This Autumn, The UK P&I Club PEME & Loss Prevention team members are supporting various charities as a drive to live a healthier lifestyle.
Through various PEME advice and Loss Prevention bulletins in the last 12 months, we have addressed a number of health concerns including dehydration, sleep deprivation and smoking in a drive to promote a healthier lifestyle amongst seafarers
During September Sophia Bullard (PEME Director) took part in the 10 day water challenge for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in order to raise funds for the charity and improve awareness of the effects of dehydration amongst seafarers.
This October Alex Sandom (Loss Prevention Technician) is raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support by taking part in their Go Sober for October Campaign. Go Sober for October aims to raise awareness of Macmillan’s support offered to cancer sufferers, and also the positive health effects of drinking less alcohol.
If you would like to sponsor Alex with his challenge you can do so by visiting his GoSober page.
Our brains are about 70% water, and our bodies around 50-75% water, so it is not surprising that being inadequately hydrated can affect how we feel and perform. It doesn’t take long to start to feel the effects of dehydration. When the body’s H2O levels drop by as little as 1-2% the body can start to feel the effects of mild dehydration. These include:
• A dry mouth
• Increased thirst
• Feeling tired or sleepy
• Decrease in passing urine
• Dark coloured urine
• Dry or flaky skin
• Headaches and dizziness
• Reduced cognitive function and lack of energy
Working in hot temperatures, too much exercise, working outside in the heat, and some diseases, such as diabetes, can also cause some of the early effects of dehydration.
The solution is simple:
Drink more water - A minimum of eight glasses of water a day is recommended to prevent dehydration. Avoid alcohol, sugary and caffeine rich drinks - these are diuretics and cause you to pass more urine.
Pace yourself – ensure you have enough rest.
Keep cool - light coloured, loose fitting clothes and a hat if working in the sun.
Not sure if you are dehydrated?
The easiest way is to check your urine colour and regularly get in the habit of checking. Healthy urine is clear with a tinge of yellow. Yellow, gold and brown/orange are the “warning” colours to watch for. When your body is about 3% dehydrated, your urine will be noticeably yellow. When your body is about 5% dehydrated, your urine will appear gold-coloured. When your body is severely dehydrated - more than 5% dehydrated – your urine will appear dark brown or orange.
Drinking less alcohol
It’s fairly common to have the odd glass of wine with dinner or after a long day. However this can easily become a habit that we are not aware of, which can lead to serious health problems, from liver damage to a greater risk of getting cancer or suffering from a heart attack. Excessive drinking can also cause weight gain and a weaker immune system.
By cutting down and drinking less alcohol, together with a bit more exercise and improvements to diet, we can expect to see a number of great benefits to overall health.
• Sleep better
• Increased energy levels
• Weight loss
• Fewer hangovers!!!
• Save money
• Clearer and healthier skin
• Improved mental health
• Feel generally healthier in everything we do
Ways to cut down
Enjoy alcohol in moderation by using some easy tricks to help cut down, rather than giving up altogether.
• Pace yourself by drinking slower and alternating alcoholic drinks with a soft drink or glass of water.
• Having at least two days a week alcohol free.
• Paying attention to the alcohol content (%), swapping high percentage drinks with a drink with less alcohol.
• Not drinking on an empty stomach, when you have eaten alcohol is absorbed into the system more slowly.
• Having a set alcohol budget, this can also save money.