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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

Reference

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Sally White

writer, artist & blogger

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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