One Push Over the Edge…Intensity Training in High Heat Conditions

Its summer and the thermostat is on its way to RED!  While many people are planning beach, river and resort vacations that center around cool waters and relaxation, there are a lot of individuals and groups who are continuing INTENSE EXERCISE in these elevated temperatures.

Working out in extreme temperatures is dangerous for the vast majority of individuals who are exercising.  Moreover, working out at high intensity levels in extreme temps is actually more like a dangerous game of roulette.

So why do we do it?

Akin to the manipulated and skewed theory that eating bacon at every meal will make you “thin and fit”, there are some easily manipulated and erroneously informed mindsets who believe exercising in the heat will make you stronger and perform better.

Both theories possess a very small fraction of validity, but that validity is NOT a one size fits all program.  In fact, the finite structure used to evaluate this validity is almost non-existent in local athletic communities, including gyms, boxes, running/cycling programs and high school sports programs.

What does that mean?  Local coaches, trainers and instructors who encourage MAX EFFORT WORK (the PUSH – for time, to beat someone, to beat the clock, etc…) in EXTREME HOT AND HUMID CONDITIONS are playing a risk game with their mostly average fitness folks.  Period.

The primary question asked, or that should be asked, is “Does working out in extreme conditions improve performance?”.

The answer is mostly NO, with a very tiny esoteric YES.

Preliminary, or initial studies of this long time belief, proved some points that are definitely worth a look.

A study performed and published in 2010 on endurance athletes, testing this theoretical application, revealed that YES, there was a SMALL improvement in endurance in the ELITE TRAINED STUDY PARTICIPANTS.

Now it’s time to crank UP the heat, right?  Well, as we know, most people would read that and say “HELL YEA, I’m gonna breed some competition winning athletes!”

NO!

In fact, only ELITE ENDUARNCE athletes, most around 24 years old, with highly trained bodies were used to test the theory.  Control groups are extremely important but this group is a FAR CRY from what you have in your class, your box, your gym, or on your trainee list.

Secondly, these top notch athletes all performed the same activity PRIOR, and therefore were all equally matched.  This is hardly the case in the box or gym setting.

They were split into two groups, a control and a study, with the study group put though an “ACCLIMATION” process with heat being increased slowly over the study period to 104 degrees Fahrenheit.  The control group hung tight in a stable air conditioned lab.  Same protocol and same workout with only the temperature of the control group being increased.

At the end of the study, the participants from both groups were put to the test in the same air conditioned lab chilled to 55 degrees.  Those who were heat ACCLIMATED over the course of the study performed an average of 6% better.

When the need to WIN is your LIFE, then this small edge is positive.  However, the VAST MAJORITY of exercisers are NOT competitive athletes and their life’s work does not rest on WINNING the gold, money, prestige or other self-serving reasons.

Give me ALL of your annual earnings and I will hang onto it for a year and give you back a 6% increase.  If you hand me $2,000, I will give you back $2,120!  WOW, you are WEALTHY NOW (sarcasm for the not so bright).  If you handed me $10K, your return would be $600 and guess what?  You were without your money for a YEAR so if you gave me your $45,000 annual salary, I’d give you back an extra $2,700?

That is hardly a return on investment and the risk of losing everything is much greater without an income for a year.

SO WHY the HELL would someone encourage HIGH INTENSITY exercise in EXTREME HEAT on a regular basis?

The bottom line is the lack of understanding and the false belief it makes EVERYONE a better athlete.

When the body completes an INTENSE WORKOUT, regardless of outdoor or indoor temperature, it is subjected to the HIGH risk of OVERHEATING.  This can happen in a 55-degree lab or a 110-degree metal gym.  Intensity is intensity.

When you add hot external temperatures, the fact that most exercisers only do so intermittently….you know the ones who say “sorry, my job….sorry, my family….sorry, I was tired….sorry, I’m in school….sorry, I had to work” and show up once every 2 weeks…, and MOST of your exercisers are NOT in top notch condition (on meds, eat crappy, drink a lot, take steroids….etc), then the risk is even higher.

