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Winter Sports Call for Water Bottles

Even colder weather can leave you dehydrated if you're active

SATURDAY, Feb. 15, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- When it comes to staying healthy this winter, keep two things in mind: hydration and hand washing.

Winter sports enthusiasts often overlook the need to stay hydrated because they don't have the sun as a constant reminder that they're losing water. However, even at a moderate pace in mild temperatures, the body can lose three to four liters of water during a two- to three-hour period of exercise, according to Oregon Health and Science University.

When taking off to ski or snow board, fill your water bottle with warm water (to keep it from freezing) or bring a thermos filled with your favorite soup. Take a few extra sips of your drink at lunch, but be sure to avoid caffeine and alcohol, which are diuretics and flush water out of your system. You might also consider investing in a tube-fed hydration system, which can be worn over or under a jacket and lets you take small sips throughout an activity.

Another important winter safety measure is frequent and thorough hand washing to remove the tiny particles that, if allowed to get into your mouth, can make you sick. Done properly, hand washing is one of the most affective ways to prevent the spread of communicable disease -- not only the common cold but potentially serious diseases like hepatitis A, meningitis and infectious diarrhea.

Health professionals suggest you wet your hands, preferably with warm water, apply soap and rub them together for at least 10 seconds. Rinse thoroughly to remove all soap and use a paper towel to turn off the faucet. The more often you do this, the better chance you have of staying healthy this winter.

More information

To get the message of hand washing and its value across to children, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has this page..

SOURCE: Oregon Health and Science University
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