Did you know only 20% of adults
get as much exercise as they should? If you want to feel your best, both mentally and physically, you’ve gotta get up and around – heat and humidity be darned.
It's well-known that most U.S. adults fall short of physical activity recommendations, said Heather Hausenblas, a professor of kinesiology at Jacksonville University in Florida. But once people make exercise routine, they may also notice a "host of psychological benefits," such as feeling more energized and less stressed.
So how can water help keep you refreshed and ready for activity? Here’s a quick list of hot-weather tips for working out, cooling off and staying healthy with H2O.
1: Drink Up – When the temperature goes up, so should your water intake. Bring water to your workouts in a refillable bottle; sip it even if you aren’t super thirsty. Frequent water breaks allow your body to replenish the fluids lost to sweat, preventing dehydration, fatigue and light headedness. Cold water lowers your body temperature so you can stay cool as a cucumber. If you’re planning a particularly long workout, rotate in sports drinks, or fruit juice diluted with water, for a boost of sodium and carbohydrates.
2: Pool Party – Regular swimming is a great way to sooth your muscles and build strength and endurance. Even aquatic exercises, like water aerobics or water running, give you a wonderful workout without the strain of impact. If you need another reason to dive in, it’s recommended that all children 4 and older take swimming lessons to reduce the risk of drowning. And if you’re a swimming novice yourself, it’s never too late to learn! Always practice safety around water with family members young and old.
3: Beach Body – Working out at the beach is great: it’s a free gym with all the fitness equipment you need! Mother Nature’s water, sand and sunshine help burn through the calories, getting you in the best shape of your life while everyone else sunbathes. Training in the sand can improve agility and flexibility, and the resistance of ocean water helps build hip and core strength. Just make sure you’re aware of how to recognize and avoid rip currents – when the surf gets rough, it’s no match for even the most experienced swimmers.
4: Keep it Cool – Have a plan for summer’s hottest days: know how to limit your outdoor exposure and plan your movements for the cooler parts of the day (early morning and evening). In addition to sunscreen, wear a hat or even carry an umbrella to block the sun’s harmful rays. Listen to your body when it feels thirsty and choose foods that are high in water content: different fresh fruits, salads and ice treats are refreshing and hydrating. If you’re going out on the town, keep the water flowing all night long – alternate between one alcoholic beverage and a tall glass of water. Experts even say that adding a bit of water to your whiskey can accentuate its depth of flavor.
5: Just Relax! – “Be like water” said Bruce Lee (and Kanye West). Throughout history humans have turned to water for its healing and restorative powers. According to Wallace J. Nichols, a marine biologist, “We are beginning to learn that our brains are hardwired to react positively to water and that being near it can calm and connect us, increase innovation and insight, and even heal what’s broken.” Next time you’re at the beach, put down your phone and prepare to be soothed: allow the sound of waves breaking on shore to clear your mind as you take deep breaths of salty ocean air. Water is the source of all life on Earth; entering into a meditative state at the beach is only natural.
Every living thing needs water to thrive. Click here to learn more about water conservation and how you can join us in protecting this resource for future generations.