WHAT happens to the body to cause overheating?

“The most common heat-related symptoms are those associated with both heat exhaustion and heatstroke, and the early symptoms involve such things as goose bumps, tingling sensation in the skin, kind of a dull headache, nausea. Those things really portend one of those two diseases, either heat exhaustion, which is really a disease of dehydration that causes cardiovascular strain, or the more serious heat illness, heatstroke……..eventually in heatstroke, sweating stops in – somewhere around 50 percent of all cases. So we used to teach people in health class that the only people who are suffering heatstroke were those who stopped sweating. That’s not true, and it’s also dangerous because you may have stopped sweating half an hour ago but if it’s still hot, and especially if it’s still humid, the sweat that you produce stays on the skin, and there’s no way of knowing that you’ve stopped sweating.”

Heat fatigue, heat exhaustion and heat stroke are major issues with intense training in intense conditions (anything over 90 degrees).  Heat fatigue is really the body saying OK SUCKER, YOU BETTER LISTEN TO ME.  This is usually expressed through cramps in the body, the legs or even the gut. Heat exhaustion can happen immediately or even a few days after intense heat / training exposure, especially if proper rehydration is not enacted.  Heat stroke is the advanced stage and can cause death.

When your body temps begin to rise, the body adjusts to try and keep cool.  It sends the blood to the skin’s surface and AWAY from the muscles and tissues and organs…. including the HEART.  The HEART must work even HARDER to try and pump necessary blood to the muscles, tissues and organs.  Basically, your heart is under attack.  Now, add to that the fact that you are SWEATING, which is a process of DEHYDRATION.  Dehydration causes even MORE STRAIN on the heart.

I’m CERTAIN no one exercising in the gym is on ANY type of blood pressure medication (again, sarcasm) or other medications/supplements, pre-workouts, caffeine, OTC or prescribed, that have ANY impact on the heart…right? NONE of them are hung over.  NONE of them are out of shape or have an excess of body fat.  NONE of them have any health conditions whatsoever.  NONE of them have unknown heart conditions or blockages.  RIGHT?  WRONG….

A cocktail for disaster for the average or recreational gym-goer.

Yes, drinking plenty of cool liquids, regardless of the kind of liquid (water, tea, electrolyte replacement and even iced lattes) will help cool the body down. However, it is essential to be amply hydrated of body DAYS before intense or heat-laden exercise.  This means you are taking in adequate water for YOUR body on a regular basis.  Unfortunately, cool fluids can only do so much in keeping the internal temps cool.  You are most fortunate that your body will typically begin to TALK to itself before any significant danger, like feeling ill or losing energy.   LISTEN to it!

If you are slamming beers on Sunday at the river and hitting the box on a Monday, working out in high temps and at intense levels, you are playing with your own life!

WARNING SIGNS:

Headache – if you experience a headache during or at the end of an intense, hot or combined with intense exercise, it is a sign of dehydration or worse, possible heat stroke

Heat cramps – can happen anywhere on your body and mean stop, your body is losing sodium and needs cool water or low sugar electrolyte drink like coconut water.  This is typically the first, often ignored, sign

Dizziness, weakness and nausea – signs that you are overdoing it and need to stop immediately to cool off in the shade and rehydrate

Confusion and disorientation – signs of heat stroke, a medical emergency

Red, hot and dry skin that has stopped sweating – this means DANGER, you have gone too far and may not get back…seek medical attention immediately as this is a medical emergency

Who is at risk?

Most folks over 55 years old, anyone who has high blood pressure, people on medications, people who are not in top physical condition, individuals with HIGH BODY FAT percentages (over 18-20%), those going through heat acclimation training and athletes/recreational exercisers training at intense levels in temperatures above 85 degrees, especially if they are not use to training in the intense heat.  That is MOST of your clientele and most of the exercisers abroad.

