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August Fitness Tips

Michelle Walker, the fitness specialist at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., poses for a photo in the base gym on November 2, 2011.  Michelle’s goal is to train, educate and encourage McEntire’s airmen to remain “fit to fight” and excel in the new Air Force fitness standards. 
(National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Caycee Watson/Released)

Michelle Walker, the fitness specialist at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., poses for a photo in the base gym on November 2, 2011. Michelle’s goal is to train, educate and encourage McEntire’s airmen to remain “fit to fight” and excel in the new Air Force fitness standards. (National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Caycee Watson/Released)

MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. --

Tips for the Summer Time Workouts
Warmer, sunny days are finally here, but after exercising in cooler spring temps, hot and humid 80 plus degree days can feel overwhelming. Running, biking, hiking, even walking feels harder in the heat, so here are some tips to help you get through your Summer workouts.

Be flexible about when you work out. Become conscious about checking the weather, and find out when temps are going to be the lowest that day. Sometimes it's early in the morning, and sometimes late in the evening, so you'll need to rearrange your schedule to fit in exercise during the coolest time of day.

Invest in some wicking clothes. Lightweight, breathable, wicking clothes are a must. They'll pull moisture away from your skin, so you really do feel cooler.

Change up the type of workout to fit the temps. On super hot and humid days, choose cooler cardio activities like biking in the wind or swimming in cold water.

Exercise in cooler places. Hit the trails in shady woods or along a breezy beach shoreline. It can be 10 or more degrees cooler than the sunny streets in your neighborhood.

Exercise in the rain. It's so exhilarating to feel a little sprinkle on your skin while out for a run or bike ride. 

Shorten or split up your workouts. Summertime heat may make it a tricky time to push yourself, so if you can only handle 10 minutes at a time, do what you can, or exercise twice in one day.

Slow down your pace. If you're set on getting in a 30-minute workout, move with less intensity or do intervals to avoid overheating. Remember it's OK to take breaks too.

Head indoors.
Now is a good time to take advantage of an air-conditioned gym. Burn calories by following along with fitness DVDs, jumping rope, running up and down your stairs, or doing strength training routines at home.

Drink water all day, not just before or after your workout. Staying hydrated will help prevent some of the symptoms you may experience from exercising in heat such as dizziness, stomach cramps, and headaches. During your run, sip four to eight ounces of water every 15 to 20 minutes.

Foods with the highest water content
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We know staying hydrated is vital to a healthy, fully functioning body. After all, our bodies are more than 60 percent water, which is responsible for transporting oxygen, fat and glucose to our muscles, as well as digesting food and getting rid of waste. Yet drinking the daily recommended amount of water can be a challenge.

Luckily there are fruits and vegetables that supply an ample amount of water, in addition to vitamins and minerals that do more than just keep you hydrated.

Watermelon
As their name suggests, watermelons are almost all water, 92 percent to be exact. This refreshing treat also contains plenty of beta-carotene, lycopene and vitamin C to help maintain eyesight, keep your skin glowing, and boost that immunity.

Strawberries
These tart berries are another fruit that are comprised of 92 percent water. In addition to their high water content, strawberries also offer an abundance of antioxidants and folate, both of which help maintain low-blood sugar.

Cantaloupe
This super fruit is super hydrating! Not only is this melon made up of 90 percent water, but just a one-cup serving contains as much potassium as one medium banana. Getting an adequate amount of potassium is essential in hydration, especially for athletes or those working up a sweat, as it helps to maintain fluid-balance, muscle function, and bone strength.

Pineapple
This exceptionally juicy fruit made up of 87 percent water is beyond hydrating as it is packed with bromelain, an enzyme with potent anti-inflammatory, digestion, detoxing, and immunity-boosting benefit.

Oranges
This sweet treat makes the perfect after-workout snack. It’s comprised of 87 percent water, contains more than 100 percent of your daily recommended value for vitamin C as well as plenty of potassium known to help the body restore its fluid levels.

Raspberries
This delicious superfood also contain 87 percent water and are packed with fiber, keeping your digestion in check and blood-sugar levels low.

Cucumber
Cucumbers boast an extremely high water content, with 96 percent! With most of its hydration being from the skin, which also contains vitamin C and caffeic acid. These two elements help soothe skin irritations and reduce swelling.

Iceberg Lettuce
This leafy green adds more than a crunch to your salad, it is 96 percent water and is sure to keep you hydrated! Iceberg lettuce is also cholesterol and sodium free!

Celery
This vegetable’s 95 percent water content isn’t the only nutrient responsible for its hydrating benefits, just 3 celery stalks provide natural salts that help to replenish levels of sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iron and zinc.

Green Peppers
This green veggie may be 92 percent water, but it’s still abundant in numerous vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, thiamine, vitamin B6, beta carotene, and folic acid.

Spinach
This leafy green is also made up of 92 percent water, making it especially beneficial in keeping you hydrated. Spinach is also rich in magnesium, potassium, and B-vitamins, all of which are known to increase energy.

Plus, this dark leafy green is easy to sneak in any smoothie!