This past weekend I was in Denver, visiting family, and I took my usual morning walk along one of the walking/running/biking paths… and it seemed like I ran across more than a hundred people, most of them incredibly fit-looking, not exactly a surprise, given that Colorado is rated as the most “fit” state in the union. As a walker, albeit a fast walker who can almost keep up with the slower joggers, the few other walkers and I were definitely outnumbered by runners and bikers. And I was definitely outnumbered by all those who carried water-bottles and water back-packs; even some of the slowest walkers seemed to be carting water bottles.
I’ve never seen so many people carting water, and I have to ask why.
Living as I do in Cedar City, which is high desert, and dry enough most of the time to make Denver seem tropical by comparison, I’m well aware of the dangers of dehydration. I always make sure I’m hydrated before I take my walk, and then again after I return.
While the average humidity in Denver is around 50%, in Cedar City, from April to October it’s around 22%, and the high temperatures are close to those in Denver. But I don’t see the same proliferation of water paraphernalia in my home town as I was seeing in Denver.
What exactly is the concern with hydration that goes with the physical fitness cult?
I definitely understand the need for adequate fluids, especially on hot days,or if you’re well away from civilization. I certainly understand the need for endurance and long-distance runners to carry water bottles… but for 20 to 40 minute walks or runs, especially early in the day when it’s cooler? But then, when I did a little research, it turned out that if you’re exercising and in good health, it’s just about impossible to drink too much water.
But I still wonder if hydration is being overemphasized. Does everyone need to carry water all the time, especially in the middle of a city?