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Challenge: Summer Fun

5 tips for staying hydrated this summer

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Summer might be my least favorite season. There, I said it. Yes, even when there is a foot of snow on the ground, I still prefer the winter, and spring and fall are the best of the bunch.

Summer does have a lot going for it. The feel of squishy sand between your feet as you eagerly await the rush of the ocean is magic. Running through the backyard sprinkler will always be a cherished memory.

However, summer also means extreme heat and dehydration. I consume massive amounts of water and still often find myself faint and dizzy from lack of fluids. I get headaches and I vomit. It's not pretty.

As a nursing mother of a newborn, I know it is,especially important to stay hydrated. With a toddler to also raise, it's not so easy to do. I get so caught up in chasing him around that I forget to eat and drink, and I pay the price. This rang especially true after a sweltering day spent at the park. I was too dehydrated to get out of bed, except to throw up.

I now make sure to adhere to these simple rules for staying hydrated in the summer heat.*

1. Drink water. This one us pretty obvious, but I bet you are not drinking as much as you should. Go grab a glass. You can read the rest of this list later.

2. Be mindful when engaged in swimming or other water activities. Remember, your body sweats even when it's in water. You just don't notice it because the sweat washes right off. Make sure to have plenty of water on hand at the beach, lake or pool.

3. If you feel dizzy or faint, take a break. I know kids can keep you on your feet, so be sure to stop if you don't feel well. I try to have another adult with me on especially hot days in case I need a moment to rest.

4. Watch for early signs of dehydration. When I get a certain type of headache, I know I didn't drink enough water that day. I have ignored the pain only to pay later.

5. Remind others to stay hydrated with you. My older son and I like to take "water breaks." This gives us both a chance to slow down and make sure we are taking care of ourselves.

Whether you curse the heat or bask in the sun, stay healthy and hydrated this summer. Your body will thank you.

*Please note I am not a health care professional. These are just things that work for me. Always consult with an expert for medical advice.

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