Living in Southern California does have its perks-the beautiful weather, the mountains, the beaches and an array of outdoor activities, all easily accessible and only a short drive.
There is something about the warmth of the sun that gets people up and out! And the summertime months seems to encourage people of all ages, shapes and sizes to explore the outdoors and enjoy new activities.
It is extremely important to remember that there are also risks associated with the warmer weather-and equally important not to fall privy to those heat related health risks.
Staying hydrated during the summer is essential. The California Department of Public Health website offers links and information about outdoor activities in California as well as links to advisory publications.
When the temperatures reach the high 90’s and into triple digits, it is recommended that you stay indoors and cool during peak times to reduce your exposure.
In an article noted by the Mayo Clinic, infants and children are more susceptible to dehydration than adults. Equally high risk individuals are the elderly and people already suffering from illnesses.
Here are some quick tips for staying hydrated in the summer:
Drink plenty of water daily and don’t wait until you are thirsty. Thirst is not a sign that you are becoming dehydrated! Drinking water through out the day keeps your body hydrated.
Keep your body cool, by choosing looser fitting clothing made from absorbent light cotton materials-tight fitting and dark colors hold heat.
If you exercising or playing outdoors in the heat, take regular breaks and drink a sports beverage like Gatorade-it contains important electrolytes that are commonly lost when you perspire and gives your muscles energy from the carbohydrate content. The sodium content helps retain those fluids in your body longer, thus promoting hydration.
Limit your caffeine and alcohol consumption-they act as diuretics and stimulate urination.
Keep watermelon cut and chilled in the refrigerator-it’s packed with natural water, tastes great and can be easier to swallow if you aren’t a fan of water.
Many fruits and vegetables are packed with plenty of hydrating liquids and are great as meals and snack options. Water isn’t the only way to keep your body hydrated.
Popsicles are a great offering to keep your children hydrated. It’s a great alternative to force feeding your five year old a glass of water while they are outside playing.
Finally, don’t over exert yourself in extreme heat, if you aren’t accustomed to it. Eat properly, drink plenty of fluids and most important-listen to your body!