Should you be a tad sluggish, fatigued, or inclined to skip that workout – keep the faith! Officially, Dog Days of Summer end on August 22nd. If you’re curious as to this phrase’s origin, look to the cosmos. The bright Star Sirius, which seasonably appears for us in mid-July, was linked to heat by Romans with too much time on their Hellenic hands. And to this day, “dog days” connote “heat, drought, sudden thunderstorms, lethargy, fever, mad dogs, and bad luck.” Find your lucky shillelagh, your trust periodized workout for heated weather and move to sweat. Hey, you’re not a serviceman with an 8-pound helmet, battle gear and provisions in summertime Afghanistan. Be thankful that we have others that are!
I’ve written in these “columns” and in KABOOMER about heat-related injuries and problems, from cramps to heat stress and heat stroke. I’ve implored folks to “DRINK BEFORE THIRST.” These hot days (in our Hemisphere) don’t necessarily mean that a boomer should skip motion as medicine. Quite the opposite, in Koach’s opinion! What’s a KABOOMER to do, even after August 22nd if hot weather continues…
Adapt? Sure! Back off a little in reps or distance, perhaps. Try a lap swim, if that is a COVID option. Or, the cool Pacific Ocean for a swim (being aware of rip currents). Listen to your body for discomfort, dizziness, or atypical malaise induced by your efforts. If you have pretty typical sweat capacity, you should be fine, as long as your core temperature is regulated and you’re shielded from mid-day sun rays. Perhaps rise and shine a workout a bit earlier than in other times of the year. Or perhaps try a session after sunset, if you can get to restorative sleep that is.
Some of us were High School football players in hot pre-seasons of the 1970s. And today, if/when there are gridiron preseasons, heat-related illness are tops for student-athlete health. Some of you may recall that a fine, and extremely large offensive lineman for the Minnesota Vikings – Korey Stringer – succumbed to organ failure from heat stroke on August 1st, 2001. That was a very bad dog day for him. That milestone preceded a terrible day in 2001 just five weeks later, when the skyline of Manhattan was changed forever, but I digress.
We humans evolved from the warm African continent. So, vestiges of our heat management systems should keep KABOOMER bods movin’ safely and prudently. I am not suggesting that you saddle up fo the BADLANDS or SAHARA crazy distance events – honest.