You may already know what local residents know. Palm Springs can be very warm in the summer. And I'm not only talking about our bustling night life, our plethora of outdoor activities, the one of a kind shops that line our famous Palm Canyon Drive, the amazing mountain vistas...viewed picture postcard perfect from many top notch restaurants we enjoy living the desert lifestyle. I'm also talking about our amazing temperatures! Summer time temps range from the high 90s to over 105 degrees. These tan inducing, sweat producing days, coupled with less than 5 sparse inches of rain spread between a mere 14 days of precipitation each year should be respected and planned for. Especially if you are the active type, fitness buff, hiker, biker or golfer intending to visit Palm Springs from cooler and moister climates. Stave off dehydration by following a few simple guidelines. We want you to thoroughly enjoy your Palm Springs vacation...and I encourage you to print out the information and suggestions below, then bring them along as your guide to Essential Hydration in our Desert Oasis.
So, exactly what is Dehydration in us two legged types?
The very nice and smart folks from the esteemed Mayo Clinic tell us the following: 'Dehydration occurs when you lose more fluid than you take in, and your body doesn't have enough water and other fluids to carry out its normal functions. If you don't replace lost fluids, you may get dehydrated.' As a personal fitness trainer and group exercise instructor in Palm Springs, my career demands that I stay hydrated and always aware of my intake and outgo of the right fluids. And if I become complacent or forget about hydrating, what happens then? Read on...I'll tell you. It's not pretty!
How do I even know if I am dehydrated? What are the symtoms I should be on the lookout for?
As one might suspect, with dehydration comes great thirst and a dry mouth. Since I personally get those two symptoms from a couple of chilled 'dirty' martinis, it is prudent that I also be aware of further symptoms of dehydration. This 'further' may include feeling tired or lethargic, even though you have lazed about in the pool most of the day. Upon weeping for joy after having bested your nemesis on the tennis courts (finally!), you may find few, even no tears to wipe away with your Victory towel. Also included on the symptoms of dehydration menu are muscle soreness, headache and a dizzy feeling that isn't just that second martini. In more extreme cases, you may stop sweating much at all, sunken eyes will appear on your face, your skin will be dry and shrivel, your blood pressure might decrease to levels your Dr., for a change, actually tells you are TOO low. To further raise the stakes of your dehydration adventure, you may also bet on the chance of feeling your heart rate increase, feeling your forehead flushed with fever, a dose of good old delirium and even if you are normally among the very conscious and connected group...dehydration may drop you to the floor in an unconscious, so not connected way! Nice, huh? Don't shoot the messenger just yet. There's more...
Has dehydration left you feeling less than fabulous? Have it's symptoms left you not such a babe magnet due to desert like conditions in your mouth and on your skin? Did dehydration take you on a dizzy stroll back from the pool bar just now? A stroll that resembled the famed 'Walk of Shame' you once did at 5:00am coming home from a buddy's bachelor party? If any of these, as well as the previous symptoms, have beset you or a guest on your Palm Springs getaway...You'll need to treat them. And treat them fast so you can get back to your most excellent PS adventure!
So, I get it. I'm dehydrated. What's the cure?
From the equally knowledgeable and fine medical types at Medical News Today: 'Dehydration must be treated by replenishing the fluid level in the body. This can be done by consuming clear fluids such as water, clear broths, frozen water or ice pops, or sports drinks, such as Gatorade.'. Although some may find it unattractive, I love the totally wet shorts making, drenching all over, puddle on the floor producing sweat I have when instructing a high intensity interval training exercise class! It tells me I am good and hydrated, that my system is working great.
To keep it that way and replenish what I have just left on the aerobics room floor, I choose a sports drink (I dig that weird blue kind!) or plain water. Some dehydration patients, however, need to be hooked up, so to speak! In extreme cases of dehydration, MNT suggests that you put yourself in the hands of capable medical pros and and get a good helping of those wonderful intravenous fluids to rehydrate. And if you partake in a morning jump start to slay the savage beast that wakes up and stares back at you in the mirror before that first cup...I have sad news for you. Forget about it! Those deterred from daily life due to the dread of dehydration need to avoid caffeine. And that includes the kind in tea and that soda you were about to open to fill the caffeine void created by the lack of joe! You might also need to take other medications suggested for you by a Doctor, including a lovely little trio consisting of the following: anti-diarrheals, anti-emetics (stop vomiting..oh joy and rapture!) and last, a good anti fever medicine.
All that dehydration information said, the best way to ward off dehydration and fully enjoy our Palm Springs Paradise is to avail yourself of some simple 'common sense' suggestions. And what are those? Read on. They are THIS!
1. Drink a lot of fluids for a no brainer prevention of dehydration. Water is always your best bet and your first line of defense. Sports drinks are just fine and also appropriate for some electrolyte balance, but many contain sugar and other things that you may choose not to drink. Water...good reliable unflavored Desert water is usually my first choice!
2. Chow on more water filled fruits and veggies for your vacation hydration needs. Eat 'em up for your daily, active, busy life back home as well. You'll be glad you did. And your skin will thank you for it, too!
3. If you are the type that just HAS to get your run done, your workouts on schedule, your handicap refreshed on the links...and you want do so on your visit with us, use simple common sense to prevent dehydration and other vacation 'style cramping' maladies. Wear plenty of sunscreen for your outdoor athletic adventures, to be sure. Wear protective clothing that will keep you from burning, including a larger brimmed hat. Plan ahead and get those all important fluids in you. Take some for your workout, run or golf game as you will be sweating it out a bit faster in our warmer climate.
4. Seek medical attention if you fear that your symptoms are more serious. Palm Springs has excellent Urgent Care facilities throughout the village, as well as our first rate hospital, Desert Regional, located at 1150 N. Indian Canyon, just one block East of Palm Canyon Drive.
5. Plan ahead when planning a trip...to beautiful Palm Springs or anywhere the road takes you! Gather the information you need about staying hydrated. And if you are eager to have an active vacation here with us during our hot summer months, maintaining your own unique fitness program and staying on track, you'll find a wide variety of useful and important information by clicking on the links below.
I hope you visit Palm Springs soon and visit often. Come discover it's wonderful and varied fitness opportunities. And just remember...Summer Time in the Desert is like no place else. You'll be glad you have the extra essential hydration for your most excellent PS Vacation. See you out there!
To find free tap water at business and fountain locations in any city, go to www.tapitwater.com
Palm Springs Climate information from Wikipedia
The 411 On Dehydration at MNT. Medical News Today
All About Dehydration, Including Heat & Exercise, from the Mayo Clinic
For The Serious & Thirsty...Stay Hydrated With Bodybuilding.com