Stay Cool & Hydrated During Summer Workouts

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The summer heat is sizzling but you can still enjoy outdoor exercise if you take a few precautions. When it’s hot outside your body sweats to help you cool off and stay cool by evaporating and taking heat away as your sweat evaporates. High humidity can prevent your sweat from evaporating. That’s one of the reasons you feel so miserable on high humidity days. Make sure that you drink enough water to stay hydrated. You can’t rely on how thirsty you feel to stay hydrated, so make sure you drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout.

Drink 2 eight ounce cups of water before you start exercising outdoors on hot days. Drink another 8 ounces every 15 to 20 minutes during your workout. Carry a bottle of water if you are biking, walking, jogging or running. When you finish your outdoor workout, drink another 8 ounces of water. You can drink other types of fluids if you get bored with water. Dilute some fruit juice with water or try a sports drink in your favorite flavor. Juice and sports drinks can not only keep you hydrated but also replenish carbohydrates, minerals and electrolytes. Many sports drinks increase your blood sugar which can become depleted during exercise. Avoid energy drinks that contain caffeine as these can actually increase dehydration and increase your heart rate.

Don’t push yourself too hard when the temperature reaches 80 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Exercise indoors in an air conditioned gym if the weather is too hot or humid. Learn the warning signs of heat illness. Muscle cramps, headache, dizziness and fatigue may be signs of serious heat illness. Stop exercising, rest and re-hydrate your body. See a doctor if symptoms persist.

Stay Hydrated With Fruits & Vegetables

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When the summer heat soars into the scorching range, it is critical that you keep your body hydrated. Drinking water will keep your body hydrated so that you can reduce your risk of heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Sports drinks can be a good choice to keep you hydrated, too. Many sports drinks contain minerals and salts that replenish the minerals and salts lost when you sweat. Sports drinks can help restore electrolyte balance as well. However, did you know that some fruits and vegetables may actually hydrate your body better than drinking a glass of water? Some fruits and vegetables can be as much as 90 percent or more water. Add some extra fruits and vegetables to your diet during hot weather to help you stay hydrated. You will also benefit from the extra vitamins and minerals. One study by the University of Aberdeen Medical School found that some fruits and vegetables hydrate the body twice as well as water or even sports drinks. 

Cantaloupe, strawberries and peaches are high in water content but also contain potassium that is essential to heart health. Potassium helps to regulate the heartbeat. When you sweat, you lose valuable potassium that can only be replaced by eating potassium-rich foods or taking a supplement. Pineapples and cherries contain melatonin and other micronutrients that help to reduce inflammation in the body. They are high in water content too. Watermelon, oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit and kiwi are all high in vitamin C. Cucumbers are 96 percent water but also contain minerals and vitamins, including calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium. Celery also contains all these minerals plus phosphorus, zinc and iron, which are essential to bone and blood health. 

The next time you exercise outdoors, pack plenty of bottles of water and take along a container of fresh fruits and vegetables to help hydrate your body. 

Staying Hydrated With Overactive Bladder

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You know how important it is to stay hydrated during exercise, especially if you do moderate to intense exercise for 30 minutes or longer. You should drink water before, during and after your workout to avoid dehydration and excessive fatigue. But what if you suffer from an overactive bladder? Won’t drinking all that water result in numerous bathroom breaks, which can interfere with your workout? There are many ways to help keep your overactive bladder in check. See your doctor if you are going to the bathroom more frequently than is typical for you to rule out other conditions such as diabetes. Only your doctor can diagnose the cause of frequent urination. If you have been diagnosed with overactive bladder, there are some things you can do to help alleviate your symptoms. Overactive bladder does not have to be a problem during exercise. 

Cut down on the amount of caffeine and alcohol in your diet. Caffeine and alcohol can irritate your bladder and increase the urge to go to the bathroom. Caffeine is a diuretic which can cause you to urinate more frequently. Cut back on coffee by drinking no more than 2 cups of coffee before lunch and do not drink caffeinated coffee after lunch. Avoid caffeinated sodas and energy drinks, which are often loaded with caffeine. Try to limit your alcohol intake to no more than one drink per day. Cut back on salty and spicy foods that will make you feel more thirsty. Avoid carbonated drinks, too. Add more fiber to your diet to help keep you regular to avoid excess pressure on your bladder from a full bowel. 

Drink plain, unflavored water before, during and after your workout. Sip water water in small amounts throughout your workout to avoid dehydration. Small amounts of water will be more quickly absorbed by the body. Go to the bathroom immediately when you feel the need to urinate. Don’t delay urination because holding your urine can cause more bladder problems.