Tag: outdoor activities

Tips for Exercising in the Summer Heat

The sunshine is here! Most individuals prefer exercising outdoors once that sunshine comes out and it is a great idea, especially during the summer. There are a few things you should keep in mind when doing so. Below are some tips for you when you decide to head outside for a run on an 80 degree summer day. I have also included some examples for you to refer too.

Clothing: Wearing lighter colors will help reflect the heat from your clothing and skin. Looser and lighter clothing will help with the evaporation of sweat and make your workout more comfortable. (Example: NIKE Dri-Fit)

Stay hydrated: Drink water before, during, and after exercise to keep your body hydrated when out in the heat. If you do not have enough fluid in your system, it could result in fatigue, nausea, and even heat exhaustion. (Example: ZICO coconut water

Sunscreen: Check the weather before leaving and if it is sunny or even overcast outside, wear sunscreen so you do not risk getting burnt. (Example: NEUTROGENA spf30 sunscreen)

Time of day: The hottest part of the day is normally between 11am and 4pm, so if you have a chance to workout before 11 or after 4 if it is going to be outdoors, I recommend doing so. (Example: At 9am after eating 2 scrambled eggs and peanut butter toast)

Acclimation: If your body is not used to exercising in warmer climates, it takes about 10-14 days for your body to get used to it. Your workouts should be short and slow paced at first so that you get used to the climate before adding intensity. (Example: Monday-15 minutes @ low intensity; Tuesday- 25 minutes @ low/medium intensity; Wednesday -35 minutes @ medium intensity; and so on)

Performance: Don’t be surprised if you do not get your best times or maximum amount of reps when working out in the heat. Your heart has to work harder to pump blood to your working muscles and therefore you might not perform as well as if you were indoors or in cooler weather. (Example: Indoors- 15 box jumps in 10 seconds; outdoors/heat- 15 box jumps in 16 seconds)

Listen to your body: You know your body best, so listen to it. If you start to feel dizzy, confused or light headed during your outdoor workout, I would recommend stopping. (Example: I am running and start to feel a headache coming on, therefore I am going to head to the shade and drink some water before starting again)

Stay close to the water: Some of the best summer activities are on the water where you can be cooled very easily if in the heat. (Examples: Paddle boarding, Kayaking, Swimming, Rowing, Pool volleyball, etc.)

If you have any further questions about exercising in the heat or exercise in general, please contact Amber Gruger at Agruger@sacdt.com.

Outdoor to Explore: Trail Run or Hike Mt. Pilchuck

Hello Seattle Athletic Club Outdoor Enthusiasts! Hopefully you have heard about SAC’s many outdoor opportunities we offer, and if you have not, I hope to bring you a wealth of information to make your outdoor adventures in the beautiful Pacific Northwest fabulous! If you have any questions, comments, feedback or requests please email me and I would love to help you get acquainted with the outdoors if you are new, or help you step up your adventures if you have already been exploring.

My goal as your Outdoor Recreation Director is to introduce you to more adventures outside! Every month I will post several blobs about gear, places to go, upcoming events, clinics or outings SAC is doing.

This weeks SAC “Outdoor to Explore”. Trail Run or Hike Mt. Pilchuck!
I just ran up this beautiful trail this week, the first 2 miles were wet but clear of snow and the top mile was hard snow-packed. I wore my trail running shoes and went light and fast, and there were a couple hikers out there too in hiking boots and gaiters. This trail can be run carefully in an hour and 15 minutes and can also be enjoyed for a 4 hour hike. Bring warm clothes, the wind can really pick up at the top. Bring a light snack, water and a camera…if it is sunny the view is unbelievable. It’s a steep run or hike, the snow is coming so be sure to check trail conditions prior to heading up there: www.wta.org

Details for your adventure:

  • Trail Length: 6 miles round trip
  • Elevation Gain: 2200 feet
  • Peak: 5324 feet
  • Dogs Allowed!

Gear Review
I wore my lightweight trail running shoes from Mammut, my feet stayed warm and dry the entire time and the tread kept me on my “toes” through the ice and snow. Awesome shoes, check them out!

How to get there: Only 44 miles from Seattle

  • From Granite Falls follow the Mountain Loop Highway east.
  • One mile beyond the Verlot Public Service Center, turn right onto graveled Forest Road 42 immediately after crossing the “Blue Bridge.”
  • Drive 7 miles to the trailhead at the road end.

Let me know if you want to join the next adventure! See you outside…GET OUT AND PLAY!

What’s SUP???

