By Jonathan Souder
Fitness Trainer, Manor House

Now that warm weather is finally upon us, maintaining proper hydration is more important than ever -- especially in seniors.

Our body's need for water is crucial. The human body is made up of approximately 60% water. With my activity level, I’ve learned that my body requires at least 12 cups of water every day to remain healthy. I’m more alert when I drink water and stay hydrated. I perform better in my day and I just feel better. Do you drink enough water? 

Here’s a few essential body functions that require proper hydration (according to American Council on Exercise, ACE):

Body temperature. When our core temperature is above normal, it can stress the body and interfere with our energy levels. Remember that hot, humid day last summer when you had no energy until you drank that cool cup of water? Stay hydrated this summer to help prevent heat exhaustion due to an elevated body temperature. 

Blood pressure. Staying hydrated can help to regulate our blood pressure and reduce excessive stress on our body. Too much stress can lead to inflammation which can negatively affect our daily activities. 

Transporting energy nutrients.  The foods we eat provide us with nutrients such as carbohydrates, fats and proteins that we need for energy. These nutrients are transported to the cells by fluids in our body.  Fluids also help to remove waste from our body. 

So how much fluid should we drink when exercising? Here’s the ACE recommendations:

Pre-workout. Drink 17 -20 ounces of water two to three hours before exercising. Drink 8 ounces of water 20 to 30 minutes before exercise.

During the workout. Drink 7 to 10 ounces of water every 10-20 minutes during exercise.

Post-workout. Drink an additional 8 ounces of water 30 minutes after exercise. Drink 16-24 ounces of water for every pound of body weight lost during exercise. 

For the best results, be consistent with your hydration every day. If you plan on taking a bike ride, running on the treadmill, or swimming laps, hydrate yourself before, during, and after the exercise routine. Don’t overlook the need to hydrate. Here’s to your good health.