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

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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

Reference

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Sally White

writer, artist & blogger

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Last Updated on November 22, 2021

Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

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Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

Thanksgiving, a day of pure gluttony, football, and possible uncomfortable situations with family members that you may or may not like. Oh, yeah, and the whole “know and reflect on what it is to be thankful and grateful.”

During the holiday season many people forget what this time of year is bout and are too worried about getting the “early-bird” deals on Black Friday and making sure that they have the perfect gifts for their loved ones. I am sort of a “Grinch” when it comes to the holiday season, mostly because of that mentality by many of the poeple around me.

But instead of being grinch-like this holiday season, I decided to simplify things and get back to what this time of year is actually is about; being thankful for what I have and what I can give.

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Simplify

I’m not a “minimalist” in any real sense, but in the last few months the talks of Patrick Rhone and others have got me to rethink my stance. Can you really have too much stuff?

Absolutely.

And with all that stuff comes the burden and the weight of it on your back.

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If you feel that the things around you are out of control, maybe it’s time to simplify and be thankful and grateful for what you have and use. Here are a few things that you can do to simplify:

  • You know those gadgets in the drawer that you said you were going to sell? Well, time to get the listing on eBay and sell them. Or, send them to a place like Gazelle. Even if they are old and won’t get money, you can at least recycle them.
  • Get rid of things you don’t need. Like old books, clothes, tools, etc. Have something that’s been laying around forever with no use? Donate it to a charity or church. If you aren’t using it, someone else could be.
  • Find your productivity tools and stick with them. Use tools and gadgets that serve multiple purposes so you can simplify your tool set.

Be Mindful

You don’t have to be a master Buddhist or meditator to be mindful (although, it can definitely help). Being mindful comes down to being cognizant of the present and not keeping yourself in the past or future. It’s about living in the moment and being aware of yourself and everything around you. It’s just being.

Without getting too “California” on you, it is super important to be mindful during the holiday rush. Rather than worrying about the things that you forgot at your house on the way to relatives or thinking about the next stop in your endless holiday travels, just breath and think about what you are currently doing.

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Spend the time with your family and friends and don’t crush the moment. Try not to concentrate so hard on getting the perfect photo of the “awesome moment” of the day and actually miss the awesome moment.

Being mindful over the holidays will help you be with your families, friends, and yourself allowing you to enjoy your time.

Reflect

As the year is coming to a close (yes, it really is that close!) it’s a great time to start reflecting on what you have accomplished and what you haven’t. Within the next few weeks we will have a more throrough reflection article here at Lifehack.org, but reflecting every now and then over your holiday break is a great way to see where you have been doing well in your life and where you need to improve.

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Reflection shouldn’t be used to “get down” on yourself. Reflection should be used to take an honset inventory of what you have accomplished, how you handeled situations, and what you can do better. If you journal everyday (a daily form of reflection) it may be a good time to start going over some of the things that you have written and start to put together a year’s end journal entry. I mean, how else will you write your autobiography?

But, seriously, reflecting on yourself makes you aware of your successes and faults and helps you plan and make goals for the coming year. It makes you a better person.

So, while you are stuffing your face with bird, stuffing, and mashed taters’, remember that the holidays are much more than the superficial things. Use this holiday to become a better person.

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Featured photo credit: Libby Penner via unsplash.com

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