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Spotlight on…Natalie Johnson!

This month’s spotlight is on Natalie Johnson, owner of Stroller Strides and Fit Chicks Enterprises.  I think it is safe to call her a fitness “guru” as she has worked in the fitness industry her entire life and has a body that I would kill for (or at least harm for! ha!)  But she is all about helping her clients learn how to become fit and healthy as a working (or new) mommy!  I wanted to post an article she recently published on exercising in the summer heat:

With the summer heat already upon us there are precautions you should take with your exercise routine.  I’ve worked in the Fitness Industry for over 25 years now. I’ve seen many contraptions and methods to “burn more calories” or “get a better workout” including the full body sweat suits, exercising in saunas/steam rooms,  exercising in extreme heat with layers of clothes on and even the still popular Bikram Yoga where the room is heated in excess of 100 degrees.

There is no doubt that heat makes you sweat more but it is certainly a myth that more heat and/or sweat make a person burn more calories or work more efficiently. It should be a priority (especially in the summer) to keep your body hydrated and cool. Your body maintains an internal temperature of about 98 degrees. Sweating is your body’s mechanism for temperature regulation and keeping that internal temperature down.

When the temperature outside is hot your body will try to keep the skin cool by producing sweat. It’s the evaporation of sweat that actually cools the body. Florida has high temperatures as well as high humidity which make it difficult for the sweat to evaporate. If the sweat is not evaporating your body will become hotter and you will fatigue sooner. Not to mention when the sweat is not evaporating your body will continue to produce sweat and you will lose more fluids.

Exercise produces heat.  The friction of the muscles moving produces an internal heat that also must be regulated.  You may notice your skin will turn a pink color. This is your blood flow being shunted to the skin in an effort to release some of the heat produced by exercise. When you have exercise and a hot/humid environment your body will use both processes to regular temperature and ultimately you will fatigue sooner. Although it may feel more difficult to exercise in the heat more than likely you’re NOT burning more calories, but you are fatiguing sooner.

Bikram Yoga is a popular form of yoga performed in a heated room. Although a great form of exercise and some love the effect of sweating profusely for an hour it’s of ULTIMATE importance to drink plenty of water before, during and after. I’m an avid believer that individuals should find exercise that they like and enjoy so if you choose Bikram Yoga do it safely and incorporate some other styles of exercise in a cool/dry climate when you can.

Recommendations-

Exercise in a cool/dry climate when possible – indoors.
If you choose to exercise outdoors do it at a time of day when the heat/humidity are low – Morning/evening when the sun is not directly above.
Drink plenty of water prior to your exercise and continue to drink water while exercising. – Especially if your outdoors.
Wear cool, dry clothes that will absorb sweat and dry quickly – 100% Cotton, DRI-Fit
Wear plenty of water proof sunscreen!!

OK, so get out there girls and work it out- safely of course!  And because all diary posts are more fun with an image…here is a quick one that Pete grabbed of Ethan and I at Disney for my birthday a couple weeks ago (when I turned 25…again..)!  Can you see my sweat?! tampa-childrens-photographer1

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  • Christina - June 22, 2009 - 11:20 pm

    We love Natalie! Thanks for sharing this article =)

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