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Beat the Heat: Tips about Dehydration

So in case you didn’t realize it’s been HOT outside, and even worse it’s been humid! This is one of the few times this summer I am glad that I spend most of my day in air conditioning. But for those who are enjoying their summer days outside with all the fun activities that are available a definite danger is Dehydration! Below are some facts and recommendations for staying safe in this hot weather.

  • What is Dehydration: It is when the loss of water (such as sweating, urination, vomiting, not drinking enough water) is greater than the intake of water and results in loss of electrolytes.
  • Who’s more at risk: young children, older adults, those with chronic illness.
  • Signs/symptoms: thirst, dry mouth, weakness, head ache, dizziness, confusion, in severe cases dehydration can lead to unconsciousness and seizures.
  • Effects on your Physical Activity: Decreased endurance, fatigue, muscle cramping, increase body temperature, risk of fainting during exercise
  • Recommendations:
    1. Drink Water! Carry water with you and drink throughout the day
    2. Keep Cool: take breaks as able, sit in the shade or get inside for a break
    3. Wear Light Clothing
    4. Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine
    5. Eat foods High in Water Content: examples are lettuce, squash, cantaloupe, watermelon, potato, apples.

If you follow with the above and still have persistent weakness, difficulty performing household tasks, limited endurance, or persistent cramping, maybe it’s time to see a Physical Therapist.

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