Summer is the perfect time for getting outdoors and enjoying some fresh air and sunshine. We know that safe exposure to the sun helps our bodies to generate vitamin D, which supports the immune system along with healthy teeth and bones. And of course, outdoor exercise is good for us in numerous ways.
But the heat can have a downside, too. We’re all more prone to dehydration when it’s hot outside, and it’s possible to become dangerously dehydrated when you’re distracted and forget to drink water regularly. If you notice any of these ten signs of dehydration, you’ve already gone too long without proper hydration.
- Infrequent urination or dark urine
- Dry mouth or bad breath
- Dry skin
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Muscle cramps
- Irritability or confusion
- Low energy or fatigue
Seek water or another refreshing beverage if these symptoms appear and take the opportunity to cool off in the shade while you’re at it. Remember to avoid coffee, soda, and alcoholic beverages, since these actually have a dehydrating effect.
It’s important to remember that these symptoms don’t appear when you’re merely thirsty; they are a signal that you have already become dehydrated. Because dehydration can be even more dangerous in those over 60, we cannot overemphasize the importance of carrying a refillable bottle everywhere you go. Make a conscious effort to develop this habit now, and within a few weeks it will simply become part of your everyday lifestyle.