Did you know that up to 40% of older adults are under-hydrated? This can be problematic for the active aging community because adequate hydration is important for all types of activities. Under-hydration may lead to headaches, dizziness, physical weakness and much more. It is important to remember to actively hydrate throughout the day, especially as we face the hotter summer months. Below are some helpful tips to help you stay hydrated while staying active.
1. Start the day with a glass of water
Typically, individuals do not drink water during the night, which means they have been without fluid for hours by the time they wake up. Drinking a glass of water as soon as you wake up, is a great way to start your day of hydration!
2. Rethink drink choices
Alcohol and caffeinated drinks - like soda or energy drinks - can lead to dehydration. Consider drinking water in between alcoholic beverages to make sure that you are staying hydrated.
Caffeinated drinks, which are typically packed with sugar, can also lead to dehydration. Try to replace caffeinated, sugar-sweetened drinks with water. You can also try adding some fresh fruits and/or vegetables to your water, to give it some flavor and a more "natural" taste.
3. Hydrate before, during and after physical activity
Dehydration can occur from physical activity if fluid lost through sweating is not adequately replaced. Hydrating before, during and after physical activity will help you avoid dehydration.
Adults should aim to drink:
- 8 ounces of water before physical activity
- Sip water throughout the activity
- Drink 16 to 24 ounces of water after the activity
This is especially important for people who perspire heavily.
Some conditions that can increase fluid loss:
- Temperature. Higher temperatures increase sweat loss.
- Duration. The longer the activity, the greater the fluid loss.
- Intensity of the activity. A harder workout will cause individuals to sweat more.
4. Know the signs of dehydration
It is important to know the warning signs of dehydration. If you notice any of these warning signs, you should drink more water immediately. Dehydration warning signs include:
- Dry mouth
- Lack of energy
- Light-headedness or dizziness
- Dark urine or decreased urine output
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, stop what you’re doing, drink water, or get back inside to cool off before continuing outdoor activities.
Moorings Park’s Life Plan Communities has offered residents a chance at an active, healthy, independent lifestyle for over 40 years in Southwest Florida. For more information on our communities and amenities, contact us today and request your complimentary information kit.