Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Springtime Joy and Hydration

Out of the cold depths of winter comes days like Sunday and Monday. Beautiful, cloudless, glorious spring days illuminated with the orange-warm rays of that giant mass of incandescent gas (apologies to They Might Be Giants) above. The thought of hats, gloves, and scarves seem far away. The first hints of the coming brutal heat are felt when the sun peaks in the afternoon, but quickly fades away into cooler evenings. This is a good time of year.

Keeping with the theme of my previous "Speed Kills" post, please take the time to enjoy May. It's Derby, flowers, soft winds, and warm weather. Notice how the sky lightens a bit earlier and darkens a bit later. Notice how the shadows of the buildings are getting shorter when you arrive at work or go to lunch. Notice how the trees plump their leaves to provide maximum shade for us in preparation for the coming heat of June, July, and August.

As a runner, I must remind everyone to stay hydrated. I'm no dehydration alarmist, but we do require more H2O as temperatures climb, especially those of us who exercise outside. The "8-8" rule (drink eight glasses of 8 oz) is a bit of a myth. Not everyone requires the same amount. We get a considerable amount of water from our food (up to 32 oz depending on what one eats). If you feel thirsty, drink. If you feel bad or hungry during the day, try water first. Beyond that, the best indicator of your hydration level is the color of your urine. If it's darker than a pale, yellow straw color, you probably need more water.

As readers already may have gathered from previous posts, I believe our bodies can tell us a lot about our general health if we listen to it. Hydration level is a perfect example of this. We have a thirst mechanism and what we expel from our bladder is like our fluid guage. Simply listen and observe.

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