Feeling the Burn? Five Tips for Staying Hydrated in the Heat of Summer
In case you haven’t been outside lately, well…anywhere, it’s been hot! Many areas have seen a run of unseasonably hot days in a month more well-known for “picnic weather” – when the high temperatures are mild and pleasant. Locally, that meant that attendees of this year’s Indy 500 race got to sweat it out at the second hottest race ever on record! While you don’t have to give up your outdoor activities as the mercury climbs, you do have to be aware of the weather and take precautions to stay healthy and safe. Hydration is vital whether you’re actively pursuing your fitness activities or even sitting by the pool. Here are some pointers for staying safe this summer and beating the heat.
- Hydrate Early: According to the American Heart Association (AHA), by the time you’re thirsty, you’re already behind and have to make up the loss. By being mindful this summer and hydrating prior to spending time outside, you’ll ensure that your body isn’t low on fluids going into activities. If you notice you often forget to drink, some people find the habit of carrying a re-usable water bottle with them makes it easier to remember to get enough water.
- Output Matters: The AHA also notes that by paying attention when you use the restroom, you can gauge your hydration level fairly well. If you’re going often, and produce light-colored urine, that’s good news. On the other hand, if you’re hitting the restroom infrequently and produce dark-colored urine that’s a sign that you’re dehydrated and need more fluid.
- Be Your Own Scientist: For athletes in the summer, or people who are outside often and need a reliable idea of how much fluid they’ll need to use or replace, you can weigh yourself both before and after your time spent sweating outside. The AHA recommends you replace each pound you lose with a pint of water. For regular outdoor warriors, this can give you a handy guide to what you’ll need to pack to keep yourself hydrated.
- Make it Handy: Don’t want the hassle of carrying a water bottle? No problem. If you know you’ll be spending time with outdoor activities or sports, there are plenty of innovative ways to bring your hydration with you. Water belts, hand-held bottle straps, and water back-packs all make taking your water along easier. You can find many options at most big-box stores, sporting-goods and specialty stores, and of course, online.
- Water With Help: While water is typically the best hydration and re-hydration choice, if you’ve been sweating a lot, exercising a lot time, working out intensely, etc. you may need water with extra ingredients to replace what you lose when sweating. Sports drinks come to mind; however, there are many options for replenishing electrolytes such as drop-in tabs that you can add to your water bottle. (Many of these alternatives don’t contain the additional sugar you find in sports drinks, which can cause GI distress.) You can find electrolyte re-hydration packs and tabs at sporting-goods, health food stores, recreation stores, and online.
If you need help getting back outside and active, Body One Physical Therapy can help. Our locally-owned practice has five locations making it easy to find one that best fits your needs: Downtown Indianapolis, North Indianapolis, South Indianapolis, Fishers, and Zionsville. We help clients of all ages improve their health and return to their hobbies, fitness, and lives! Call us today and let us help you have a great summer.