Rebekah, or Bex, is one fit lady who makes it clear that loving life is really the most important thing she could teach anyone. A mother of four beautiful children, she’s a fitness and yoga instructor in south Jersey who—get this—has her own chickens, goats and organic garden, despite living in an urban area. Neat! Read on to find out how she stays happy and healthy, then check out Bex Life for more inside scoop on all things fitness (with some farming, of course).
My favorite way to work out: My best workouts are always with my husband. He has never been a fitness person, and he just started training with me recently. Witnessing his transformation and progress from week to week is so motivating, and it compels me to work harder toward my own goals.
My fitness mantra: There’s no excuse not to workout. There are fitness opportunities everywhere! You don’t need a gym or fancy equipment. You just need you and a little imagination. I’ve gotten amazing workouts just lugging my laundry basket up and down the stairs or running around the playground with my kids.
My go-to fit snack: Bananas! I often joke that I have a four-a-day banana habit, but it’s completely true. I don’t think I could ever get tired of eating them—in smoothies, made into ice cream, with peanut butter, etc. I’ll take them however I can get them!
Written by Alexa Cortese, web intern
Summer is winding down, but that doesn’t mean the hot days are over quite yet. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported that almost 6,000 people per year go to the emergency room for heat-related illnesses that occur during sports or recreational activity. With young jocks heading back to practice (heat-related issues are among the leading causes or illnesses and deaths for young athletes) and weekend warriors possibly stepping up their routines before Labor Day, this is no time to ease up on your heat-smart habits.
A recent study from Roehampton University in London found that athletes were able to exercise longer and harder in the heat with a cool towel wrapped around their neck. When their bodies finally felt exhausted, their core body temperature was much higher than it was by the time they were tired without the neck cooling trick. While some outdoor exercisers may appreciate and take heed of this tip, do so with caution, as the body is pretty good at detecting when its core temperature is getting dangerously high, and this trick may confuse your body into pushing its core temperature into unsafe territory.
Here are some quick warm weather pointers from the CDC to also keep in mind:
- Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to start sipping and keep water on-hand during your workout. Our experts recommend drinking 16 ounces a few hours before exercise, another 16 ounces the hour before and throughout your sweat session. Cool water is OK, while freezing cold may not be the wisest choice, as it can cause stomach cramps.
- Take a break in the shade. The minute the whistle blows for a water break or you are ready to stretch after your run, find a respite from the sun. Stepping into a space with AC or taking a cool shower is an even more effective way to chill out.
- Choose your workout strategically. Taking your workout to the pool can help you stay safe while burning calories outdoors. Looking for some fun (and fat-blasting) swimming workouts for any fitness level? FITNESS has you covered.
Now tell us: Do you like to exercise when the mercury is high or do you prefer a workout in a temperature-regulated environment?
Breaking news: It’s really hot outside! Today alone the real feel in New York is over 100 degrees and the humidity is over 50 percent. Not only does this make my hair unhappy, it puts a serious damper on my workout.
When it comes to exercising in extreme weather, I prefer the freezing cold over heat that feels like hitting a brick wall. Since Mother Nature is rarely in my favor from July through August, here are some ways I manage to keep up with my routine when the city heats up.
- Change your workout time. Typically the morning is the best time to exercise outside because that’s when the temps are the lowest of the day. Depending on how early you wake up, this may not be true. I check the hourly forecast to see if a morning or night run is in order. If after work is my best bet, I’ll make sure to hydrate like crazy during the day to prep.
- Find shade. A big “duh” moment for me, but I never realized how much difference running in the shade makes until I started running in tree heaven (known to the masses as Central Park). Paths that are heavily shaded can knock the temperature down 10 degrees or more, so plan a path before you go.
- Buy some snazzy workout tops. You might think it’s silly to buy workout clothes, that’s what your old college t-shirts are for, right? But one run outside in a heavy cotton shirt when it’s in the 90s and you might think differently. Lightweight clothing that promotes ventilation and wicks away sweat (check out some cute options here) makes a big difference.
Tell us: What are your tips to working out in the summer heat?