You know you have to drink about 8 glasses of water or half your body weight in ounces. For some people, this is not a problem. For others, they forget that exercising indoors and especially outdoors during the summer requires you to drink even more water. Indeed, it is much easier to become dehydrated when working outdoors and not even know it.
Many of us tend to increase our activity level when we are on vacation in other locales. But when you are not used to the new environment, you are at greater risk of dehydration.
Knowing the warning signs of dehydration can help prevent heat exhaustion and heatstroke, which can be fatal if not treated immediately. Obviously, two of the most common symptoms are fatigue and thirst. We can all feel sluggish when the heat and humidity are very high. But when we are not used to that climate, you can become dehydrated in just a half hour. Then the vicious cycle begins: You feel tired, so you cut back on your exercise. That is the opposite of what you need to do.
When you ignore simple signs, you risk developing heat exhaustion, at the lower end of the reaction spectrum. Those signs include a fever (often hard to tell when it is very hot outside), hot skin and dehydration. If those signs are ignored, the situation can escalate to heatstroke, where you can damage your central nervous system. Additional signs to look for include confusion, seizures or blackouts. Between these two conditions, there is a third in the middle called heat injury. Now you are truly damaging your body, leading to impaired functions of your kidneys, liver, stomach and muscles. This degradation in your body’s major functions will include dizziness and fainting, and blood or tissue damage.
If remembering these problems is difficult for you, then take notice of just three signs: thirst, loss of weight (and you are not on a diet), and dark urine. To prevent these conditions, you should drink 2 glasses of worth about two hours before you plan to engage in an outdoor activity. Throughout the exercise or activity, do a check every 20 minutes on how you are feeling. Drink a glass of water 2-3 times during the exercise or activity. When you complete your workout or outdoor activity, replace your lost fluids with a couple of glasses of water. Even iced tea will help.