Tag Archive | dehydration

Don’t sign up for that class

Mean teacher 17607What do a teacher and a headache have in common?

If you return to your school days, regardless of level of education, you’ll likely find one or two teachers you deemed a headache because they were either unrealistic in their expectations or ambiguous in their approach. Those aren’t the ones I mean. I’m talking about learning from a real, physical headache.

If a teacher is someone or something from which you learn, then my headache qualifies. But before I tell you how I learned, I need to clarify that this is not just head knowledge – no pun intended. I’m talking about the information that you obtain, process, and act upon as opposed to the kind of information you understand but park away in the recesses of your mind rather than apply it.

For years I’ve heard that I should drink water. “It’s good for you,” said both my parents and doctor. But in my younger years, I thought it worked better as cleansing agent for dirty feet. It had no flavor. As I grew older and understood the health benefits, I tried to incorporate more of the liquid into my diet, and it ever so slowly moved from tolerable to refreshing. That said it was still not a priority if coffee, tea or some other flavored beverage were available.

Benefits-of-Drinking-Water-Mind-MapNext I had to overcome my frugal nature – nice way to say cheap. I began purchasing bottled water but more for my husband than for me personally, until, that is, we had a real cold spell where we had to crank up the heat in the house. That’s when the headaches started. I tried all of the normal over0the-counter pain remedies, but they failed. Thanks to the internet, I discovered I was dehydrated. With only a couple of bottles of water, the headaches disappeared and did not return.

So the moral of the story is this. Make drinking water a priority in your life. Don’t wait until you are thirsty or have headaches.  Headaches can be very effective teachers, but I recommend you don’t sign up for that class.

Is it cold enough for you?

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Baby, it really is cold outside. If you’re like me, you’ve had enough of this recent cold snap that’s hitting Pennsylvania and other parts of the country – where is global warming when you need it? Even though Florida is experiencing cooler days than usual, a trip there sounds inviting. Yet if you’re like me and unable to travel to escape the frigid temperatures, you might benefit from some of these tips.

Dress for it

The other day, I saw a store customer wearing shorts and a short-sleeved shirt. Just looking at him made my teeth chatter. Most people, however, have common sense sufficient to know you need to dress appropriately in cold weather. Layers are better than bulky outer wear. A hat offers more protection than you might think, so if you’re going to be outdoors for even a short length of time – you can get frostbite in 30 minutes – make sure you have one. Here’s something I learned that will explain Mama Cat’s consternation at her naughty kitten. Mittens provide more warmth than gloves. This makes sense as your fingers are aligned close to one another and keep each other warm with body heat rather than being separated by a layer of cloth.

Drink lots

Hydration is particularly important when it is cold. Those layers of clothes you just added will cause you to perspire, and that fluid needs to be replaced. While warm liquids like coffee, tea and hot chocolate may tempt you, they’re really not the best choices as their caffeine acts as a diuretic prompting more loss of fluid.  Good, old fashioned water is best, and if you’ve just pulled it from the fridge, they say it will force your body to generate more heat. If you really are interested in a warm beverage, try heating up some apple cider, sugar water or an energy drink.

Define activities

Common sense says, “Stay indoors if you can,” and this is wise. Why go out if you don’t have to? But you live in a real world where you may have to walk to a bus, work or store from your car or a train. You may even have to work outside during bitter cold weather. If so, take precautions with frequent breaks to get warm and dry and time your activities to the warmest parts of the day. Keep this in mind for the kids playing outdoors as well.

If you’re staying indoors, add some moisture to the air. Hot air and heating systems can dry out your skin, hair, sinuses, nails, furniture, walls, floors and more. And as I have discovered, lack of humidity can even cause headaches. Placing open containers of water on a wood stove, heat registers or on the range will add a measure of moisture to your home. If you don’t mind seeing clothes hanging around the house, using a clothes rack instead of your dryer will also increase the indoor humidity without the additional purchase of a humidifier.

If Aruba or some other tropical paradise is not in your immediate plans, try some of the above tips and stay warm.