Fitness: Rethinking the Summer Heat | Special Sections | – Quad-City Times

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It doesn’t even seem real to think that just a few months ago I was still scraping ice off my windshield before my morning trip across town to the gym. Nonetheless, we made it through another midwestern winter, with the summer embracing us with a hug full of warmth and memories with our family and friends.
With the warmth and fun, there does come some health concerns in regards to maintaining proper hydration. Hydration is important for individuals of all ages, but it is of particular concern for older adults. Older adults simply are not able to regulate the temperature of their body as well, when compared to when they were younger. Because of this, it is important to look over the signs of dehydration in general, and to remind seniors to plan ahead when enjoying some fun in the sun.
Sweating is a natural part of living as a human. Sweating itself is actually incredibly useful, as it allows us to live in temperatures that are very hot, typically without concerns of overheating. This of course is only done if we are properly hydrated. When you are properly hydrated, your body takes the water inside of your body, and pulls it to the surface of the skin. This removes both the water and heat from yourself. If you do not have enough water in your body, or are not properly hydrated, your body can’t cool itself down. This can lead to numerous health concerns and in extreme circumstances, death. Just a 1% reduction in your body weight from water loss can be enough water loss to demonstrate signs of mild dehydration.
When thinking about the concerns of dehydration, noting a few of the symptoms can be a great way to tackle it, if it comes across your life. Of course the best way to not become dehydrated is to be proactive about your hydration levels to begin with. This doesn’t not always happen, unfortunately, as our lives are busy, leading our health and well-being to sometimes suffer. Some of the signs of dehydration can include dark yellow or strong smelling urine, unexplained fatigue, being thirstier than normal, dizziness, feeling confused or “off,” and even cramps within the muscle. These are just a few of the common symptoms and will likely differ in type and intensity from individual to individual. If you do start to feel these symptoms come onto you, it is highly advised to find a shaded area or a place with air conditioning, water or a drink with both water and electrolytes, and if you are lucky a cold towel for your head and body. By staying proactive with your planning and awareness of how you feel, enjoying the summer weather should not be a concern to you. A couple of points of emphasis when planning your time outside are to bring extra water for hydration, light clothing to help reduce sun exposure, a cooler with cold towels, and quick and easy access to shade or air conditioning if needed.
From everyone at All Strong Fitness, we hope you enjoy all of the great summer activities that the Quad Cities has to offer. It is always important to remind yourselves, especially if you are an older adult, that hydration is the key to enjoying the wonderful summer months we have in the Midwest!

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