After a long weekend during which we remember those courageous men and women who gave their lives for our freedom, we celebrate the arrival of summer with our friends and family. Summer is that glorious season during which we frolic in pools, build castles on the beach, and try to keep our core body temperature down even as the sun heats things up.
If you live in a hot climate like I do, summer means that outdoor exercise must be carefully planned. In Austin, you get the choice between ‘cool’ mornings (temps in the 80s) and high humidity or hot afternoons and low(er) humidity. Either way, it is critical to be well hydrated before, during, and after outdoor exercise.
Most people wait to drink until they get the thirst signal from their body. By the time this happens, though, you’re already behind the eight ball and significantly dehydrated. Make sure you drink throughout the day so that your muscles are well hydrated even before you begin your workout.
Drinking a cup of water every 15 minutes while exercising helps to replace the water your muscles need. The average person loses about a quart of water every hour of exercise just through sweating. Even if you are swimming or doing water aerobics, keep a bottle on the pool deck– you still need to hydrate, too! As for sports electrolyte drinks, those aren’t really necessary unless you are doing exercise in hour-long (or longer) sessions. Although they may taste better than water to you, you’re drinking extra, unnecessary calories.
As the temperatures rise and the sun gets hotter, do yourself a favor and pay attention to your hydration. Avoiding the sluggish feeling that comes from dehydration is a good start to keeping your workouts on track.
Good health and great happiness to you.