Rehab and Wellness Connection - July 2015
Staying Healthy in the Heat begins with Hydration!

Whatever brings you outside - a bike ride with friends, a jog in the park, reading in the hammock or just a stroll around the block - it's important to stay safe when the temperature and humidity rises. Keeping the body hydrated helps the heart more easily pump blood through the blood vessels to the muscles, and this helps the muscles work efficiently. If you are well-hydrated, your heart will not have to work as hard.

Hydration starts before you begin any outdoor activity. Drink plenty of fluids before you even begin your enjoyment of the outdoors. By the time you become thirsty, you are already dehydrated. The best indicator of hydration is to monitor the color of your urine. If it is pale yellow or clear, you are hydrated, if it is darker, drink more fluids. Water is the best fluid; however, fruits and vegetables that have high percentage of water content are also great ways to hydrate. Fruit juices and soda contain sugars which add calories and may also cause stomach problems if you are dehydrated.  Drinks with caffeine actually act as a diuretic and can cause you to lose more fluids. Alcoholic beverages should never be considered a drink of choice for hydration purposes as alcohol actually dehydrates a person.

Other summertime tips to stay healthy include:

  • Watch the clock - It's best to avoid the outdoors in the early afternoon (about noon-3PM) because the sun is usually at its strongest, putting you at higher risk for heat-related problems (including sunburn)
  • Buddy up! It's always more fun to go through life with a friend and it's safer too.
  • Get off on the right foot - your feet sweat a lot in the summer,  choose well-ventilated shoes and look for socks that repel or wick moisture away.
  • Dress for the heat - wear lightweight, light-colored clothing in breathable fabrics and be sure to add a hat to your wardrobe
  • Protect your eyes! Sunglasses will protect your eyes from UV rays even when clouds appear
  • Apply a water-resistant sunscreen with at least SPF 15 and reapply it every two hours
  • Take regular breaks from the sun. Find some shade or a cooler place even for just a couple of minutes
  • Drink plenty of water or eat fruits such as grapes, watermelon or berries or vegetables like bell peppers or tomatoes to stay hydrated

To learn more ways to stay healthy in the sun or to learn signs of too much heat and sun, contact Clear Lake Physical Therapy and Rehab Specialists at (715) 263-4103 and our friendly staff will be more than happy to answer your questions! We live in a great community with a lot of fun outdoor activities to appeal to nearly everyone. Clear Lake Physical Therapy wants to help you enjoy it to the fullest!