When the sun starts to shine it’s the perfect time to get outdoors, soak up some rays and enjoy some exercise. After all, you want to look your best on the beach this summer, don’t you? But, doing so without knowledge of the right ways to stay hydrated could be damaging to your health – whether you’re heading out for a jog or planning to take the kids to the park to play. It’s vital that you consider your water intake and ensure you stay hydrated throughout the day, especially in the summertime.
Water makes up approximately 60% of your body weight, and every system in your body depends on it. It carries nutrients and oxygen to cells, provides a moist environment to keep joints working well and also regulates body temperature. Clearly, it’s important to drink water when you’re exercising in the heat, whether that’s chasing the children around the park or working up a sweat in an outdoor gym.
Although around 20% of your water intake probably comes from vegetables (if you have a healthy diet!), it still means you have to make up the other 40% to reduce your risk of dehydrating – early signs of which include headaches, constipation and fatigue.
Many people perceive fizzy drinks and coffee as an adequate substitute, but the only sure- fire way to stay hydrated is to drink water and plenty of it. Try to plan ahead when you know you’re going to be running around in the heat and take a good supply with you. Thirst is often a late indicator that your body is lacking water, so taking regular water breaks, whether you feel like you need them or not, will keep up your fitness and energy levels.
If you are looking for a more scientific calculation as to how much water you should be drinking, weigh yourself before and after exercise. Then drink approximately 16 ounces, or a half litre, for every pound of weight you have lost – much of this will be fluid lost through sweating. Replacing this water will give you back lots of electrolytes to keep your body functioning correctly.
Whether you’re considering strenuous fitness or just wanting to bask in the warm weather, always remember that when the temperature starts to climb it’s extremely important to ensure you drink more water than normal to stay fit, hydrated and healthy – while also making sure that nothing can ruin your fun!