Summer’s over, and as the winter chill approaches, our thoughts turn to wrapping up warm. The last thing on our minds is drinking water. We all know that we should drink a lot when it’s hot outside, but what about when it starts to cool down? Many of us are more interested in coffee, tea and hot chocolate than keeping properly hydrated. Well, that’s a mistake, because even in winter, adequate hydration is a must. During the winter season, our skin is apt to get dry as there is less moisture in the air – and that’s only one reason to keep drinking water.
Daily Hydration Requirements
Our bodies are mostly water, but they don’t store the water that we drink every day (that’s why we have a daily requirement). Whatever the season, we should all drink between 2.5 and 3 litres of water a day – that’s like putting gas in the tank to keep the car going. Water keeps our bodies functioning smoothly; it’s not just for cooling us down. Some of the things water does include:
- keeping the bloodstream liquid
- cushioning the joints
- moisturizing the skin
- serving as a shock absorber for the eyes and spinal cord (and for pregnant women, the amniotic sac)
Issues For Seniors
OAPs (seniors) are often advised to get an annual flu shot as they are more susceptible to illness. They may also be affected by deteriorating kidney function and hormonal changes. Drinking enough water can help mitigate some of those effects. Water also flushes out excess sodium and other toxins and reduces the likelihood of fluid retention (ironic, but true).
If you’re out on the slopes skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, sledging or on the ice skating, than it’s even more important to keep adequately hydrated. All that strenuous activity can really dehydrate you, so don’t wait until your mouth feels dry to start drinking. By then you’ve already begun to feel dehydrated and if you’re also developing a headache or feeling off-colour, it’s definitely time to drink. And if you’re not an active type, there’s still a bonus for you – water is a key component in most successful weight loss programmes, so there’s no need to pile on the winter pounds.
Finally, don’t forget that it’s not only outside that the air is dry. When home heating systems kick in, that can also dry the air inside – another good reason to drink more water!