Stay Hydrated This Summer

Summer brings up images of trips to the beach, picnics, swimming in the pool, cooling off in the natural freshwater springs, treks, sports, and a host of other outdoor activities. But, a  change of season necessitates a shift in routine, a new diet and, of course, a new workout plan that is appropriate for the weather. It is critical to use extra caution when temperatures are fluctuating.

Your body temperature is regulated by water, especially useful during the summer months. Dehydration of just 2% of your body weight can severely limit your body’s ability to perform at its best, which you’ll need to keep up for your exercise, work, and social obligations. We lose a considerable amount of water content through sweating. It is a natural mechanism to bring down the body’s temperature. In summer the external heat leads to a faster elevation in the internal temperature of the body resulting in increased sweating.

Exercise in a more controlled environment to avoid excessive sweating. If working out, opt for regular cardio but at a slower pace. Keep a tab on your heart rate and other body signs such as nausea, lightheadedness etc., while exercising to avoid heat exhaustion and heatstroke.                                                            

Any outdoor sports involving long endurance which can result in a lot of sweating is best avoided. This is because excessive sweating causes loss of electrolytes and dehydration.

Common symptoms of dehydration include cramps, lightheadedness, or fainting spells. Dehydration can also occur from loss of fluids and minerals like sodium, potassium, chlorides, and calcium and can cause improper contraction of muscles leading to early fatigue and cramps You may be dehydrated if you feel symptoms such as dizziness, muscle cramps, lethargy, or weariness. To avoid this, drink plenty of water throughout the day.

Opt for your daily shower in lukewarm or regular temperature water using regular soap. Pat dry the skin after a shower and use dusting powders on the body, especially in areas such as the underarms and groin to minimize sweat and infections. In case of any existing skin problems, it is best to have them treated by a dermatologist at the earliest.

Ensure you are well hydrated throughout the day. Aim to consume three to four litres per day spread out before and after your exercise routine. Lukewarm water, room temperature, or slightly chilled water is recommended.  Ice cubes or extremely cold water should be avoided for rapid cooling of the body or for drinking when exposed to a harsh and hot environment. This sudden extreme change in temperatures can result in lowering immunity and repeated upper respiratory tract infections.     

Dietary habits and fluids solve most problems related to the skin as they help in increasing the immunity and health of your skin and also play a vital role in the prevention of complications. Seasonal fruits and fresh fruit juices are highly recommended along with salads, vegetables, tender coconut, and curds.  It is best to avoid very oily, and spicy foods and limit the intake of poultry, red meat, and eggs which are difficult to digest. 

Our overall well-being is dependent on our physical and mental health.  Take all the necessary precautions to stay safe and healthy during the warm summer months.

Staying cool:

Stay hydrated. Lime water with a dash of salt and sugar is recommended.

Tender coconut and fresh juices without added sugars make for natural summer refreshments.

Consume fresh local produce which is seasonal, both fruits and vegetables.

Plan your activities well, keeping in mind the weather and the temperature. Opt to schedule outdoor activities in the early mornings or late evenings.

Plan the outdoor activity in cool shaded areas in parks or in the natural wilderness.

Taking care of your skin:

Protect yourself from direct exposure to the sun and wear appropriate clothing. Loose-fitting cotton garments are great for summer. Wear a cap, hat, or headcover, when out in the midday sun.

Wear sunglasses to keep the harsh glare of the sun at bay and protect the eyes and face.

A sunscreen between 20-and 50 SPF is advisable. If heading to the beach or pool for a swim, opt for sunscreen above 50 SPF.

Have a daily shower. Pat skin dry and apply dusting powders. Wash your face at least 2-3 times a day. Wash your hair twice a week with a mild shampoo.

When possible carry an umbrella.

Always drink a glass of water before leaving home and carry a water bottle. Drink about 3 to 4 litres of water per day.

Dr. Vijay Naik MD (Medicine), senior physician at Healthway Hospital

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Author: Planet Goa Team
For us at Planet-Goa, our team is driven by that feeling of exhilaration that one gets when discovering that something ‘unique’ and ‘new’ about Goa for our ever-so-discerning readers.

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