Wednesday, July 25, 2007

What If I'm not as Smart as I Look?

Then I would probably be headed out for my run or walk (again!) without taking along water to drink. Believe me when I say that I learn all my lessons the hard way. But I have learned...and that's the main thing!

With the heat wave upon us, outdoor enthusiasts should pay particular attention to staying properly hydrated. It is VITALLY important to take along water on every outing when temperatures are this high. A hat or visor and sunscreen are also appropriate considerations, as is confining your exercise to the cooler hours of the day and perhaps choosing shady routes.

Drink lots of water before you go, then take frequent water breaks while exercising. When I’m hiking, I usually carry one Gatorade and one water bottle in a fanny pack. And I always take along a small ziplock baggie of Gatorade powder in my pocket to mix with water in case of emergencies. It’s a lifesaver if one becomes light-heated or experiences cramps and nausea (the first signs of heat exhaustion).

For any exercise extending over an hour, one should drink a sports drink (Gatorade, Powerade, etc.) to replace carbohydrates and electrolytes eliminated with excessive sweating. A good dose of sports drink after the exercise will also alleviate charley-horse muscle cramps that sometimes accompany excess sweating and exertion.

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