Sunday, February 22, 2015

Working Out In Winter. The Cold Hard Facts

Yesterday I was trekking around in the 2 degree weather and I saw a girl running in a tank top and shorts. What? Yeah, that flabbergasted me too! She wasn't paying attention to signs and symptoms of specific cold-weather dangers like:
  • Frost bite
  • Hypothermia
  • Increased heart attack risk
Your lungs were not designed to breathe in large amounts of very cold air, which may also have very little moisture. Was she not concerned about the danger of slipping and falling on an icy patch? You can actually brake your wrist bones, which take about six months to heal.
So it would seem highly prudent to go indoors under extreme temperature conditions and do some high intensity training on a recumbent bike or elliptical, or do some strength training exercises until the temperatures warm up.
Once the thermometer dips down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-6.6 degrees Celsius) or so, you'll want to use extreme caution and make sure to protect your skin from exposure, as such subfreezing temperatures dramatically increase your chances of developing frost bite. If you suspect you may be developing frostbite, you'll want to get out of the cold immediately, and slowly warm the affected area. You should NOT rub the affected area however, as this may cause skin damage.
If the numbness persists, you need to seek emergency care.
If, for some reason, you decide that you want to exercise outdoors then it would be wise to exercise some caution. Do not just wear a tank top and pretend it's 60 degrees. Dressing appropriately and paying attention to the following safeguards can help keep you safe and warm when exercising outdoors this winter:
  • Dress in three or more layers:
    1. Use a lightweight synthetic material to wick moisture away from your skin. Avoid heavy cotton materials as these absorb sweat, trapping wetness close to your body, which can increase your risk of hypothermia
    2. Add another layer or two of wool or fleece for insulating warmth
    3. Top it off with a lightweight, water-repellent and wind-resistant material
  • Always wear a hat, as you lose about 50 percent of your body heat from your uncovered head.
  • Wear gloves to protect your fingers from frostbite. Layering thin gloves with heavier mittens is a good idea so you can remove a layer if needed without exposing your bare skin to the frigid air
  • Cover your face with mask or scarf when the temperature is below freezing to avoid frostbite. This can also help warm the air a bit before entering your lungs
  • Wear sturdy footwear with good traction to prevent slips and falls on snow or ice
  • Check the temperature and the forecast. Health risks increase when the combined temperature and wind chill falls below -20°F
  • Wear light and/or reflective clothing as it gets darker sooner during the winter months. You want to make sure drivers can see you
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Staying properly hydrated is just as important during cold weather as during hot weather. Drink before, during and after your workout, even if you don't feel very thirsty, as dehydration may be more difficult to notice during cold weather exertion
  • Tell someone what route you're taking, and when to expect your return, just in case something goes wrong. If you slip and fall in the winter, hypothermia can get the better of you if no one knows to go looking for you
I'd recommend taking a break from outdoor activities if the temperature dips below 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-17.8 C), or if the wind chill factor is high, and opt to exercise indoors instead. It's the smart thing to do.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Workout With Your Love

Working out is best done alone but sometimes working out with the person you love is the best thing you can do. Working out with your husband/boyfriend, wife/girlfriend is never a bad idea and can only help you. In this post I’m going to give you a few good reasons why.

1. Having a spotter
Amazing right? You don’t have to rely on some stranger. The advantage of having your partner as your spotter is that you can explain him or her what you don’t like from a spotter and also what you would like him/her to do.

2. Mix it up!
When you workout with your significant other you get to do new exercises that you didn’t know or have done before. This helps to keep boredom at bay and it spices gym time up!

3. Spend time together doing something positive.
Working out with your lover can also be a nice way to spend time together. It will make your bond stronger.

Really you have no excuses for leaving your partner behind while you go to the gym. It can only enhance your fitness. Go for it!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

A Sassy History

I decided to write about how I got started I fitness to let you know that even though things aren't always easy, work and focus can help you accomplish your goals.

It's funny how your life ends up sometimes. My life as a fitness professional was by accident. I had been taking classes at a gym in my neighborhood for awhile and before one of my favorite dance cardio classes began, the instructor announces, "I will not be here next week and Jessica will be subbing for me." I was in a state of shock. This was news to me. I had never taught before. I had no idea what I was doing. I showed up the following week to teach and I was a ball of nerves. I wasn't certified and I had never taught a group class. I began class and one by one students started to leave. By the time class was over everyone had left. It was humbling. I remember thinking that "I'd better get certified if I wanna keep teaching." I have no idea why I thought "yeah, this is awesome. I should make my career about this." But thank God I did because now I'm challenged daily. It's a challenge I love.