It’s hard enough to stay hydrated during the summer. Now that winter’s set in, though, it gets a lot harder – especially for seniors. But we all need hydration, no matter what the weather’s like. So here are some tips on how to stay hydrated – even when it’s cold outside.
#1: Don’t wait until you’re thirsty.
Thirst isn’t a great indicator of when you need to drink, no matter what time of year it is. But during the winter, it’s totally unreliable. And that goes double for seniors, because as we age the thirst sensation loses some of its punch. So don’t make the mistake of thinking, “Well, I’m not thirsty, so I don’t need to drink.”
#2: Set yourself a “stay hydrated” goal.
Setting goals and meeting them is a real source of satisfaction. You can use that in order to help yourself stay hydrated. Choose a goal – usually between 8-10 cups of water per day is ideal. Get yourself a small notebook, or download a fitness/wellness app with a water tracker. Every time you drink a cup of water (or other liquid), mark it down. You’ll enjoy seeing yourself achieve your goal, and you’ll keep your body hydrated and happy.
#3: Keep it handy.
If you have to get up and go to the sink or fridge every time you need to drink, chances are it’s not going to happen. Instead, fill up a few small water bottles and place them around your house or assisted living unit. If you’re going on an errand, make sure to take your water with you.
#4: Remember, soup is a liquid.
Hydration doesn’t have to exclusively come from water. Soup will help you stay hydrated too, especially in the winter when you want something warm. Plus you get all those nutrients from the veggies. Yum.
#5: Food has water in it!
There are a lot of fruits and vegetables with high water content. Eat enough of them and you’ll be doing your body a double favor: Getting it some much-needed vitamins and minerals, and keeping it hydrated.
Even so, not all fruits and veggies were created equal when it comes to hydration. Here’s a list of fruits and veggies that have a high water content.
- Bell Peppers (extremely high in vitamin C, too)
- Coconut water (really)
#6: Variety is key to staying hydrated
Some people love water, and they can drink it all day long. For others, though, sticking to water is just too difficult. While nothing beats the advantages of water, for hydration purposes other beverages will work just as well. Try natural fruit juice, experiment with different flavors of herbal teas, test out a new decaf coffee flavor you never thought you’d like – you might be surprised to discover new favorites that will make it easier for you to stay hydrated.
No matter how old you are, or how cold it is outside.