Now that summer is upon us, you and your fellow residents at your senior living in Oceanside surely have a bunch of plans and summer activities lined up for the month. Of course, summer is never really complete without beach trips, pool parties, and Sunday BBQs, right?
While it’s okay to let loose and have fun, you should still put your health and safety at the top of your priority list, especially now that you’re navigating your golden years. One way to do that is to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated while having fun outside.
Fluids are an essential component of your body. It keeps the organs running, maintains good blood circulation, and helps remove toxins and waste in the body. Without enough of it, you’ll risk suffering from dehydration, which is a fatal condition for older adults.
In fact, seniors have an increased risk for dehydration because the body’s sense of thirst diminishes as a person ages. This means that you’ll have to be extra careful and vigilant when it comes to hydration.
So, we’ve rounded up the five best ways to stay hydrated this summer season to help you stay on top of your health!
1. Drink Lots of Water and Remember to Replenish
The best way to keep hydrated is to drink plenty of water every day. Ideally, older adults need to consume at least eight glasses of water daily.
But during extra hot days or if you did a sweat-inducing activity, then you should increase your water intake accordingly. Proper hydration also means replenishing the fluids you had lost during the day, so you should also consider the amount of activity you did.
Here are some tips on how you can remember to drink water daily.
- Start your day by drinking a glass of water in the morning.
- Make sure to have another glass each meal.
- Sip water steadily throughout the day by having a water bottle handy wherever you go.
- Have a loved one or caregiver remind you to drink water.
Senior living in Oceanside often organizes hydration programs for their residents, so make sure to check those out.
2. Add Some Flavor
Water is the best form of fluid to hydrate your body. However, drinking plain water 24/7 can sometimes make you feel “sick.” If this happens, you can mix some flavor into your drink so it won’t taste bland. For example, you can try infusing your plain water with fresh lime, lemon, orange, or cucumber.
Another way to bring flavor to your taste buds while keeping your body hydrated is through drinking coconut water, milk, or shakes and smoothies made from fresh fruits.
Just be careful in your fruit choices as some of them, like mangoes and grapes, can significantly increase your sugar or fat level. You can try these hydrating alternatives but only to a minimum.
3. Avoid Unhealthy Liquids
It’s okay to switch it up between water and other healthy beverages to keep yourself hydrated, especially if you are not a big water drinker.
However, you should avoid beverages with preservatives and artificial sweeteners in them, such as juice packs, coffee, and soft drinks, among many others. Not only do these drinks have high levels of sugar in them, but they also contain caffeine which can cause anxiety and heart palpitations.
Additionally, drinks that contain caffeine and alcohol (e.g., soda, beer, wine) can work against your hydration goals if consumed without moderation. This is because they dehydrate your tissues and stimulate you to urinate often, making you lose water and electrolytes in the process.
4. Munch on “Water-Rich” Foods
Another option to stay hydrated this summer rather than just drinking plain water is to eat hydrating snacks. This refers to foods, mainly fruits, and vegetables, with high water content. Some examples include:
- Cucumber, lettuce, and celery
- Tomatoes, zucchini, and spinach
- Watermelon, peaches, cantaloupe
- Pineapple, strawberries, and grapefruit
These foods are made up of 90% water, so they can definitely cool you down and increase your body’s fluid level. Besides water, these nutritious foods can also give you some of the essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs to stay healthy.
However, these hydrating snacks can only fill up your body’s water reservoir by 20%. Water should still be your number one source of fluid, especially now that it’s extra warm in your senior living in Oceanside.
5. Know the Risks
Hydration may have a lot to do with drinking plenty of water, but it’s not just all about that. It’s also important to know when to cool down and take it easy, especially during the extra warm days of summer.
Furthermore, you should know what to do to protect yourself from the dangers of summertime.
For instance, you should schedule your exercises or outdoor trips during the cooler times of the day. Another way is to protect yourself from the heat by using sunblock, an umbrella, and other shade accessories. Or opt for a less intensive activity or workout if the day is too hot or humid.
If you have an existing health condition that might worsen due to the heat, it’s better to be safe by staying indoors. Some medications also do not mix well with the summer weather, so make sure to consult your doctor first before engaging in outdoor activities.
Additionally, it’s vital to be aware of the telltale signs of dehydration that can sometimes lead to a more severe heat-related illness, such as heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Some signs of dehydration in seniors include:
- Dry mouth and lips
- Dry and irritated, or inflamed skin
- Headache, dizziness, drowsiness, and fatigue
- Muscle cramps
- Rapid breathing
- Urine that’s darker than usual
- Not urinating despite drinking fluids
Older adults experiencing dehydration symptoms should be brought to a cool and comfortable place and drink plenty of water or electrolyte-infused water.
Summertime is the perfect season to explore new activities and hobbies in the best senior living in Oceanside. So, don’t let dehydration and heat stroke cramp up your summer plans by staying properly hydrated!