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Walking in a Winter Water-Land

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Winter officially arrives this month, but, as many of us know, the cold weather doesn't mean we have to cut back on our activity levels

Winter officially arrives this month, but, as many of us know, the cold weather doesn't mean we have to cut back on our activity levels. While exercising during the winter, a time when most of Canada experiences very low humidity, it is especially important to drink enough water.

There are a few reasons people don't like to drink a lot of fluid during winter activities. Anyone who has had to peel off layers of ski clothes or pieces of hockey equipment knows what a nuisance it is to urinate. The biggest problem, though, is that many of us don't think it's as necessary to drink water when it is cold outside.

This, of course, is completely false. The cold, dry air actually causes our bodies to use a great deal of water to moisten and warm the air before it reaches our lungs. Every time we exhale, that cloud of water vapour carries away a little more of our body's water stores. We also sweat a great deal when we wear heavy outdoor clothes while doing strenuous activity such as shovelling snow.

Those of us who prefer to stay cozy indoors need to make sure we drink enough water as well. The dry, heated air from furnaces and fireplaces can cause skin to dry out. So let's keep knocking back those eight glasses of water a day (more if you're active), and enjoy the bracing cold of the Canadian winter.

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