With temperatures rising, it’s a great time for parents to head outdoors and get active with the family.  but as the kids play, mommies and daddies tend to focus on their children’s needs, neglecting their own bodies as a result. So we thought it would be practical to post some summer hydration tips for kids (and parents too!)

“Only 25%* of parents hydrate properly,” says Dara Duff-Bergeron, mom and personal trainer. “While juggling carpool, volunteering in the classroom and taking care of a sick child, parents often forget to drink fluids and replenish lost vitamins and nutrients.”

Keeping up with the little ones can definitely be a balancing act (parents can burn up to 150-300  calories an hour chasing after their kids – about the same as a yoga class!), so it’s important for parents to find time to care for their own health by properly exercising and refueling. here are some tips courtesy of glacéau vitaminwater to help busy parents keep their health top of mind and make sure that they don’t run out of steam before the kids do this summer:

1.  get your hit of hydration. avoid the headaches and fatigue which can be caused by dehydration by pro-actively reminding yourself to get enough liquid intake. try using your child’s schedule as a guide.  for instance, when planning your day, try penciling in “hydration times” when the kids wake-up, during nap-time and in between their scheduled summer activities (e.g. day camp, play dates, summer school etc.)

2.  stock pile your energy. if you know you will be out and about, pack nutritious snacks and drinks not only in the kids’ knapsacks, but in yours as well to keep your energy and hydration levels in check.  stock up on fruits and vegetables that are high in water content (e.g. apples, oranges, cucumbers, broccoli, green beans etc.) along with hydrating with nutrient-rich beverages such as glacéau vitaminwater to help replace the liquids, carbohydrates and vitamins that are lost throughout the day.

3.  turn ‘play time’ into exercise. use your children’s activities as an opportunity to break a sweat.  play tag and push swings while at the park, run sprints on the sidelines of the soccer field, do some laps at the swimming pool or go on a bike-ride together. If you’re a newer parent, try putting on a baby carrier and doing interval training.  don’t be afraid to get creative; the most important thing is to get moving!

4.  monitor your drinking.  adults need 2-3L of fluids per day to stay adequately hydrated – and even more in extreme heat or when exercising.  nursing mothers need to be especially mindful of fluid intake as hydration is essential to milk production!  try this trick with your water bottle to help keep track: place 4-6 rubber bands on a 500 ml bottle (or 2-3 rubber bands for a 1L bottle) and remove one each time you refill your bottle.  filling your bottle with other hydrating beverages, such as glacéau vitaminwater, counts too.  once you’ve removed all your rubber bands, you know you’ve had enough fluids for the day.

5.  in utero:  a mommy-to-be? exercising during pregnancy is safe and beneficial as long as you follow the guidelines outlined by your doctor.  a good way to get your daily cardio in, whether this is your first or fourth pregnancy, is to put on your running shoes and hit the pavement for long walks.  and don’t forget to keep the hydration coming – you are drinking for two.

6.  set an example:  while the kids enjoy popsicles at the end of a summer’s day, most parents are tempted by a fruity cocktail or a cold beer.  try your best to avoid it.  alcohol is a diuretic which will cause fatigue and deplete energy.  choose healthier options that will keep you going through to baths, bedtime stories and midnight diaper changes.

*vegetarian times, january 1998 – 2008