Beat the Heat While You Stay Healthy and Fit
Water, Water, Water
Proper hydration is a must. No matter how you
choose to exercise or in whatever time of year you choose to do it, your body
Water accounts for approximately 55 percent
to 60 percent of an adult's body weight. While a loss of 10 percent may pose a
significant health risk, a loss of 20 percent can result in death.
Because exercise generates internal body
heat, which is released and cooled in the form of sweat (water), prolonged
exercise with insufficient fluid replacement can lead to dehydration. Some of
the warning signs of dehydration include headaches, muscle cramps,
lightheadedness, fatigue, confusion, lethargy and a persistently elevated body
temperature. Advanced stages of heat exhaustion can lead to coma and cardiac
And don't forget your dog. If you take it
along with you for exercise, make sure he or she gets enough water. Dogs
overheat more easily because they don't sweat.
The following measures can help you prevent exercise-induced dehydration:
Drink before, during and after exercise. Don't rely on your
thirst to tell you how much fluid you need.
Avoid items that contain caffeine (e.g., coffee, soft drinks
and tea) or alcohol because these can increase fluid loss.
Wear light, loose-fitting clothing that allows evaporation
If you become overheated, moisten your skin by sponging or
spraying it with water to assist in cooling down.
Avoid the use of saunas, steam rooms and hot tubs
immediately following exercise.
On very hot days, stay indoors or in the shade.