Every year, summer is eagerly welcomed with a list of outdoor activities to relish. This summer is no different – picnics, vacations, tours – nice stuff to be involved in. However, in the busyness of it all, we sometimes forget to keep tabs on our health.
A major health issue associated with summer is Dehydration. Basically, dehydration is a health condition in which water in the body drops below the normal level and it is usually linked with hot periods/seasons. The degree or extent of dehydration varies with different persons, however, there are general signals to look out for. These signals are discussed below:
Thirst: Thirst is one factor to look out for and you don’t have to wait till you are almost dying. Once, you start feeling thirsty, it is advisable to drink water and sports drinks (beverages containing electrolytes) to rehydrate.
Pain/cramps in the muscle: While not all muscle cramps are a result of dehydration, if you start feeling such cramps in the middle of your activities, then it is very likely that you are dehydrated. Normally, sweat is basically composed of water and salts (electrolytes) and the excessive loss of these fluids could result in weakness or pains in your muscle. Athletes also suffer from similar pain. Here is a good way to avoid cramps; take enough sports drinks containing sodium, or take some salty nibbles; the sodium (also present in salt), helps retain water in your body.
Dry eyes: Sweating is a normal reaction of the body to exercise or quite demanding activities. This results in the loss of a substantial amount of water and electrolytes. As a result, other moist parts of your body such as your eyes may begin to feel dry too. So, once you start feeling like your eyes are dry or irritated, you know it is time to drink water and other fluids to rehydrate.
Dark urine: Dark-colored urine is usually (not always) as a result of dehydration. A hydrated healthy individual will normally have light-yellow urine. So if you observe that your urine is dark-colored, or you notice that the rate of urination is significantly reduced, you should stop exercising and take a rest while you rehydrate your system.
Dry and wrinkled skin: Ever seen body creams with the inscription “extra-hydration”?
Staying hydrated keeps your skin in its elastic state. You could know you are dehydrated if your skin looks dry and thin. You may not realize this in time, but if you pinch your skin and it doesn’t quickly bounce back to its original state, then there is a possibility you are dehydrated.
Fever/hyperthermia: Dehydration can cause an increase in body temperature. Technically, dehydration will result in the overheating of your systems. If you notice an excessive temperature, it is advisable to stop exercising immediately, have a cold bath, and drink water or sports drinks to rehydrate.
Fatigue/Confusion/Anger: Although this symptom isn’t common with the middle-aged, it is with children and the elderly. Loss of moisture can affect your energy, the way you think, and your mood.
Headaches/Disorientation: Some degrees of dehydration could result in migraines, lightheadedness, and in some instances, delirium. There is also a possibility that some people could experience dizziness. A reduction in body fluids will cause your blood level to go down which in turn prevents the brain from getting enough blood, thereby causing dizziness.
Sweat deficiency: As soon as you notice you don’t seem to be producing enough sweat even in the hotness of the weather and rigor of activity, it is important to slow down and drink water. Your health is of utmost importance!
You shouldn’t wait till you start having these signs before you rehydrate, do recoup as early as possible. Doing this goes a long way in preserving your strength and ensuring you have yet another amazing summer.