Happy first day of summer, all. I normally poo poo some of the fear-based marketing associated with hydration for outdoor enthusiasts, but biking in 120° Fahrenheit (50° C) weather is no joke.
Of the five heat-related fatalities reported since the weekend in Arizona, one was a mountain biker and another was a hiker, all of whom ran out of water miles from the trailhead.
How do you know if you’ve overdone it? Sports physicians recommend weighing yourself before and after your activity to determine water loss. If you lose 2% to 3% of your body weight during the workout, drink more water. If you lose between 4% to 6% of your body weight in water, you need to slow down and reduce the intensity of your workout. 7% and above, and you should call the doctor. Since carrying a scale into the front country might be inconvenient, you should perhaps stay close to civilization until you know how much your body can handle on an extremely hot day.
It’s possible to swing the pendulum too far the other way and drink too much water, possibly resulting in potentially life threatening water intoxication / hyponatremia. This is apparently a problem more for long-distance endurance activities that last more than three or four hours. To avoid hyponatremia, don’t force yourself to drink more than is comfortable, and drink a sports drink during prolonged exercise.
Healthy humans can acclimate themselves to high heat, but it takes time. If you’re already fit, this acclimation takes less time, but you should still ease yourself into it. I wrote about the physiological process of heat acclimation here.
Temperatures in the USA west should be more moderate the rest of the week.
Your daily drive to work not only slowly kills everyone around you, it slowly kills you as well.
In the largest study of its kind, British researchers found adults who commute to work via cycling or walking have lower body fat percentage and body mass index (BMI) measures in mid-life compared to adults who commute via car, according to a new study in March 16 2016 issue of The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal.
From the Pre-Crime Division comes this fun bit of news for you bike-riding fitness freaks:
Jobst Brandt was the first guy who challenged my belief that I should drink at least eight glasses of water every day.
For many years now my flat feet have struggled with the beating put forth during any given day of cycling. After suffering through and treating plantar faciitis as best I could, there was/is soaking those feet in an ice water foot bath with epsom salts, orthotics of varying elevation, and of course being more selective with the shoes I wear both on and off the bike. There were ‘good foot days’ and ‘bad foot days’, the latter outnumbering the former. After a while, my ankles began to ache, forcing me to ride with neoprene ankle braces. (more…)
For the better part of 15 years, I spent a lot of my spare time in bars, watching hockey, playing cards and the like, and by the like, I mean Jager Bombs, pitchers of beer on Monday nights, various mixed drinks. My Mob Name was Bobby The Dumpster because I drank almost anything. This of course resulted in many, many hangovers which became more difficult to overcome every day after, say, 38. It has been 16 months now since my last drink, and I am here to tell you it feels freaking awesome. (more…)