Aging Well in the Gorge August 2nd 2016

Can you tell the difference between the color of lemonade and apple cider? It could come in handy during the summer and I’ll tell why later.
Last week’s heat wave reminded me of the importance of staying hydrated – especially for older adults who are more susceptible to the dangers of dehydration. But it is not always easy to drink enough fluids, but here are some simple tips I found on
1.) Keep a bottle of water with you – and don’t lose it. (By the way, if you find a purple metal water bottle with “SMILE” printed in bold white letters on the side, please return it to me. It was my favorite!) 2.) If you are the forgetful type, drink on a schedule. For example, drink water when you wake up; at breakfast, lunch, and dinner; and when you go to bed. Although I skip the water before bed. It only adds another bathroom stop during the night and I don’t need any more. 3.) If you don’t like the taste of plain water, try adding a slice of lemon or lime. 4.)  If you like to sweat, be sure to drink water before, during, and after a workout. 5.) When you’re feeling hungry, drink water. Thirst is often confused with hunger, but real hunger is not satisfied by drinking water.
But how much water do you really need?
Although there is no hard evidence to support the popular recommendation to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day, it is close to what the Institute of Medicine recommends for women which is nine total cups of fluids a day; and for men thirteen cups a day. Or drink enough so you go to the bathroom every two to four hours. And the obvious, drink water when you are thirsty. Thirst is an excellent indicator of your hydration needs.
But there are other considerations. You may need more water if you are eating a diet high in sodium. Avoid sugary fluids with their unnecessary calories, but not necessarily caffeine – which has a mild diuretic effect, but doesn’t seem to increase the risk of dehydration. Taking a lot of medications without drinking enough water could also put a strain on your kidneys. If that is a concern, talk to your health care provider.
Now you have ideas on how to stay hydrated and how much you should drink, but we are all different, so how can you tell if you are actually hydrated?  An easy way, although maybe a little distasteful, is to check your urine. And this is where we get back to that first question I asked. If your urine is pale like the color of lemonade, you are in good shape. But if it’s dark like apple cider, you need to increase your intake of fluids.
I never use to drink much water. I could run 26 mile marathon without taking a sip. But I’ve changed after finally realizing how important water is to maintaining good health – especially at my age.
There’s always music and dancing at the Center on Tuesday nights, and on August 9th, Martin and Friends will be playing. Doors open at 6:00, music starts at 7:00, and donations are always appreciated.
The 1958 novelty song “Beep, Beep” sung by the Playmates describes the driver of a Nash Rambler passing a Cadillac at 120 mph and yelling, “Hey, buddy, how can I get this car out of second gear”. (The winner of a quilt raffle ticket is Jim Heitkemper.)
Back in the 50’s and 60’s, there were different ideas of what was safe and what wasn’t. I didn’t wear a bicycle helmet; I put raw eggs in my milk shakes; I used baby oil instead of sun screen: and my sister and I would sleep on the mattress in the back of the Mercury station wagon while my mom and dad drove to Florida. But during the summer we were constantly reminded to wait an hour before doing what? Email your answer for this week’ “Remember When” question to, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or mail it with a copy of a Sandra Dee Coppertone ad.
Well, it’s been another week trying to catch the next wave. Until we meet again, don’t stop. The race isn’t over until you cross the finish line.
“I think fish is nice, but then I think that rain is wet, so who am I to judge?” Douglas Adams

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