Even with the summer heat in full swing, it is important to continue our healthy living trends and good workout regimens. Staying hydrated is one of the most important things that you can do to not only help in your weight loss goals, but keep your body healthy.
As a volunteer fire fighter, I visit Texas A&M once a year to attend Fire fighting school. This last summer of classes, my class in particular, lost 25% of its students in the first 4 hours due to poor hydration. Heat stroke and heat exhaustion can affect you even if you are not working out and are potentially life threatening conditions.
Drink plenty of water especially if you know that you will be working outside in the hot sun and especially if you are planning on doing intense cardio. Even coming out of the gym, the heat can still cause you to fall ill. A good investment for the summer might even be a small portable cooler that you can carry around in your car. This will allow you to carry water and your favorite sports drinks, to help maintain electrolyte balance, wherever you go. You should also avoid working out during the peak heat hours of the day. Try to get your workout in either first thing in the morning, or later in the evening.
Following the simple tips above you should be able to avoid dehydration. Here are some basic symptoms of dehydration in children and adults, if you start to experience these symptoms; treatment is usually as simple as rehydration. In children however treatment will vary based on the cause of dehydration, so it is important to always consult your pediatrician:
• less-frequent urination
• dry skin
• dry mouth and mucous membranes
• increased heart rate and breathing
In children, additional symptoms may include:
• dry mouth and tongue
• no tears when crying
• no wet diapers for more than 3 hours
• sunken abdomen, eyes or cheeks
• high fever
• skin that does not flatten when pinched and released
Remember these simple tips to prevent dehydration:
• Drink plenty of fluids, especially when working or playing in the sun.
• Make sure you are taking in more fluid than you are losing.
• Try to schedule physical outdoor activities for the cooler parts of the day.
• Drink appropriate sports drinks to help maintain electrolyte balance.
• For infants and young children, solutions like Pedialyte will help maintain electrolyte balance during illness or heat exposure. Do not try to make fluid and salt solutions at home for children
Be safe in the summer heat and remember hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!