Have you been looking for a new way to get out and explore the beauty that is the Pacific Northwest? Maybe you have gone on the canoeing trips to Diablo Lake in the northern cascades and have kayaked through Deception Pass over by the peninsula and those are old news. Or maybe you just want a new, dynamic way to fire stabilizer muscles and strengthen your shoulders and arms for any sport you may attempt. SUP may be right up your alley! Who thought you could SURF in Seattle?

SUP or Stand Up Paddleboard is essential a large surf board (similar to a long board) that uses a single paddle to move you across the water. Think the canals of Venice only you get a paddle instead of a stick and a flat board to stand on instead of a boat. SUP has exploded in popularity, especially here in the Pacific Northwest. The board is large enough to balance comfortably while still making your body work to maintain your stability. You can go for long, all day, excursions or just rent a board and paddle from one of the many local companies and head out with friends for a few hours.

SUP was first made popular in Hawaii (go figure) as a way for instructors to work with beginner surfers. Standing on the board gives you a better view point to see where the students are and to see specific waves coming in (compared to a canoe or kayak where you have to remain seated).

A standup paddleboard is lighter than a kayak and easier to store (since it is just a flat board and a paddle). It also has no moving parts making it simpler than windsurfing. It is also much cheaper than sailing and kite-surfing while still giving you physical benefits and allows you to really enjoy your surroundings. Weather it be surf, river or lake, SUP is a great way to introduce water-sports into your life and enjoy the nature around you!! Just remember to have a life jacket at all times and have the leash attached to your ankle for safety! Check out Urban Surf’s website for more information, classes, or weekly meet-ups with like minded enthusiast and we will see you on the water!!

Hiking Tips and Tricks for Your Body

After a long, cold, dreary winter, hiking season is finally here! Hopefully you spent the dark months strengthening your legs, back and core for the miles of terrain you will be covering this summer. If not, here are a few tips and tricks to get you through the pain and allow you to enjoy the beautiful scenery that you will no doubt be looking for. Whether you are a veteran hiker or bran new to the sport, these tips will help you make it to the top!

When You Feel the Burn
Anyone who has ever hiked will tell you that the quadriceps muscles start to burn pretty quickly. Most hikers spend their off time strengthening their quads, doing tons and tons of stairs and general walking up hill.

TIP #1 – Strengthen your hamstrings and hips as well not just the quads!! The legs work together, meaning that when your quad is pressing you up, the hamstrings are slowing you down so you don’t go too far. The hips are equally important and help with balance when you step on a rock or a root or slip on snow. Try this exercise to help strengthen the low back, hips, and hamstrings!

Hamstring Curl on Ball

If you are looking for more of a challenge lift your arms off the ground. This will make you more unstable and will activate the core muscles more.

When the Hunger Sets In
On average, hiking burns roughly 500 calories an hour. The body is going to tapping out the energy stores throughout the course of the hike. These energy stores need to be replaced to maintain the activity level.

TIP #2 – Bring plenty of snacks AND water on your hike. DO NOT assume that there will be water on the trail. A blend of fats (preferably nuts), carbohydrates (dried fruit, a Clif bar) and protein (beef jerky, nuts) will help sustain the body during the hike and will help prevent hunger. Take time to stop and enjoy your food and remember the hike will always be there. Breaks aren’t cheating!

Cramps and sore muscles
Hiking is an extremely tough activity; especially on the body. A lot of force and pressure is distributed throughout the body including your joints, ligaments, tendons, and of course muscles. To help prevent cramps, strains or sprains, be sure to stretch sufficiently following the end of a hike.

TIP #3 – The common leg stretches are perfect for the conclusion of a hike. It is a great way to cool down before you jump back in the car to drive home. Make sure you stretch your quads (front of thigh), hamstrings (back of thigh), calf AND soleus (see picture below), and your hip flexors (see picture below).

Common Leg Stretches

  • Feel the stretch through the front of the leg behind you.
  • Make sure you keep your hips even and moving forward.
  • Hold for 15-20 seconds 3 times.

These tips will help to keep you out of danger and help prevent you from getting injured while out on the trail. Proper planning is always needed when attempting any hike. Of course, be sure to tell at least 2 people where you will be and what time you expect to return. By being physically and mentally prepared you are sure to have an amazing hiking season! Hope to see you on the trails this summer!

“I went on all four of SAC’s May hikes and loved it! I’ve hiked with groups before and because I’m not a particularly fast hiker, was left behind. Doesn’t happen with this club. All levels of hikers are accommodated with someone from SAC going with the faster hikers and someone staying with the slower hikers. The members of the Hikers Club I have hiked with so far are friendly and we all work together to get to the top and back to the bottom. I definitely will continue to hike with this group and feel I’ve made new friends!” Cheryl