Keeping cool while working up a sweat

Now that the Fourth of July has come and gone, we are officially in the heart of summer.  And that means really hot and hazy and humid days in the Northeast, kind of like the one we’re having today.  While I prefer working out at the gym between now and September, there are those of you who insist you have to run outdoors even on the hottest day of the year.  You should be okay if you stay hydrated, avoid running at the hottest time of day and listen to your body for the signs of heatstroke, but here’s something else to consider: use a cooling neck wrap.

A recent study found that athletes who wore such a wrap were able to work out longer and harder even when it was very hot out.  Apparently the wrap tricks the brain into thinking the body is cool.  They think it has something to do with the wrap cooling the blood that’s flowing into the brain.  But there’s a HUGE caveat.  Even though a person doesn’t feel hot, the body still responds as if it is (increased heart rate, higher temperature, etc.).  That means if you’re not careful, you could still end up with heatstroke. 

I say skip the run on the really hot days and do some laps in the pool instead. 

 

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