Stay Cool During Heat Waves
When you're pushing through hot and intense workouts, it's crucial to know how to effectively cool down and aid your recovery while minimizing the risks. However, the common practice of using a cold towel on the back of your neck to cool off may actually work against your intentions.
Recent insights from 'Science Quickly' reveal that your brain plays a significant role in regulating your body temperature, and the receptors responsible for sensing heat and cold are located near the back of your neck. Placing a cold towel on this area can trick your brain into perceiving a lower temperature than it actually is, leading it to inhibit your body's natural cooling mechanisms and potentially causing you to remain excessively hot.
If you have dogs, you should take the same advice seriously for them too! Want to know why? Keep reading.
Picture this: it's a scorching hot day, and you want to help your furry friend cool down. Instinctively, you reach for the hose and consider pouring water on their back. But hold up! Before you soak your pup, here's why it's not the best idea. You see, dogs have this fantastic coat of fur that's like their own built-in insulation system. It's designed to keep them cozy and protect their skin from the outside world. Pretty cool, huh? Well, this fur also has a special power—it repels water! So when you pour water on your dog's back, it doesn't really reach their skin where it can work its cooling magic. Instead, it just hangs out on top of their fur, basking in the sunlight and heating up like a mini sauna. Not exactly what your dog needs to beat the heat.
But fear not, there are better ways to help you and your four-legged friend chill out!
Focus on creating shady spots for them to relax, providing plenty of fresh water to drink, and try using damp towels or cooling mats that won't mess with their fur's natural insulation superpowers. By opting for these cool alternatives, you'll keep your furry buddy comfortable and safe during those sizzling summer days.
Similarly, there are two simple and effective alternatives to cool down your body more efficiently:
1) Hydrate with cold water, but avoid gulping it down. While this suggestion may seem obvious, it shouldn't be underestimated. However, it's important not to overwhelm your body with excessive water intake. Instead, take small sips of cold water to quench your thirst. To determine the appropriate amount, you can use the Galpin Equation developed by our friend Andy Galpin. Divide your body weight in pounds by 30, and that will give you the number of ounces of water you should aim to drink every 15 minutes during intense exercise. For example, if you weigh 180 pounds, you should consume approximately 6 ounces of water (180/30) every 15 minutes.
2) Refresh the palms of your hands or the soles of your feet (this is great for dogs too) with cool water. Although this may seem unconventional, these areas, often referred to as "non-hairy skin," contain special blood vessels that facilitate rapid cooling. The water doesn't need to be icy cold; cool water will suffice to trigger the desired effect.
Remember to train hard, prioritize safety, and stay cool throughout your workouts. Happy training,