Friday, July 20, 2012

Staying Hydrated During Summer in California

Summers in California can be very unforgiving, as temperatures hit triple digits with regularity in areas across the state. Some people choose to spend hot summer days inside, and this spares them the harsh effects of the sun. However, others enjoy spending their summer days outside, and activities such as hiking, biking and swimming become even more popular from June to August, and beaches up and down the coast see a large increase in the number of visitors. While many people are aware that too much exposure to the heat and sun can cause problems such as sunburn, another common summer health concern, dehydration, is sometimes overlooked until it is too late.

Staying hydrated is one of the most important things people must do when spending time outdoors during the summer, as high temperatures and constant exposure to the sun can quickly sap a person’s moisture from their body. Most people are aware that spending time at hot or sunny locations, such as the beach or inland valleys, can cause dehydration to occur. But even at high altitudes where the heat is not as intense, the low humidity in the air and the thin atmosphere can quickly make a person dehydrated. So dehydration can happen quickly anywhere in California, even if the temperature is not in the 100s. It’s important to hydrate frequently during the summer – if someone is feeling thirsty, then they are already slightly dehydrated. While mild to moderate dehydration can simply be treated with fluids, severe dehydration is a serious issue that can require immediate medical care.

Staying hydrated seems simple enough, but it is an activity that requires constant attention. It is important to drink water and other fluids throughout the day, even when not feeling thirsty. An adult active during the hot hours of the day should drink approximately 100 ounces of water a day in order to stay properly hydrated, which equates to about six disposable 16.7-ounce water bottles. Buying disposable bottles can quickly add up and become costly, so refillable bottles, such a Camelbak water bottle, can be good investments for those who make a point of staying hydrated all day, and many reusable bottles are made to withstand the tumbles and falls associated with outdoor activities. Camelbak backpacks are another good option for bikers or runners on the move who do not want bottles bouncing around on their backs. The more active a person is throughout the day during summer, the more imperative it becomes for them to keep water with them at all times.
One of the easiest ways to prevent dehydration is preparation, and drinking enough fluids the previous day is one of the best ways to avoid problems with it. It is also helpful to remain aware of fluid intake, as it can be very easy to forget about drinking water during a busy summer day. However, it is one of the most important things one can remember to do during summer in California, as well-hydrated individuals enjoy their summer days much more than people who do not get enough water.
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