Anyone training in high heat, high humidity, dark clothing and in direct sunlight in the heat of the day is at high risk, all other variables held constant.

The bottom line is:  If YOU CHOOSE to train intensely in extreme temperatures, you are playing roulette with your health.  If you are going to train in an intense environment at an intense level, keep in mind that you need to “shorten” your workouts to less than an hour (30 min max) and focus on major muscle groups like legs and glutes, ensure that you are obtaining adequate hydration, vitamin C, B and minerals, don’t push yourself during these times and if you are smart exerciser, train in the early part of the day or the coolest part of the evening when the sun goes down.

Also, remember that indoor temperatures can be 5-15 degrees hotter than what is outside so if its 101 outdoors, you can bank on the indoor temps being 110 minimum!

The bolus of the outdoor exercisers and those who train in facilities without AC in temperatures above 85 degrees are not elite endurance or highly trained athletes and therefore, should not be pushed to run or perform harder or better than they are able to do. Racing for time is probably not optimal.

The body will typically have lower outputs in these conditions, so comparing a morning workout group to a 6pm workout group is really comparing apples to oranges.

Nausea, dizziness, headaches, red faces and even fatigue mean you are past the yellow line and fastly approaching the red.

Meat is considered DONE at 160 degrees Fahrenheit……

 

 

 

 

The BEST Anti-Aging Tool is Linked to Preventing the Number One Killer of Americans

Did you take your Vitamin C Today?

For the majority of the westernized population, the answer to this question will be a resounding “YES”.

Vitamin C content is often viewed and embraced as a positive when it comes to label observation.  You see people looking at juice labels, processed fruit snack labels and even cereal labels, certain they are getting what they need.

I mean, if your label says “100%”, you can be sure you are getting exactly what you need for that day, right?

WRONG!

The plot twist is that the vast majority of the population is NOT getting enough Vitamin C.  You may be asking yourself WHY NOT or HOW CAN THIS BE, but before I answer those questions, let us look at WHY your body needs this VERY IMPORTANT organic substance.

Your body requires Vitamin C for obvious reasons such as a strong immune system.  Think about those over-the-counter cold remedies claiming this vitamin as the “cure”.  Vitamin C is also very necessary for cellular resuscitation and regeneration.

What does that mean?  Vitamin C plays a vital role in the HEALING of wounds and the formation of new skin cells, healing ligaments, tendons and blood vessels.  Basically, your OUTER LAYER, your BLOOD MOVEMENT and the prevention/healing of MOVEMENT ISSUES/INJURIES requires ample Vitamin C.

Now, here is a pearl of wisdom you may not have encountered before.

Did you know that the human body CANNOT generate its own Vitamin C supply but that almost all other animals CAN?  With the exception of guinnea pigs, bats, monkeys and humans, animals can make their own Vitamin C.  This is factual information (google it!).

Aside from things like heart worms, generational heart defects, breed specific defects and other things like stenosis or a hole in the heart, animals do not acquire heart disease consistent with “blockage”.

The number ONE KILLER of the UNITED STATES population is HEART DISEASE, most often caused by “blockage”.  Something to ponder.

And let me set the record straight….there are no “small” blockages.  I wouldn’t want a partial blockage of my toilet or my guttering.  Granted, the end result isn’t as dramatic as a full blockage but really, justification of a 30% blockage of the toilet causing a slow flush is really just SILLY.  If you have blockage, it’s a problem.

Based on hypothesis and repeated research results, it has been discovered that a Vitamin C deficiency is directly related to “blockage”, and NOT CHOLESTEROL, as the mainstream medical world and drug industry has led us to believe.  Who isn’t on a STATIN??? Me, for one.

