Summer is fast upon us, and along with this treasured time of year, come many different outdoor activities to engage in! There are open-air sports, such as swimming, biking, walking and jogging. There is gardening, lawn care, and boating, which can bring us into the sun, sometimes, for hours at a time. There are also BBQ’s, pool and beach parties, and a whole host of opportunities to be outside, soaking up the fresh air and sunshine, and living our best lives. One thing we may not always think about is the importance of staying well hydrated. We know that using sunscreen and protecting our skin and eyes from the strong and harmful rays of the sun is paramount, but what about protecting our bodies from the loss of fluids it is sure to suffer from?
Becoming dehydrated can occur at anytime of year, but in warmer weather, the incidence is greater. Our bodies are comprised of 60-70% water (depending on gender and age). When we engage in physical activity, perspire heavily, are ill, and unable to replenish lost bodily fluids, or when we consume larger amounts of alcohol (not atypical for summer soirées), we run the risk of becoming dehydrated. There are also some risks associated with different medications we might be taking.
Symptoms of dehydration can include:
Dizziness and/or confusion
We need to be proactive in preventing the onset of dehydration BEFORE it presents with any of these symptoms. Make sure to have plenty of water to drink or fluids that contain electrolyte replenishment. Eat fresh, water-based fruits, such as cantaloupe, watermelon, grapes or citrus, and take an opportunity for frequent breaks in activity (to afford yourself a chance to cool off and restore your energy and fluid levels).
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, and in taking the proper steps to ensure we do not become dehydrated, we can enjoy all the things that bring us happiness and pleasure, in summertime, and all year through!