Summertime is in full swing! Many of us are enjoying time with family at the park, pool, and beach. Others are soaking in every minute of being able to exercise outside and enjoy the sunshine. In the midst of all of the fun, it is important to remember to guard against dehydration. Symptoms of dehydration include headache, dizziness, lethargy, dry mouth, and increased thirst. In fact, by the time you are really thirsty, chances are you are already dehydrated. If these symptoms are ignored, heat exhaustion is a real danger.
What steps can you take to stay hydrated? The obvious always seems to be the hardest: Drink Water! Drink throughout the day. Prepare your body for the heat by going into your activities prepared. While water is the most important fluid for your body, 100% juice with no added sugar is also useful in keeping yourself hydrated. Juice has natural sugars and nutrients to help fluids to bind to your cells to keep you active and moving. Don’t over do the juice, but a good tip on a particularly hot day is to mix half juice and half water for one of your glasses of fluid to help your electrolytes in balance.
What you eat also plays a role in staying hydrated. Fruits and vegetables are high in water content. Choosing foods that increase your water intake goes a long way to helping your body in the hot weather. Watermelon, salad, berries, and other greens are a fantastic way to not only get vital nutrition but also to bulk up your water absorption.
Finally, in addition to what you take into your body, be sure to be aware of what you put on your body. Use a chemical free sunblock of at least SPF15 and choose light colored breathable clothing. Dark colors absorb more heat and tight clothes do not enable your body to release perspiration which is your body’s natural cooling system.
This summer, enjoy the opportunity for more fitness and fun outside and stay healthy and hydrated!