Stay Hydrated During Workouts

By: teahupoo
It is crucial for anyone exercising to stay properly hydrated but it is even more important for seniors who are more prone to heat related illness. The heat built up by the muscles being exercised cause the body temperature to increase which results in the body perspiring to try to cool down. This is a normal function of the body but in extreme heat and humidity situations the body can even sweat more then is required and this can result in rapid fluid loss. In addition to the relatively benign side effect of poor workout performance, dehydration can also cause heat stroke which can lead to seizures, coma, and even death.

When the body first feels the effects of dehydration the ability of the blood to carry oxygen is lessened resulting in weakness and dizziness. If one attempts to continue exercising while in a dehydrated state it can cause unhealthy fluctuations in blood pressure, nausea, fainting, and other symptoms of heat exhaustion and in some cases can result in stroke.

Some of the early signs of dehydration are dry skin, fatigue, thirst, and infrequent urination. One of the reasons that the dehydration threat is higher for seniors is because of thinner skin that comes with aging. The thinner skin makes a person more prone to losing fluid. Another issue that makes seniors more open to fluid loss is their medications, some medicines can cause you to become easily dehydrated.

To avoid becoming dehydrated during a workout, drink at least eight ounces of water every fifteen minutes to make sure that you keep ahead of fluid loss. It is necessary to take in this amount of water during any exercise, not just when exercising in hot conditions; you can experience rapid fluid loss in cool environments as well during intense exercise.

The easiest and fastest way to tell if you are drinking enough water is by the color of the urine, if it is clear then you are getting enough fluids, if yellow you are not properly hydrated. Avoid caffeinated drinks before, during, and after workouts as these will only cause you to be more susceptible to dehydration. You should drink a bout a gallon of water per day whether you workout or not to keep your body hydrated properly, if you exercise you need an extra 24 ounces per hour. Also avoid high protein diets which cause more frequent urination leading to dehydration.
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