Keeping up with your health or exercise routine can be difficult any time of the year, but it can be particularly trying during the hot and steamy summer. Whether it’s exercising to get fit or therapeutical assignments to help after surgery or an injury, the heat alone can quickly deplete you of water and energy and enthusiasm. Add a workout session and you could easily begin to show signs of severe dehydration.
Key to maintaining your health during the summer is hydration. Keeping that fluid level up will keep your muscles, tissues, organs, nerves, and mind running smoothly throughout the heat. Staying hydrated isn’t as difficult as it may seem.
1) Drink plenty of water. It seems obvious but still needs to be said. Always carry it with you. Drink on a schedule, every 15 to 30 minutes, not just when you are thirsty. If you are thirsty, you are already starting to get dehydrated.
2) Watch your sodium and electrolyte levels. Sodium is essential to our body, and during hot weather, and especially during exercise, much can be lost through perspiration and urination. If appropriate, you can utilize sports drinks to help replenish your system.
3) Rehydrate with fresh foods. Enjoying eating the fresh fruits and vegetables of the season which will provide needed nutrition as well as hydration. Mangoes, oranges, grapes, melons, dark leafy greens like spinach, carrots, sweet peppers, blueberries, and other seasonal produce will make your efforts to stay hydrated healthier and tastier.
4) Avoid the hottest part of the day. If you need to exercise, plan to do it during a cooler part of the day. Earlier in the day often works best, or just before evening can be a cooler time. This way you aren’t exerting yourself and sweating more, conserving your water.
5) Listen to your body! If you start feeling lightheaded, dizzy or nauseous, stop what you are doing to drink some water and rest.
Summer doesn’t last forever. With a little common sense, and a bottle or two of water, you can easily keep up with your fitness routine and stay healthy and hydrated.