Saturday, May 29, 2010

How to Get outsdide and Move better fast: right water, safe barefeet and sun cover, rather than sun screen

Now that we've seen and felt the sun in the UK/EU for a few days, one turns there thoughts to summer. And summer means sweat, and sweat means hydration, so a few notes about hydration, sun screen and barefooting.

Why these three? 
we'd like to stay out side for fresh air - and not burn like a crispy critter OR be outside and NOT get the vitamin D we need; we'd likely like to move better and hydration actually helps our bodies move better. really. and while our muscles, skin and fascia move better with some H2O, we move better when we let our joints (in parts like our feet) move as designed. Sounds right, right?

So a few thoughts/tips on water, feet and sun (screen).

a quick note about hydration: amount
here's a few pointers about how much water to drink - it may be less than we usually think:
water by metabolic rate: for every 100kcal of metabolic rate, 80-110mL water
So 2000kcal mr = 1.6-2L a day.
every KG bw = 30-40mL of water, so 50kg= 1.5-2L a day; 100kg 3-4L
Generally, consensus seems to be around 3L (12cups) a day, with 1L coming from food, so 2L (8cups) from drinking water.

This is modified by body size (not thirst - thirst is similar to when the oil gage is on RED).
 Also exercise usually (duh) ups the requirements. Here's what the ACSM recommends for exercise, sun and hydration: chug it, rather than sip it; don't rely on thirst, but the goal is still simply "replacing body fluid loss during exercise is to maintain normal hydration" - not overdoing it. There's some good recs about carb/electrolyte intake during exercise to offset fatigue, too.

Water is a biggie for lots of reasons, but one is that it lets muscles and fascia (our connective tissue) actually move better. A hydrated body is a happy body.

Too much of a good thing? And if you've been chugging gallons for awhile, any extreme can be a problem - with too much water consumption (rare) it's called hyponatremia:
Common symptoms of hyponatremia include fatigue, irritability, headache, and water retention, loss of appetite, and nausea or vomiting.
Just had a discussion recently with a person who said that their fatigue was found to be down to excessive water intake. Went to a more reasonable (2L for them) a day level and voila. Feeling betterness ensues. But again, this condition is pretty rare.

About Sun Screen 
Well what can i say? time to think different, as it were.

Seriously, there are some good reasons to rethink our default reaction to lather up any time we so much as glimpse the sun. This doesn't mean don't cover up (like with light cloth perhaps?), but the sun is not the killer we took it to be: the melanomas related to the sun aren't the ones that are showing up it seems and killing people.

Likewise those spray on tans (and tanning beds) aren't necessarily helping. Seems we need to relearn our relationship to the sun, sanely.

About running about barefoot or near barefoot. Nothing like splish splashing barefoot; or feeling the grass (or mud) between one's toes.  And it's great to do with minimal shodness - yes i'm thinking vibram fivefingers (and i keep hearing great things about the bikilia's too - will report when i get a chance to try them, too). Here's a few starters.
One of my fave questions about going thin soled is can you do this on sidewalks? Yes. Infact it's great for you. Here's a report on wearing VFF's after 5 months, and after a year. The main thing is: never move into pain. If you have pain when walking in these things in your feet, it may be muscular so slow down the transition. Learn some great mobility drills a la z-health and that will help more than the feet.

In rare rare cases,  pain (like in a toe or heal) may be something else showing up that's been in train for awhile. There's stuff called freiburgs syndrome and heal spurs. Pain is a signal to change something; sometimes we need help to figure out how to make that change. If you have sharp pain in your foot at any point, see your doc. 

Cramps? Shin SplinAnd if you are all gung ho in your new not suede shoes, and find yourself getting cramps, here's a few notes on what may be happening, and suggestions on how to deal with that.  Remember: stretching is for dealing with the cramp; dun't work in avoiding 'em.

But on the up side
Reasonable hydration, reasonable sun exposure/sun cover, and reasonable movement towards moving as we're designed to move, greater happiness is ours. really. Water helps us move better; better foot mobility helps us move better. Moving helps us feel better.


Related Notes:


Franz Snideman said...

love the picture of the beach, water and feet!!

Great post MC!!!!!!

mc said...

you're sweet for saying so and dropping by, Fwanz.


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