Your Week - Heat and Motivation


  Ahhhh Monday's. We love them and we hate them. It's a fresh week, another 7 days to accomplish our goals or set new ones. Or maybe it's a week of starting over and you're feeling bad about that. Living in the desert during the months of May through October can be a challenge. Not only mentally but also physically. It seems like everything we do or want to do has to be rearranged and compromised based on the heat the day. Running or walking? Sure! As long as it's before 6 a.m. Dinner on the patio? Yep. If you like to eat at 9:00 p.m. ! Just getting out the house before it hit's 100 degrees can be difficult and zap all plans and motivation for any and most activities. If you've slacked on your work-outs or outings don't sweat it! (wink) Everyone has to readjust to our summer climate and we've found a few ways to help you overcome the draining effects that the hot weather creates. - Adjust Your Body Temperature Hopping into a cold shower before your workout. A German study this year found that a pre-exercise cooldown improves performance in the heat -- probably because it lowers your heart rate as well as core and skin temperatures. Too chicken to try it? Even just cooling your neck or head with an ice pack may make a difference. - Refuel with Fruit They're more than 80 percent water, so fruits such as grapes, watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew are a tasty way to replenish fluids and boost your energy post-workout, says Leslie Bonci, RD, director of sports medicine nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Keep 'em frozen for a refreshing treat. Other good options: Smoothies, frozen yogurt, or Jell-O with fruit chunks. "They provide the perfect mix of carbs and fluid and they're easily digestible in the summer heat," explains Bonci. If you've lost a lot of salt (hint: your clothes have white sweat stains after a workout), replace sodium by drinking V8 or a sports drink. - Switch it Up Turn the rising temperature to your advantage and concentrate on improving your flexibility with some yoga moves. "When your body temperature is up, you can go deeper into a pose," says Edward Vilga, author of Yoga for Suits and a yoga instructor from New York City. One move to try for perpetually tight hamstrings: Stand and bend forward from the waist, reaching toward the floor (if you're not flexible enough to touch the ground, put your gym bag or a tote in front of you and touch that). Hold for 5 to 10 breaths. To stretch your hips -- another inflexible zone -- sit with one leg crossed over the opposite thigh and bend forward, keeping your arms outstretched; hold for 5 to 10 breaths. - Stay Indoors with Benefits The number of calories each person burns during housecleaning varies by individual and is based on weight. The intensity and duration of the activity, as well as the type of activity, also play a role. Heavier people burn more calories. According to Health Status, a 150-lb. individual would burn 99 calories doing 30 minutes of housework. A 200-lb. individual, however, would burn 131 calories in the same amount of time. The longer you work, the more calories you burn. A 150-lb. individual may burn 99 calories in 30 minutes, but will burn 198 calories in 60 minutes. The harder you work, the more calories your burn. According to Pro Health, a 150-lb. person doing light cleaning for 30 minutes would burn approximately 85 calories. That same person, doing heavy cleaning, would burn approximately 153 calories. Some activities are more vigorous than others. A 150-lb. person washing dishes for 30 minutes would burn approximately 77 calories, according to Health Status. The same person doing 30 minutes of mopping would burn approximately 153 calories. And who doesn't LOVE a clean house?  

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