Hydration key to summertime health, comfort

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Staying hydrated is on our minds during the summer. This is important because the human body is about 60 percent water.

There are lots of products, such as water bottles with alarms, to remind us to drink more water. Scroll through the apps available on your phone, and you will find many related to staying hydrated, such as Hydro Coach, Daily Water and Plant Nanny (whenever you drink water, your plant gets watered.)

Summer is a popular time for group challenges to improve health. One current challenge is Burst Your Thirst, sponsored by Live Healthy Iowa. Participants are tracking both their minutes of activity and water consumption. See the Live Healthy Iowa website for the story of an Iowa woman who lost 25 pounds by participating.

Especially for older adults, not getting enough water can cause serious health problems. Anyone on medications, such as diuretics or antihistamines, could lose more water than they take in. Individuals with dementia may forget to eat and drink, and older adults with incontinence sometimes refrain from drinking water to avoid accidents.

Remind older adults to sip water throughout the day.

For variety, you can hydrate by eating summer foods, such as strawberries, watermelon, cucumbers and tomatoes, all of which have large water contents.

Ann Cochran is the health navigation coordinator in the Dallas County Public Health Department.

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