below for a selection of Mr. Evans' previous articles.
Asking About Aphasia
a Stationary Bike
Exercise and Prostate Cancer
Preventing the West Nile Virus
Complications of Diabetes
of Falls Again
Drug Coverage Made Simple
to Relieve Lower Back Pain
Healthy Smile is More than Just Cosmetic
to Prevent Falling
of Older Adults
COURSE EXERCISE...Outdoor Exercise For Everyone
© Copyright 2006,
American Senior Fitness
HEALTH & FITNESS
The Importance of Proper
I recently had a nasty bug
including diarrhea and vomiting for several days. Although I seem to
have survived the worst, I am finding that I am still very weak even two
weeks later. I started exercising again mostly just walking but Im
experiencing cramps in my legs, and my mouth is dry all the time. Ive
had a constant headache during the past few days too and have felt
lightheaded on occasion especially when I am standing. Im 71 and have
always been in relatively good health. Should I stop exercising for a
while and just wait until I feel back to normal?
DRY MOUTH IN DETROIT
DEAR DRY MOUTH:
You are probably experiencing mild
dehydration based on the symptoms you describe, and I would recommend
that you curtail any vigorous physical activity until you are fully
rehydrated. Dehydration, of course, is the excessive loss of body fluids
and important electrolytes, and diarrhea is a major cause of
dehydration. Why is hydration so important?
Sixty to seventy percent of your body weight is water, so it is
essential for life. Most people cannot survive without water for 4-5
days, and we are constantly losing water through respiration, urination,
and perspiration, so it must be replaced to maintain the proper balance.
Dehydration in older adults can become life threatening in as little as
24-48 hours and can seriously affect the kidneys and other internal
organs, so it is not something to take lightly.
In most cases if you are feeling thirsty, you are already experiencing
the onset of dehydration, but the easiest way for most people to verify
if you are dehydrated is the color of your urine. If it is dark yellow
instead of the normal clear or pale yellow your body needs fluids.
While gradually increasing your water consumption will usually rehydrate
you in most cases, sometimes fluid replacement may require the addition
of electrolytes particularly sodium to bring things back into proper
balance. You should probably make an early appointment with your
physician to be sure that you have not depleted your electrolyte levels
to a dangerous level.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends a daily consumption
of 9-13 cups of water to maintain adequate hydration. It will be easier
and your hydration will be more quickly restored if the water is
room temperature simply because you can drink more of it at one time
than if it is cold or iced. Of course, much of your daily water
requirement can be satisfied by certain foods particularly fruits and
leafy vegetables so you dont necessarily have to drink your way to
Wait a few days until you are feeling more fully recovered before
resuming your exercise and getting back into your normal routine and
take a bottle of water along with you while you walk.
Jim Evans is a 40-year veteran of
the health and fitness industry and a nationally recognized consultant
on fitness for seniors.
to SeniorFitness.net Home Page