Is it hot in here?
I realize the fact that water is necessary for our bodies to survive is not news to anyone. But summer always seems like a good time for a reminder. As the temperatures climb, as they have been doing across the nation the last few months, the risk of becoming dehydrated increases. If you are being active outdoors or sweating in a hot yoga class, you’ll need more water to replenish fluids lost through sweat. Bringing a reusable water bottle with you is easy and convenient. Lots of schools, gyms, parks and offices have water bottle refill stations.
Our bodies are made of approximately 60% water. Cartilage, found in joints and the disks in between the spine, contains around 80% water. Long-term dehydration can reduce the joints’ shock-absorbing ability, leading to joint pain, which can make exercise hurt rather than help. Our blood, which carries oxygen to all parts of our body, is 90% water and is essential for the kidneys and other bodily functions. As you use the bathroom during the day, the color of your urine should be light yellow to clear. If it is dark yellow, drink up! Dark urine means you’re becoming dehydrated. If you are participating in exercises that require prolonged effort, remember that when you’re dehydrated, airways are restricted by the body in an effort to minimize water loss. This can lead to an asthma flare and make seasonal allergies worse. Keep your inhaler on you if you have one.
Now for the fun part! Water doesn’t have to be plain. I don’t mind the taste of plain water and that’s what I drink most of the day. But I know several people who do mind the taste. Sometimes, that has to do with intake of artificial sweeteners and salt that leave a coating on the tongue; inhibiting your taste buds ability to function. Whatever the reason, adding some fresh spearmint leaves to the water can make a refreshing drink. Cucumbers, lemon slices, lime slices are good, too. Seltzer is a bubbly option (no added anything, just carbonation). So find a reusable water bottle you love, fill it up with cold water and be sure to drink it all. There are many proposed methods used to figure how much water each of us needs daily, but the volume depends on age, activity and body mass. Don’t sweat the numbers. If you make water your beverage of choice and keep drinking and refilling throughout the day, you are doing your body a favor.
And that’s some self-care right there.