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No matter what part of the country you call home, one word can usually describe how you may feel when you are out and about between the months of June and September: Hot. While many people escape the warmer temperatures by staying indoors with their shades drawn, others may beat the heat with trips to the beach or lakeside retreat. Sure, sun hats, SPF-protection and similar clothing may be top of mind when it comes to protection. But even more important than what you put on top of your skin is what you put inside your body. Regardless of how you’re keeping cool this summer, consuming enough fluids—specifically, water—will keep you not just hydrated, but healthy.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!

At some point in our lives, we have all likely experienced symptoms related to dehydration. From heat exhaustion and heat stroke to cramps or other serious medical conditions, proper fluid consumption—especially during the warmer months—is vital.  Did you know that dehydration can also affect your blood pressure by causing it to either spike up or go down? And if your body is not hydrated it can cause a lower blood pressure, which decreases blood volume. Further, when fewer fluids in the body are combined with high sodium levels, a hormone called vasopressin is secreted. This hormone may actually lead increased blood pressure.

How Much is Too Little?

So…just how much water should you drink to stay hydrated? The recommended consumption amount is two liters–or 64 ounces of water–per day. This is important, and, of course, necessary, given that water makes up 65% to 70% of the human body. In fact, did you know that your water makes up 80% of your lungs, 75% of your heart and 70% of your skin?

Still, drinking 64 ounces of water may sound easy to some, but one complaint we hear often is that water is not a fluid of choice for most people. After all, it has zero taste. So, if you’re someone who enjoys a more flavorful concoction, try a few of the following tips:

  1. Infuse It – There are many great water infusers out there—from water bottles to pitchers—that fit perfectly inside your fridge. Adding slices of lemons, limes, oranges, apples, cucumbers, watermelon, mint and other herbs is a great way to boost your water intake with a hint of healthy flavor.
  2. Stock It – Fill your fridge with easy-to-grab water bottles that you can take them with you. Put several bottles in a small cooler with an ice pack so that your water stays cool and out of the sun when you’re in your car or on a day trip.
  3. Wake and Hydrate – As soon as you wake up in the morning, drink a glass of water. Hydrating first thing will set the tone for the rest of the day while getting a head start on your consumption.
  4. Measure for Success – Many sports bottles have ounce measurements on the side of the bottles. Fill a 32-ounce bottle twice per day for your total intake. It’s sometimes easier to consume when we can see the measurement.
  5. Find a Water Buddy – Get a family member or friend to do a 30-day water challenge with you. Set a schedule each day when you might text each other to drink a glass. Make it fun by creating text videos to send to each other as you’re finishing a bottle. Before you know it, it will be routine for you to drink up.

Now that you have learned how vital water is for the body, it is important to take extra measures to consume more of it during the peak summer months—especially when you find yourself doing any type of outdoor activities. When you consider how much water is in the human body and how much you truly need it for your body to work in your favor, you may never leave home without a bottle again.

Content provided by Alisa Blanchard, Fleet Landing’s Exercise Physiologist

The WELLInspired™ Learning Series offers Fleet Landing Residents access to the resources, tools and support to enhance overall health and wellbeing.  At Fleet Landing, we believe a retirement that is full of life means more than just being physically fit; it means getting the most out of every aspect of living!  Contact us today to learn more about how you can experience an active, engaging lifestyle.