North Texas is ablaze this summer and it doesn't look like the heat is going to subside anytime soon. If your plans for exercise included long evening walks, this summer may derail those plans. But, that doesn't mean that you can't continue to make healthy choices and continue to lose weight during this time. Research has shown that we typically eat slightly less in the summer because food takes longer to digest. But, it is important to continue to make healthy choices and pay close attention to behaviors that will keep you safe.
1. Drink plenty of water. Hydration is so important. In the summer, you sweat more, so it's especially important to stay hydrated. If the body isn't staying properly hydrated, it will slow down, decreasing your metabolism and potentially causing serious health concerns.
2. Increase your fresh produce intake with whole fruits and vegetables or in smoothies. One of the great things about the heat is how easy it is to enjoy cold, refreshing fruits and vegetables. There is nothing better on a summer day than a slice of watermelon, a cup of berries, or a frosty smoothie. Find the produce that's in season and enjoy!
3. Watch for liquid calories. Because of extra thirst that comes with the extra heat, it may be tempting to grab an ice cold beer or frozen mixed drink. While there is nothing wrong with an occasional alcoholic beverage, you should be cautious of not only the sugar in mixed drinks but the increased effects of alcohol when consumed in the heat.
4. Book active events during your vacation. If you have the luxury of traveling this summer, find excursions that will keep you and your family active. Give yourself permission to rest and relax but also plan an adventure that is active if you have the opportunity.
5. Move your workouts inside. If you love outdoor exercise, plan accordingly, and schedule your outdoor exercise as early in the day as possible. But, if you want to escape the heat, move your workout inside! There are plenty of free workouts available on YouTube that do not require any equipment. There are also a number of paid streaming services that cost far less than a gym membership.
6. Watch for signs of dehydration and heat exhaustion. These conditions are no joke. Effects of the heat can derail you for days or longer as you recover. If you are spending time outside, be aware of signs such as headaches, dizziness, loss of appetite, cramping in the arms or legs, excessive thirst, and increased body temperature. These are signs of possible heat exhaustion. If you start to experience any of these signs, move inside, rehydrate with electrolyte drinks, and use cold towels to decrease body temperature. If symptoms do not improve after 30 minutes or you are experiencing more severe symptoms, seek medical attention.