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Advice for Staying Fit, Avoiding Sunstroke & Protecting Your Skin This Season
by Bob Bonham


Bob Bonham's - SUDDENLY, IT’S SUMMER Advice for Staying Fit, Avoiding Sunstroke & Protecting Your Skin This Season

NEW YORK—Once Memorial Day Weekend is over, it is officially summer, and that means it is time to take the necessary precautions while exercising or simply enjoying outdoor sports, leisure time and days on the beach. While it is important to stay in shape and exercise this time of year, there are several precautions one needs to consider as the mercury rises, says Bob Bonham of Strong & Shapely Gym in East Rutherford, NJ. Here, Bonham offers summer advice for staying fit, avoiding sunstroke and protecting your skin from the sun.
Bob is a regular contributor to many bodybuilding magazines.


Why White Clothes Are Not the Best for Summer: If you plan to be outdoors a lot, whether you are playing sports or simply on vacation sightseeing, choose cotton clothes that will keep you cool and help soak up sweat. Contrary to popular myth, white clothes are not the best choice for summer. Dark-colored clothes can actually help you prevent sun damage to your skin. According to experts at the Mayo Clinic, “Darker clothing absorbs ultraviolet rays and provides better protection than white or light-colored clothing does. In addition, dry clothing is better than wet clothing, which sticks to your skin and allows ultraviolet rays to pass through.” The Mayo Clinic says that one should also wear tightly woven fabrics, such as denim, “which offer greater sun protection than loosely woven fabrics, such as knits.” Are you not sure of the weave of the fabric? Hold a piece of clothing up to a light. A good rule of thumb: The less light you see reflected in an article of clothing, the more protective the fabric. It is also a good idea to wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your scalp. Hats are not just for women on hot days. Hats are especially useful for men during the summer if they have short, close-cropped hair because hats can protect the scalp from sunburn.

The Heat Decreases Appetite, So Eat Regularly: Experts say that the heat can decrease one’s appetite during the summer, so it is important to eat regularly. Instead of eating three big meals per day, consider eating five to six smaller, lighter meals. Consider adding more fruit to your diet. Not only are many fruits (such as strawberries) in season this time of year, but they also help hydrate the body when it is hot outside.

The Facts About Sunscreen: To avoid sunburn and the potential risk of skin cancer, apply sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher about 30 minutes before exposure to the sun in order for your skin to properly absorb the sunscreen. Budget or generic brands of sunscreen are just as effective as name brands as long as they have a high SPF. Remember to reapply sunscreen after exercise or swimming, even if the sunscreen you use is “waterproof” because towel drying and perspiration will remove sunscreens from the skin. Also remember to apply sunscreen on cloudy, overcast days because experts say that 80% of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays are still present. The recommended application for proper sun protection is approximately 40ml per person, or a handful. Sunscreen not only prevents sunburn and the risk of skin cancer—it also prevents premature aging. Sun exposure is the main cause of wrinkles. Remember that children and babies need more protection than adults, so use a higher SPF sunscreen on your kids.

Avoid Extreme Temperature Changes: If you are sweating heavily, whether you have been exercising or simply have been outside on a hot day, don’t immediately run into an air-conditioned building. Try to cool your body down first by getting some shade. It is not good for your body to go from extreme heat to an ice-cold, air-conditioned environment.

Do Not Be Stupid & Try to “Sweat Off” Weight: It’s absurd to think that you can “sweat off” weight by simply going outdoors on a 100-degree day and trying to stay out as long as possible to lose weight by sweating. All you will be doing is losing water weight and end up dehydrating yourself.

Stay Hydrated While Swimming: You probably already know that it is important to drink lots of water when it is hot outside, and the same thing is true when you are swimming. Just because you are swimming laps in a pool or swimming in a lake or the ocean and are surrounded by water does not mean you do not need to say hydrated. Just like exercising on land, you need to replenish your body with fluids when you are exercising in the water.

Avoiding Sunstroke: If you are going to be exercising or working outdoors during hot weather, get your body acclimated to the heat first. Spend just a few minutes per day in the sun during the beginning of the summer and then add time outdoors gradually. Beware of the symptoms of heat exhaustion or “sunstroke”: Nausea, dizziness, weakness, and headache. Also skin that is pale and moist, and heavy sweating, a weak pulse and small pupils. If you experience these symptoms, get out of the sun immediately, drink water or a sport drink, and wrap yourself in cool, wet towels or sheets. Seek medical attention immediately.


The January 2007 issue of Exercise for Men Only magazine wrote that Strong and Shapely Gym in East Rutherford, NJ is “widely renowned as one of the best training centers in America.” The December 2005 issue of MuscleMag International noted: “Bob Bonham is one of the great experts in the field of health and fitness.” The gym is the training center for everyone from top athletes to business people just trying to stay in shape. The gym has 334 workout stations, with 12 computerized circuit machines (9 in stretching rooms), 60 leg machines, 35 for chest, 30 miscellaneous benches, 5 Smith machines, plus 1 neck, 14 shoulder, 41 back, 72 cardio, 7 lower back, 25 ab and 23 arm machines. Also look for 40, 675 pounds of free weights, 20,000 lbs of plates, 17, 700 lbs of dumbbells, 2075 lbs of fixed barbells and EZ-curls, 990 lbs of Olympic bars, and a posing room and sauna.
For more information, visit www.strong-and-shapely.com



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