Pilates equipment

The Importance of Staying Hydrated While Practicing Pilates

With fall approaching, you may be looking forward to cooler days and nights without the sweat-filled heat of summer. Many find it simpler to remember to stay hydrated with sun-filled days of heat and humidity, and even more find it more difficult to stay hydrated in winter when cold water doesn’t have the same allure. However, working on your Pilates reformer no matter the time of year can give you a challenging workout that breaks a serious sweat whether you’re in the heat of summer or the frigid winter.

Because sweating causes electrolyte imbalances as well as the loss of important vitamins and minerals, you need to make proper hydration a year-round habit. Whether you plan to take a quick hike in the cooler weather to enjoy the fall scenery or break a serious sweat on your Pilates reformer, keep your hydration in check. To stay your healthiest, proper hydration is key, and this post helps you understand how hydration impacts your health and what you can do about it.

Pilates equipment

The Benefits of Pairing Proper Hydration with Pilates

Hydration goes hand in hand with your health year-round. When you use Pilates equipment at home, you may not notice just how much water you’re losing while working out, and you don’t want to stop just to rehydrate. So being mindful of your hydration every day of the year not only preps you for a great Pilates session but also offers the following daily benefits:

  • Better physical performance: If you want to perform your best, you need to stay hydrated. This doesn’t mean chugging a ton of water before you work out. You need to stay on top of your water intake throughout the day. Whether you want to really work up a sweat with your Pilates equipment or plan to just get some chores done, your water loss can affect your performance. Even just a 2% loss of your body’s water can cause noticeable effects of dehydration. When you consider that athletes can lose anywhere from 6% to 10% of their water by sweating, you should understand that even a leisurely walk or raking leaves can easily lead to a 2% loss or more let alone working out on your Pilates reformer. Staying hydrated ensures you can continue your physical activity safely.
  • Better brain function: Dehydration not only affects your body but also your brain. You don’t even need to lose 2% of your water for your brain to begin to feel the effects of dehydration. Normal activities like household chores can easily lead to this critical loss of water. Keeping up with your water intake allows you to maintain healthy brain function and energy levels.
  • Boosted metabolism: Studies have shown that drinking water can increase your metabolism up to 25% for as long as an hour after you drink it. By being mindful of your water intake and consistently drinking water throughout the day, you can keep your metabolism peaked during your entire day. While the impact may be slight, you can enjoy the snowball effect from revving your metabolism over time with hydration.
  • Aids in digestion: If you want to lend a hand to your digestive system, water is the simplest way to go about it. Water helps you digest soluble fiber properly, and drinking water encourages saliva production. Saliva helps break food down so that your body can absorb important vitamins and minerals.
  • Better bowels: Getting plenty of water gives your body a natural way to cleanse itself of waste in a comfortable way, and staying hydrated helps to prevent and relieve constipation. Your bowels need plenty of water to aid the movement of waste through your body. So staying on top of your water intake and spreading it out consistently throughout the day helps your body get rid of waste naturally and comfortably.
  • Increased joint health and support: Water has been clearly proven to support joint health. Your body needs water to create synovial fluid, the thick fluid between your joints. So proper hydration helps your body to better cushion your shock-absorbing cartilage as well as reduce inflammation. Drinking water actually helps to stimulate the production of synovial fluid that keeps your joints healthy and functioning properly.
  • Protects your spine: The cartilage in your spine’s discs is composed of 80% of water. So not only can you protect your spine and increase your spinal health by using your Pilates reformer, but also you can keep your spine protected and healthy with hydration. Hydration keeps the discs in your spine gelatinous and able to cushion the shock your spine receives throughout the day. Since dehydration can limit mobility, hydration works as a partner with Pilates to keep your spine protected and your mobility at high levels.

Pilates equipment

The Dangers of Dehydration

Dehydration occurs when you lose more water than you take in. Although a healthy diet and staying on top of your water intake provide effective tools in fighting dehydration, you risk not getting enough vitamins, minerals, and hydration throughout the day if you’re already behind on your intake. Remember that it doesn’t have to be hot and humid to dehydrate.

Those at highest risk for dehydration include

  • Anyone working outdoors, such as landscapers and construction workers
  • Anyone working in high-heat conditions, such as welders and mechanics
  • Older adults
  • Athletes
  • Young children

Although an illness can certainly make you dehydrated, you’re probably more prone to the effects of dehydration on a daily basis because of sweating from physical activity. Although sweat causes you to lose water, sweat is not the enemy. So don’t give up your Pilates equipment for the sake of hydration. You can have both, plus your body uses sweat to cool you off. So sweat is a necessary function for your health so that you maintain a regulated body temperature. Just understand that every drop of sweat means you’re losing fluid and micronutrients that need to be replaced.

When you’re dehydrated, studies have shown that the reduction of Vitamin C can interfere with your blood pressure, and the loss of important minerals, such as magnesium, can cause

  • Muscle weakness, spasms, and cramps
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Mental confusion

Your body needs water, so becoming even mildly dehydrated interferes with several bodily functions:

  • The regulation of your body temperature
  • The effectiveness of tissues in your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • The ability for oxygen and nutrients to be carried to your cells
  • The ability to break down minerals and nutrients to make them available to your body
  • The ability of your kidneys and liver to flush waste from your body

Even if you stay mindful of your water intake, know some of the signs of mild dehydration:

  • Fatigue
  • Increased thirst
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Lightheadedness

When any of these signs occur, be sure to actively monitor your fluid intake to ensure you’re rehydrating and staying hydrated.

Pilates equipment

Tips For Staying Hydrated

Hydration is essential to your health and well-being, and you need to ensure your body gets enough water and replaces lost fluids throughout the day. However, some people struggle to maintain healthy levels of water, especially during the fall and winter when the thought of drinking water makes you feel cold. So use these tips to help you stay hydrated and healthy no matter the time of year:

  • Drink before you get thirsty. Thirst is a sign of mild dehydration. So drink water before you get thirsty. Set a recurring alarm on your phone or put it on your calendar. Do whatever it takes to make consistent water intake a daily habit.
  • Add flavor to your water. Add fruit to your water and herbs. Play with flavors to get a variety that you enjoy so that you’re encouraged to drink more water.
  • Follow good nutrition. Water-rich foods and a diet high in fibrous vegetables and fruit offer some of the best ways to support hydration.
  • Know the signs of dehydration. Mild dehydration can be easy to spot so you can start rehydrating long before you become completely dehydrated. So familiarize yourself with the signs of dehydration so you can recognize them and get your hydration back on track.

Staying hydrated should be a priority no matter what season you’re in. If you start behind on your daily intake of water and vitamins and minerals, lower hydration levels can affect your ability to perform mentally and physically. If you love using your Pilates equipment, you want to be sure you’re in peak condition, and hydration helps you get there.

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