Let me digress a bit.  Cholesterol is extremely important in hormone balance (hello ladies), the prevention of cancer and heart disease, brain function and serotonin (I FEEL GOOD) levels, as an anti-oxidant and to synthesize Vitamin D, which is responsible for fertility, all body functions, muscle tone and a host of other necessities.  Your body MAKES ITS OWN Cholesterol in the liver. Obtaining good cholesterol from sources like grass-fed meats, fatty fish, nuts (NO, a peanut is NOT a nut), olive oil and avocado is essential in OVERALL WELLNESS.  Therefore, a chicken fried steak with cream gravy, biscuits and with margarine, bagels and cream cheese, 7 eggs and a package of bacon served beside 3 pounds of brisket will not serve your body or your longevity very well.

The general population HEARS cholesterol and immediately thinks BAD.  This is far from the case. It’s really about the types of foods you are eating.

WHY do I need Vitamin C?

Our bodies are constantly at WAR with the environment. Second hand smoke (I cannot believe people STILL smoke cigarettes, but that is my opinion).  Toxins from crap food, such as 3 pounds of brisket.  Prescription meds.  Over the counter meds.  Smog and industrial pollutants.  Chemicals from the water and products we use and ingest.  Did I mention crap food?  Moreover, we have the illnesses and diseases we are continuously fighting, mostly due to diet.  It is no wonder your body is in a constant state of BATTLE.

The warrior to fight all of this is Vitamin C!!!!

Without Vitamin C, your BODY sends in the triage team to attempt to stabilize the battle wounds.  This triage team will not fix the problem, like good ol Vitamin C warriors, and will begin to cause inflammation in the area for which its serving as a “Band-Aid”.  This is believed to be the cause of the “blockage” in the arteries, where you don’t get blockage in a vein.

Ever wonder why changing your diet to plant-based often results in a rapid drop in weight?  Yea, that’s inflammation.

Now, the recommended amount prescribed by the same authorities who allow killer drugs (the ones YOU PAY OUT THE NOSE FOR THAT MASK UNDERLYING ISSUES) to be dispensed is a whopping 60mg a day.  This amount is basically to PREVENT the disease SCURVY, which is a death sentence caused by an insignificant amount of Vitamin C.  HOWEVER, this recommended level doesn’t address optimal health and cellular regeneration, all required for vascular heath, skin health and joint/muscle health.

According to the studies by Dr. Matthias Rath, M.D., it is recommended that between 600mg and 3000mg (depending upon lifestyle and current state of health) be consumed each day.  Again, just google up Dr. Rath and see what his peer-reviewed published research has uncovered!

This seems attainable, except that the half-life, or the time that Vitamin C is drawn in and used by the body before it is sent out in your pee, is only about 30 minutes!  Mega-dosing once a day doesn’t even seem efficient or appropriate.  It’s more important to work at keeping a good supply of this WARRIOR VITAMIN in your body at all times.

I could go into a diatribe of reasons and conditions and concerns and arguments concerning good ol Vitamin C, but it really boils down to getting enough to keep your body healthy.

Where can I get my 600mg minimum of Vitamin C?

Oranges, right?  WRONG!

Peppers have the highest amount per whole piece, at close to 350mg per red or yellow bell pepper. Eat 3 of these a day and you are on the right path.

An entire pineapple contains about 450mg.

Papaya and Guava fruits have approximately 120mg per fruit.

Kale and Broccoli have around 80mg in a cup of RAW (let me repeat….R A W).

A Kiwi has about 60mg.

An orange and other citrus? They weight in about the same as a Kiwi with 60mg per fruit (that would be 10 oranges a day for the rest of your life!!!!)

Fruit juice? Well, as any nutritionally savvy individual would tell you…..you really should LIMIT the amount of fruit juice and concentrate that you consume. WHY?  Because it is pure sugar and causes a host of other internal bodily mishaps.

