It has been what can only be described as disrespectfully hot outside. And you know what? Normally I don’t mind, but the humidity being at 1,053% is making it unbearable (and not doing my curly hair any favors).
Since it’s eleventy billion degrees, but also in prime time for outside summer fun, it’s important that we all stay hydrated. Particularly if you are the outdoorsy type.
Hiking, fishing and swimming are among the more popular ways to experience the great outdoors. Outdoor enthusiasts may find nothing better than a day on their favorite trail or an afternoon spent fishing or swimming in a nearby lake.
Getting caught up in summertime-funtime can make it easy to lose track of getting enough water. That’s a potentially dangerous mistake but one that is easily avoided. If you are used to spending long hours in the great outdoors you know you are vulnerable to a host of potentially dangerous conditions, including dehydration. Avoiding dehydration involves learning to recognize its signs and symptoms and how to prevent it from occurring.
What is dehydration?
According to the Mayo Clinic, “dehydration occurs when you use or lose more fluid than you take in, and your body doesn’t have enough water and other fluids to carry out its normal functions. If you don’t replace lost fluids, you will get dehydrated.”
What causes dehydration?
Numerous things can cause someone to become dehydrated, including not drinking enough fluids. Diarrhea, vomiting, sweating too much, and urinating too much are some other factors that can cause someone to become dehydrated.
The risk of dehydration on hot days is higher because people are more likely to sweat a lot when the temperature rises. If those fluids are not replenished, and replenished often, dehydration can occur. Outdoor exercise during hot days increases the risk of dehydration. Outdoor activities that are physically challenging, such as hiking, rock climbing and kayaking, are a form of exercise that can make participants more vulnerable to dehydration.
What are the symptoms of dehydration?
The Mayo Clinic notes that thirst is not always a reliable indicator that the body needs water. Older adults are more vulnerable to dehydration than others because they naturally have a lower volume of water in their bodies. Aging men and women also don’t typically feel thirsty until they’re already dehydrated. So it benefits people of all ages, and especially the elderly, to learn these symptoms of dehydration.
– Extreme thirst
– Less frequent urination
– Dark-colored urine
– Dry mouth
– Less frequent sweating
– Feeling tired
– Dry skin
Parents should know that infants and children may exhibit symptoms of dehydration that differ from those experienced by adults. Such symptoms may include:
– Dry mouth and tongue
– Crying without tears
– No wet diaper for three hours or more
– High fever
– Being unusually sleepy or drowsy
– Eyes that appear sunken
So, how do we avoid dehydration?
To prevent dehydration, drink plenty of fluids and eat foods high in water such as fruits and vegetables. Letting thirst be your guide is an adequate daily guideline for most healthy people.
In general, it’s best to start hydrating the day before strenuous exercise. Producing lots of clear, dilute urine is a good indication that you’re well-hydrated. During the activity, replenish fluids at regular intervals and continue drinking water or other fluids after you’re finished.
The weather is prime for easy dehydration, so be safe and take care of yourself, especially if you are outdoors!