The Importance of Being Hydrated
So I’m a yoga teacher.
I run regularly.
I exercise every day.
And I think I’m pretty smart.
But sometimes, I’m a little bit of an idiot.
It’s almost summer and I live in Florida. It gets hot. Beyond the heat, it gets HUMID.
I drink a ton of water every day. I get teased because of the amount of water I drink. But sometimes, what you think is enough just doesn’t cut it.
In yoga class, I suddenly felt lightheaded. The sequence wasn’t hard. We were doing poses I could do in my sleep. But the room–was suffocating. My corner seemed to have no pockets of fresh air, nothing but humid, stale air. There was definitely the smell of days old sweat lingering and no circulation. I wondered when the last time my little corner of the yoga room had been properly “aired out.” Because it was getting hotter and stickier by the moment. I felt there wasn’t enough oxygen. I felt it difficult to breathe. Each inhale seemed a struggle, seemed to make me feel worse. My reflection in the mirror looked deathly pale. I felt dizzy, unable to balance or even stand-up straight.
Then…I started to feel nauseous.
That’s right, this super talented, yoga teacher, started to get heat exhaustion.
Luckily, I’m a yoga teacher, right? So I knew to lie down on my back. Who cares what the rest of the class thought. I rested. I tried to take small sips of water, which is hard to do when a) you don’t have much water left and b) you also know you need to lie down.
And I waited until the end of class. From my little spot. On my mat. Resting on the ground. Recovering.
I made it to the end of class. And I made it home, a feat unto itself.
I must have had two gallons of water when I got home. I took a freakishly cold shower. I missed my book club. I had an avocado for dinner. And I rested.
Heat exhaustion is no joke!!! Be cautious when working out in the summertime. Even if you are a pro like me! Mistakes can happen, rooms can be hotter than you anticipate, you may just need water or salt. Also–remember to KEEP BREATHING and NEVER PANIC!!!
Ways to help prevent heat exhaustion:
- Drink plenty of water every day–more than you normally do. They recommend approx 24 ounces before working out! (Within two hours of working out.)
- Wear lightweight clothes, particularly clothes designed for exercising in heat.
- Don’t exercise outside in excessive temperatures
- DO go to yoga classes where they track the humidity. Bikram yoga is hot, but a real Bikram yoga studio will monitor heat and humidity levels. In summer months or high humidity, make sure the studio knows how humid it is. If they aren’t measuring the heat, it may be too hot to handle. (Literally.)
- Do slower fitness routines and rest more when weather is hot
- Make sure you have enough salt (there’s a reason athletes drink gatorade)
- Do runs early in the morning or later at night.
- Stop and rest if you start to feel icky. Do not try to “fight through it!” If you don’t feel better after thirty minutes, get professional help.
And remember—drink your water all day long!!!!