Hydration, Relaxation and Exercise

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Summer is in full swing, which means the mercury is on the rise, in the water is where we want to be, and a cold glass of ice tea is exactly what the doctor ordered.  Many of us are in double trouble this year because Ramadan, our month of fasting happens to be at the hottest time if the year.  So, we have two major things to try to avoid when out and about this month 1- Heat Exhaustion and 2 – Dehydration.

What happens in the summer, is that people sweat and lose fluids, and mistakingly think they can replace their lost electrolyte dense body fluids with only water.  Dehydration can soon follow, and even heatstroke can be the result as the body is unable to sweat enough to cool itself down.  A general rule of thumb is that you should drink at least a small bottle of water for every hour you’re out in the heat or exercising.

The two components needed to avoid dehydration which are not normally found in regular water are 1)sodium and 2) potassium.  A simple way to get sodium levels balanced is to add a pinch of sea salt to your water and for potassium, having a couple of dates with your drink will be more than enough to replenish the lost amount.  No wonder people in the dessert have had abundant access to this amazing rehydration food! Nature always provides what is needed for perfect harmony in every environment.

Coconut water is another great natural way to replenish electrolytes, but even a glass of green juice, especially one made with spinach (high in potassium) can be a great way to bring the body back into balance.  You can also add a small pinch of sea salt to balance the expansive nature of the drink and to help the body absorb and hold on to the fluids.

Summertime is a great opportunity to rebuild our reserves for the rest of the busy year and if handled right, we can avoid some of the issues related to heat as mentioned above.  In our work-crazed society we often lose sight of the benefits of slowing down and taking time to rest. Now that summer is in full swing, it’s time to enjoy the restorative powers of reconnecting to your body through movement and relaxation without the worry of dehydration or heat exhaustion.

The body loves to move, that’s why exercise is a great mood booster.  It’s our body’s way of letting us know it likes what it’s doing.  Even though our body is happiest when it’s getting appropriate physical activity, people often cringe when thinking of the word “exercise”.  In order to avoid this,  it’s important to consider what type of movement you would consider fun as opposed to torturous. Perhaps you loathe the idea of a gym, but enjoy taking kickboxing classes. Maybe you secretly want to try yoga or a Zumba class. You could also play football with your kids, walk with a neighbor in the evenings or go for a swim.  There are so many choices – it’s simply up to you choose which style of movement excites you. Your heart will thank you, your soul will be gratified, your limbs will be more fluid and you’ll sleep better at night.

One of the greatest places to rest in the summertime is by the water. There is something magical and restorative in water, and we naturally crave to be near it, by it or in it.  Heading to the water, whether it is the beach, a spa or a kiddy pool, can be relaxing and rejuvenating.

Whether you are relaxing, exercising or both, notice that being outside in nature has a profound way of quieting the mind and reconnecting us to ourselves. Often this relaxation and peace of mind are what our bodies crave the most. So while summer is with us, grab your water bottle, strap on your sandals and enjoy the rich elements of sun, water and earth and the nourishment that they bring.

 

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