skin cancer can almost always be cured when it’s found and treated early.  Prevention is the best line of defense.

Below are some valuable sites to help you understand the risks of melanoma and preventative measures.

What is the main cause of skin cancer?  http://usa.gov/1G8qOTW.

Learn how to protect your skin from skin cancer.  http://1.usa.gov/1AZDGpd.

Is indoor tanning safer than tanning in the sun?  http://1.usa.gov/1bbBePF

Protect yourself from skin cancer by doing a skin self-exam.  http://1usa.gov/prJMNR

UV rays can hurt your eyes,  http://1.usa.gov/lgkLhw

Skin cancer affects people of all ages.  http://1.usa.gov/jt7vYY

HEALTH TIP:  PUT SUNSCREEN ON 30 MINUTES BEFORE YOU GO OUTSIDE TO HELP PREVENT SKIN CANCER.

Meatless Wednesday

CHICKPEA FILLING

This filling can be used as a sandwich or as a filling for a tomato.

1 (19 oz.) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed,  1 stalk celery, chopped,  1/2 onion, chopped,  1 tbsp. mayonnaise,  1 tbsp. lemon juice,  1 tsp. dried dill weed,  1 clove of garlic, minced,  salt and pepper to taste

  • Put chickpeas into a medium size mixing bowl and mash with a fork
  • Mix in celery, onion, mayo, lemon juice, dill, garlic, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Use as filling for sandwich or a garden fresh tomato with a little fresh parsley on top
  • Enjoy

Meatless Wednesday

recipe 1California Barley Bowl

6 cups  cooked barley, 4 cups arugula, 6 oz. ricotta salata cheese, 1 cup toasted almonds, 1/2 tsp. sea salt, 2 cups plain, fat free Greek yogurt, zest of one lemon, 1 tbsp. squeezed lemon juice, 1/4 cup of chives, plus more for serving, 1/4  tsp. sea salt, 2 ripe avocados, thinly sliced.

  • In a large bowl combine barley, arugula, cheese, almonds, and salt.  Mix well.
  • Make a quick yogurt sauce by whisking yogurt, lemon zest,lemon juice, chives, and salt
  • Serve topped with avocado, chives,and big dollops of yogurt sauce
  • Enjoy