Are you hydrated in the heat?

The sun is out, the temperature has been soaring (and according to reports it’s going to be a similar story for the rest of the summer), one of the most important things to ask yourself is “Are you drinking enough?”. Iced cocktails? Pimms and prosecco in the sun? A trip to the beer garden with friends? There is so much choice, how can anyone not been drinking enough?!!! Far from it I’m afraid, we are talking H2O – water! There is, of course, nothing wrong with alcohol, in moderation, but during periods of heat it’s one of worst things to drink, and we will explain why shortly. On a week when there have been record numbers of calls to the emergency services following dizziness and fainting episodes, travellers collapsing on public transport, we are bringing you some help on remaining hydrated during periods of hot weather, and how to exercise safely in the Summer months.

Did you know that even a 3-4% fluid loss can lead to dizziness and fatigue? During a hot day, normal sweating to cool off will rapidly deplete fluid reserves, and when you add exercise into the equation, you can soon find yourself feeling very unwell.  Some of the signs of dehydration to keep a look out for include

  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth, lips and eyes
  • Feeling thirsty
  • Feeling drained
  • Dark and strong smelling urine /decreased urination

Replenishing fluids regularly can help avoid getting to this level, but there are quite a few tips you can take on board to exercise and remain hydrated safely during the heat.

  • Drink clear and caffeine free fluids only! Caffeine and alcohol are diuretics which make you lose fluid more quickly, during hot weather, only water really replaces fluid lost from sweating. If you need some flavour in your water, add a selection of fruits and allow the flavours to infuse, or try cooled down peppermint or fruit tea.
  • On average, a person should drink 6-8 glasses of water per day. During hot weather, this amount can increase significantly although the volume needed will vary between individuals, depending on how long you exercise for and how long you spend in the heat. Carry a water bottle wherever you go and mark on it time points to make sure you are taking fluid on board throughout the day.
  • Try to exercise in either cooler places or times of the day when heat is not extreme. A swim in a local outdoor pool , you local air conditioned gym or a jog as the sun comes up or goes down are great ideas.
  • If you are not used to hot weather, it can take your body longer to adjust during your warm up while exercising. Take all exercise slow, steady and do not overdo it.
  • Dress appropriately! Breathable fabrics, cover your head and arms, and any exposed skin should be covered with sunscreen.

In the UK, summer is never here for very long, before we know it there will be rain again so it is great to be able to safely enjoy the weather while we can. If you are struggling to find the motivation to exercise in the cool, nevermind the heat, why not join a program that will help you strive towards a happier, healthier you? Personal Trainer Sharon Morrow brings you Fit Focused Female, the only online coaching program that is tailored to your personal needs, helping you find the motivation to succeed around your day to day commitments that you normally use as an excuse. Find out more here.

Enjoy the sun and stay safe!