There are so many fun summer activities outdoors. A two hour hike, a quick dip in the pool or a 2 hour baseball game can result in an emergency room visit if not careful.

Dehydration sneaks up on people who are playing or exercising outside, especially in water. We forget to drink water when we are playing outside in a pool. On hot summer days, dehydration can happen quickly if the moisture lost by sweating is not replenished. When a person is dehydrated the fluid and salt balances in his/her body are out of sorts. Proper nutrients and fluids cannot get to the tissues.

Do not wait until you are thirsty to drink. If you are thirsty, your body is already dehydrated. Water regulates the body temperature and lubricates your joints. It helps transport nutrients to give you energy and keep you healthy. If you are not hydrated, your body cannot perform and its highest level. You may feel tired, dizzy and have muscle cramps.

Sweating occurs on hot summer days. Sweating occurs when our body muscles become warm from activity. Sweating is a way for the body to cool off. Do not wipe sweat off, that will only increase body temperature. Simple dab a towel to cool yourself off more efficiently. Sweat evaporates from the skin to cool the body down during activity. When lots of sweating occurs, like in hot and humid weather, fluid needs to be replaced to keep the body hydrated.

I advise my clients to consume water rich foods all day the day before an outdoor activity. Some examples are lettuce, watermelon, grapefruit, broccoli and yogurt. Drink 64 oz. of water as well.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine if an activity outside last all day or longer than a single workout, drink 16-20 oz. of fluid 1 to 2 hours before outdoor activity. Then consume 6-12 oz. of fluid every 10-15 minutes you are outside exercising. Afterwards, drink another 16-24oz. of fluid to replace what was lost. Sports drinks are also a great choice after a workout to replace electrolytes.

In severe cases, heat exhaustion and heat stroke can occur. These are several  forms of dehydration that affect the cardiovascular system.The heart is forced to work harder to maintain output. In extreme cases, heat stroke,the body can shut down. A person may feel headache, nausea, muscle cramps, heart racing and even become unconscious.

Cooling headbands, drinking water before, during and after an activity outside and taking short breaks in an air conditioned area will help prevent dehydration.


Happy Summer Tips from So Southern At Heart Contributor  – Alison Kightlighter Cardoza


My daughter staying hydrated! LOL



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