Tips for staying hydrated and healthy during outdoor physical activities.
Now that we have officially entered the second week of August, that means we will soon be saying sayonara to some of our favorite summer activities and will start focusing on getting back into the routines and schedules of fall. However, while the month of August often brings with it the end of summer vacation and the last of the seasonal BBQs and parties, there is one aspect of summer that only grows stronger in these last few weeks of August-- the heat.
As you and your body temperature may have already noticed, the summer 2011 season has been one of the hottest on record for many cities across the United States. While this may have been great for those heading to the beach hoping to soak up the sun
, it can be extremely dangerous for athletes who enjoy outdoor summer activities, especially if they're not staying properly hydrated.
Water is possibly the single most important aspect of any workout routine. Every single cell in our bodies require a proper amount of water
in order to function correctly. However, when you are outside sweating in the summer heat, your body temperature begins to rise and you can quickly become dehydrated.
Why Do We Need Water?
While becoming thirsty may not seem like that big of a deal, what many people don't realize is that by time your body recognizes the feeling of thirst, you are already slightly dehydrated. This is extremely dangerous to anyone who is participating in physical activities because as little as 2% dehydration can have a negative effect on your body's performance.
Because the human body is composed of approximately 70% water, even the slightest feeling of dehydration can cause your body to feel sluggish
, tired and lazy. Also, it's not just your body that requires a lot of water in order to function well-- the human brain is 75% liquid and needs constant water in order to carry out normal cognitive functions.
How Do You Stay Hydrated In The Sun?
Doctors advise that the average person should drink at least one glass (8 ounces) of cool water each hour during the summer months. However, if you are outside engaging in physical activities, two-four glasses (16-32 ounces) an hour is much more accurate in order to maintain proper hydration.
One of the best ways for athletes to stay hydrated during their outdoor workouts
is by using a hydration pack. These hydration systems come in backpack or waist pack form and contain an insulated reservoir that can hold anywhere from 1.5 to 3.0 liters of water. These packs also feature a hands-free hose that runs from the water to the outside of the pack, allowing the wearer to stay easily hydrated.
Because you should always drink water before, during and after exercising in hot weather, hydration packs are a great way to get a proper amount of water without having to constantly stop to grab your water bottle.
There are many different activities that are available to athletes in the summer time
, such as hiking, kayaking or surfing. Not only do these outdoor exercises promote health and well being, but they are also a great way to connect with nature and soak up the last few weeks of summer. However, it is essential that you are staying properly hydrated each and every time you head outside. After all, a well-hydrated athlete is a better performing athlete.