When the summer sun is beating down upon us, it’s easy to see why we would want to take steps toward proper hydration. However, during the winter months dehydration can creep up on us causing complications with our normal body functions as well as leading to serious issues such as bladder infections.
During the winter the human body can lose water in many ways. For example although one may not notice, exercising in cold weather still causes the body to lose a significant amount of water through sweating. The air is also drier during the winter, which in turn draws more moisture from the lungs as we breathe. A reduction of interior humidity, due to home heating methods, further increases water loss from the lungs and skin. Finally, as the weather outside gets colder, your body has to work harder to maintain its core body temperature (98.6 degrees).
Due to the fact that many of the ways one looses moisture during the winter months may go unnoticed it is incredibly important to take steps to stay hydrated. Nutritional therapist, Ellen Syverson (http://www.pathwaysforhealth.net/index.html) suggests the following key tips for water consumption to eliminate the winter dehydration blues:
- Start your day with ½ to 1 quart of water to flush your digestive tract and rehydrate your system.
- Sipping water throughout the day will help prevent too many visits to the bathroom and will help you reap more of the benefits of adequate hydration. .
- Increase water intake with increased stress/exercise.
- Illness robs your body of water as can prescription medications. Drink more when you are ill or when taking numerous medications.
- Do not wait until you are thirsty or have dry mouth to drink. These are indicators that you are already dehydrated.
- Too much water during a meal can dilute digestive enzymes. Also avoid icy cold water as it shocks the stomach making it difficult to secret enzymes.
Proper hydration has been proven to strengthen immune function, improve sleep and increase joint mobility. So treat yourself to the gift of health this winter with a refreshing glass of room-temperature water!
*This blog was first published here: Sunshine Retirement Living