What about “side effects”?  (asked with a certain “whiny” voice about it)

Look……just like the vast majority of women walk around with 60lb purses/diaper bags/shopping bags while carrying their 3 year-old, but balk at the thought of lifting a 60lb weight, the vast majority of the westernized population is consuming more deadly toxins and medication than the side effects an increase in Vitamin C could ever create, the worst being diarrhea!  I don’t know about you, but a trip to the crapper to remind me that I might have too much is way better than dizziness, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, heart palpitations, facial hair and death.

I’m not going to try and “sell” anyone on Vitamin C or its benefits.  You either educate yourself, or you DON’T.

There is a reason why the “vanity” world puts Vitamin C in their products….because the ignorant will buy based upon the belief that it’s good for the skin.  Well, it is good for the skin IF INGESTED INTERNALLY IN APPROPRIATE AMOUNTS.  It’s the best ANTI-AGING vitamin on the planet if taken internally.  However, this far exceeds vanity and focuses primarily on functionality and longevity.

Get enough, 600mg-3000mg, Vitamin C every day through fruits, veggies and supplementation.  Do this for the rest of your life, starting NOW!

 

The Benefits of Nature: Apple Cider Vinegar

We’ve all been exposed to vinegar in some form or fashion. From pickled veggies to salad dressing to the long-running tradition of home dyed Easter eggs, it is fairly safe to say that the word vinegar has crossed our lips at some point.

Did you know that one specific type of this tangy stuff can almost be termed the “multi-purpose fountain of youth”?  Well, I wouldn’t go THAT far but there is a type of vinegar with such amazing health benefits, you might call it the elixir of the goddesses!

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has been around for quite some time, dating back to 400 BC.  It is made by pressing the juice from apples, then putting this juice through a fermentation process that creates an “alcohol”.  It is often used for culinary purposes like salads, chutneys, pickling and other food toppers like marinades.  However, it is the cleansing and healing properties of this zesty liquid that has me hooked.

Properties of Use

Right out of the bottle, you can use this refreshing liquid on your skin.  It is ANTI-septic, ANTI-bacterial, ANTI-viral and ANTI-fungal.  I like to use it on my face immediately after I wash my skin.  It is a natural skin toner and pH balancing tool.

It can be consumed to help treat sore throats (bacterial and viral), acne, allergies, candida, rashes, infections and even acidic systems that create a playground for disease growth.  It is believed to be a weapon against the breeding ground for cancer, which thrives in highly acidic environments such as those with a diet of lots of meat, coffee, black tea, alcohol, white foods, processed foods, pasta and other acidic foods.

Drinking 1 Liter of clean filtered H2O upon rising is one of the BEST things you can do for your health each day.  Adding up to 2 TBSP of apple cider vinegar is better!!!!

Studies have linked apple cider vinegar to lower body fat (up to 10%), specifically when consumed prior to each meal.

From a healthy blood level perspective, it is believed to LOWER those nasty bad cholesterols, or LDL while RAISING the GOOD cholesterols, or HDL levels.  Moreover, it is found to benefit those with TYPE II DIABETES by improving the insulin sensitivity when high carbohydrate meals are consumed.

What To Buy

Because apples are touted as one of the most pesticide-ridden mass produced fruits, steering clear of “non-organic” brands would be a prudent suggestion.  Opt for raw, unfiltered and unpasteurized organic apple cider, which is what the old-timers used back in 400 BC before we had mass production units for profit.  These brands will also contain the “Mother” or “Vein of the Mother” or “Vein”, which is really what I term floaters.  These floaters are said to be the magic in the potion!

Other

Drinking about 1-2 TBSP in warm water or room temp water before bed, upon rising and before meals is preferred.  Sipping through a straw can help with any possibility of enamel erosion.  Work up slowly to 1-2 TBSP to allow your body to adjust.  Otherwise, you may experience some side effects like excess gas and bloat.

Remember, nothing happens overnight and consistency is KEY.

As with any lifestyle, dietary or activity change, always consult with your physician before hand!

Enjoy a healthier more vibrant you.

Its never too late!!!!!