When the summer months arrive, they bring outdoor activities along with them. Whether it’s playing a game of baseball outside or going for a quick jog, there are plenty of ways you can get active and burn some calories. But all this outdoor activity means you will need to stay hydrated and safe from the summer heat.
» Click here to see how you can be active and exercise from your home
What is Dehydration?
Dehydration occurs when a person loses more fluids (water) than they take in, mainly through sweat. Sweating helps keep your tissue cool and prevents overheating, and the more your body sweats, the more fluids you lose that help maintain bodily functions. Consequently, when you are dehydrated, your body does not have the necessary amount of water that it needs in order to continue these everyday functions. This is especially dangerous because dehydration reduces the amount of blood flowing through your body, which can then lead to shock – a condition that decreases blood pressure and puts strain on the heart. What steps can you take in order to prevent this from happening?
Drink plenty of water and sports drinks
In order to decrease your chances of dehydration as much as possible, drink plenty of fluids both before and after your activities. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, there are three different steps to remind you to consume the necessary amount of water:
Drink at least 16-20 ounces of water one to two hours before your outdoor activities
Drink 6-12 ounces of water every 10-15 minutes while you continue your outdoor activities
After you are finished with your outdoor activities, drink at least another 16-24 ounces of water to replace the water you lost
Because summer months mean warm weather, it is especially important to keep your body hydrated to prevent your body from overheating. Water is the most essential beverage for outside activities; however, a sports drink is also beneficial if you plan to exercise longer than an hour. These not only help keep your body hydrated, but they also provide electrolytes such as sodium and potassium. (Click here to read more)
Eat fruits and vegetables
Drinking fluids such as water and sports drinks a great way to stay hydrated, but so is eating foods that are high in water such as fruits and vegetables. Twenty percent of our daily water intake comes from our food choices, so choosing the right food is important. Some foods that are high in water concentration include watermelon, cucumbers, and celery. (Click hereto read more)
Find a shaded or cool area and rest
After getting plenty of fluids in your body, take a moment to sit and rest in a cool or shaded spot away from the sun to help prevent dehydration. This also helps prevent “heat stroke,” which is a condition that affects thousands each year. (see the video below for more information)
If you are experiencing any heat stroke related symptoms and would like to make an appointment with Affinity, call 318-807-4900. If it is an emergency, please visit your local ER.