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The Risk Of Dehydration Can Be Actually Higher In Winter. Read This To See Why

The Risk Of Dehydration Can Be Actually Higher In Winter. Read This To See Why

Do you ever wonder why you can do a physical activity longer in the winter without having to stop and chug that bottle of water? The same recreation in the summer can leave you panting with thirst, but now you only need one bottle of water for that five-mile hike or that seven-mile paddle down the river. Your head may ache a bit afterward and you might be breathing hard, but that 16 oz bottle of water was all you needed, right? Believe it or not, you are wrong. You actually run a higher risk of dehydration in the winter. And you won’t even see it coming.

Cold Weather and Hydration: Switching to the Winter Mode

In the summer when you exercise, your body lets you know when you are thirsty. You feel thirsty. You see the sweat. You drink and everything works. A beautiful symbiotic relationship. However, once those temperatures drop, something changes inside and that lovely symbiotic relationship goes awry.

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In the winter, your body still gets thirsty, and you need hydration, but when faced with cold weather, it switches to winter mode and concentrates on keeping you warm. Your body focuses on pulling blood away from the extremities to keep your internal core heated. In the winter, regulating your body temperature takes priority over balancing your internal fluids. Your body’s program telling you that you are thirsty gets overridden.[1]

Where Does All that Water Go?

Ever wonder why you have to pee more when the weather is cold? When faced with lower temperatures, your body works hard to keep things warm, and a kidney full of liquid is just an extra space that needs heating. Unnecessary heating. So it flushes out that excess water and the result makes you run to the bathroom more than usual. Unfortunately, this extra release of fluids means you should be topping up the tank, so to speak, and drink more to keep those organs hydrated.

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When the air is cold outside, you can see your breath. When that happens, you are actually losing water from your body as it becomes moisture in the air. Couple that with those extra layers of clothes that are making you sweat and you have a clear path to dehydration.

Symptoms of Dehydration

Dry, sticky mouth, cool skin, rapid breathing, elevated blood pressure, headache, fast heartbeat and thirst[2] are all symptoms of dehydration. By the time you actually feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. In the cold weather, due to the winter mode your body has switched to, it gets worse.Your body won’t give you that thirsty feeling. So how do you know if you are dehydrated or not? With the colds and flu that swirl around during the winter months, feeling blah may not be the best indicator either, so your best bet is to check the color of your pee. It should be a clear yellow. If it’s darker, you are in need of fluids, so grab a drink.

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Staying Hydrated in the Winter

You should aim to stay hydrated year round; not only does it give you younger looking skin, it also helps to run your blood more smoothly and keep those organs plumped up and healthy. In the winter you need to work with your body. You won’t be getting the signals that your body will send in the summer- like thirst. Realize that you are responsible for keeping hydrated. Drink fluids with your meals and consume water-rich foods like fruits and vegetables. Carry a bottle of water with you throughout the day to keep track of how much you drink. Aim to drink a glass of water when you wake up in the morning to rehydrate your system.

How much water should you drink? The average man needs 3 liters, and an average woman needs 2.2 liters of water daily.[3] However, if you participate in rigorous activities or exercise, that amount can change according to your needs. Drinking too much water can leave you feeling bloated and also running the risk of hyponatremia, washing necessary sodium from your blood. Be smart. Be sensible. Stay hydrated and watch the color of your pee.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash at Pixaby via pixabay.com

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Sally White

writer, artist & blogger

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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