In England we are enjoying some of the best weather for years, maybe decades.
This is all fantastic news, of course. For most people at least. Warm weather means generally improved universal mobility. The beneficial effects of warmth on muscles and joints is well documented as outlined in previous blog posts.
There is, however, a downside to all this beautiful Sun, as there always has to be!
Whilst freedom of movement is improved with increased temperatures there is an increased risk of dehydration in warmer weather. Now, at first glance, this should cause no great hardship and is, indeed, very easily managed to avoid any adverse side effects. General guidelines suggest up to 2 litres of water daily, in the absence of physical activity, increased ambient temperatures or pathology. Increased physical activity at a moderate to vigorous intensity can increase water intake to an astonishing 500ml per hour. Increased environmental temperatures can push up demand by about 10%.
It is important to note that, whilst dehydration is very unlikely to lead to severe consequences in England outside of extreme circumstances, it has been shown that losing between 1-2% of your body water (about 400-800ml) can sufficiently affect performance as to be measurable. This has an important knock-on effect on your mobility.
Put yourself in the environment where you are hot. Already that probably makes you less likely to do anything ‘active’. This renders you immobile. As we know, immobility is the enemy. It leads to a gradual reduction in your ongoing mobility. Additionally, warm weather will make you feel better – there is plenty of anecdotal evidence suggesting that pain perception reduces in relative warmer environments.
So if you are moving less and feeling better, there is every chance that you will be investing less time in maintaining your mobility – something that could well come back to bite you later in the year when the temperature drops again.
Additionally, consider your internal transport system. Decreased bodily fluid will reduce your blood volume accordingly. This, in turn, will increase the workload on your circulation and, hence, reduce the efficiency of your energy delivery systems. All of this will contribute towards reduced energy levels resulting in even less desire to do anything to maintain your mobility. And so begins a downward drift cycle towards immobility!
All of this is very easily avoidable. Even if you do reach the point where you become dehydrated and increasingly lethargic. Intake of 600ml (just over a pint) of water can lead to complete rehydration within 45 minutes.
So there you have it – everything you need to know in the beautiful hot weather to avoid drops in energy and motivation levels affecting how you maintain your mobility. Give your muscles and joints a drink in Summer – they will thank you for it in winter!