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Beat the Heat

Oh, the end of March in Central Florida… The flowers are in bloom, the sun is out and, unfortunately, temperatures in the Sunshine State are starting to climb.

The winding trails and the natural parks are perfect for a bike ride or a jog. However, with the rising temperatures, it is important to stay hydrated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you should increase your water intake during summer months to help regulate your internal body temperature, prevent fatigue and keep yourself healthy all summer long.

We have four tips for you to “Beat the Heat,” so you won’t ever miss out on any bicycle rides to the farmers market or long walks with you dog exploring new places.

Tip #1: Eat, don’t just drink, water
Summertime doesn’t just bring stifling heat to Central Florida, it also brings delicious fruits and veggies. Most produce is largely made up of water, making it a great avenue for hydration. Cucumbers, lettuce, watermelon, strawberries, zucchini and tomatoes are each more than 90% water!
Pro tip: On Saturday, take a bike ride to the Winter Park Farmer’s Market and pick out fresh produce. The more colorful your selection, the better! Throw it all together in a smoothie or salad for a hydrating (and scrumptious) summertime meal.

Tip #2: Absorb more water
Sodium aids in water absorption. This means when you consume sodium, AKA salt, your blood holds onto more water. When you eat a higher-sodium diet, you excrete less water, thus decreasing your chances of becoming dehydrated.
Pro tip: Add a sprinkle of salt onto a slice of watermelon for a quick and delicious snack. The high volume of water in watermelon combined with the sodium from the salt will allow your body to soak up and hold onto lots of water.

Tip #3: Wear your water, too
Not only can drinking water help you avoid dehydration but wearing water can also help. What does it mean to “wear water”? Simply placing a cool, moist towel on your skin aids your body in quickly returning to a normal body temperature, lessening your rate of sweat and keeping you hydrated
Pro tip: As the Florida days get warmer, place a cool, damp towel around your neck to help you cool down after your ride.

Tip #4: Drink water even if you’re not thirsty
Did you know that by the time you start to feel thirsty, your body is already dehydrated? It is best to consume water, or an electrolyte-filled drink, at least 1-2 hours before you hit the trails. If you’re planning a longer bicycle ride, make sure you take water along with you for your ride. It’s especially important to continue rehydrating after physical activity. The water you drink today is hydrating your body for tomorrow’s fun!
Pro tip: Add a water bottle holder to your bicycle, for a quick grab-and-sip without having to pause your ride.

Symptoms and solutions courtesy of CDC

For specific recommendations of water intake tailored specifically for you, check out this article from Florida Department of Health and always remember to keep your eyes open for the signs of dehydration.

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