Tips to Avoid Dehydration When Exercising in Hot Weather

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Summertime exercise enthusiasts who enjoy burning calories during workouts in the heat need to be careful they don’t lose vital nutrients as well, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and the Mayo Clinic.

Did you know that a pickup game of basketball or an afternoon jog during hot, humid weather on a sultry summer day could put your health at risk? Under normal circumstances, your body is able to adjust to the heat. However, prolonged exposure to rising temperatures makes it harder for your body to keep cool, which puts you at risk for heat cramps, dehydration, heat exhaustion or heat stroke. When you are sweating heavily during exercise and your body loses large amounts of water, it’s easy to become overheated and unable to perform to your full potential.

In hot or humid weather, heat exhaustion ensues if you’re not staying hydrated properly while exercising. The easiest way to avoid dehydration is to drink lots of fluids, especially on hot dry, windy days. The amount of water can depend on factors like how much water you’re getting from foods and other liquids and how much you’re sweating from physical activity. Remember, drinking water adds no calories and is always great for your health.

Since your body is made up of about two-thirds water, losing large amounts of it has ill effects. You can usually tell if you are suffering from dehydration when exercising. Thirst is usually the earliest and best warning. Your mouth may get sticky, or you may become dizzy and light-headed.

Drink Up

If you’re participating in sports or strenuous activities, you should drink some fluids before the activity begins. You should also drink at regular intervals (every 20 minutes or so) during the activity and after the activity ends, even if you don’t feel thirsty.

Keep It Fun And Easy

Exercise doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing activity. Make physical activity a part of your everyday life. Pick an activity that you enjoy doing and one that will fit into your daily routine. Go for brisk walks. Ride a bike. Dance. Work around the house and in the yard. Take care of your garden. Climb stairs. Rake leaves. Do a mix of things that keep you moving and active.

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