Welcome to Summer! Yes, with Memorial Day behind us, it’s time to break out the white pants and enjoy the warm weather. Before we get to today’s article, though, I need to ask – who completed the May Fitness Challenge? You know, the challenge we started at the beginning of May where the goal was to exercise at least 30 minutes, three days per week? I heard from some of you and am so proud of all you’ve accomplished. CONGRATULATIONS to all of you that participated, and keep up the great work in June!
Today we’re going to talk about the most important thing you can do this summer to keep you healthy – STAYING HYDRATED! It might not seem like a big deal, but it’s critical during these hot months. I know of two women who were hospitalized this month because of dehydration. I don’t want you to be next. Today, let’s look at how much water you should get and why it’s so important.
Drink 6 to 8 Glasses of Water Each Day
Water is the most important nutrient in your diet, and a lot of people don’t even realize they aren’t getting enough. Think about it…the average human body is about 60% water. That means for a 150 lb woman, 90 lbs of her body is water. That’s a lot of weight when you really think about it. Calculate your own water weight, and you’ll be shocked at how much water YOU are.
Water is important for so many reasons. Here are six reasons to make sure you’re drinking enough water every day.
DRINKING WATER HELPS MAINTAIN THE BALANCE OF BODY FLUIDS
Body fluids play an important role in your overall health. They function in a variety of ways; including, digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature.
WATER CAN HELP CONTROL CALORIES
While water is not the “magic” when it comes to weight loss, substituting it for higher calorie beverages can certainly help. It also helps if you eat foods with a high water content. Typically, water-filled foods are healthier and more filling. They also tend to look larger. This higher volume of food requires more chewing and is absorbed more slowly by the body, which helps you feel full. Water-rich foods include fruits, vegetables, broth-based soups, oatmeal, and beans
WATER HELPS KEEP SKIN LOOKING GOOD
Your skin consists of a lot of water, and it acts as a protective barrier to prevent excess fluid loss. If you don’t drink enough water, dehydration can make your skin look dry and wrinkled. The good news is… this can be reversed and improved with proper hydration. While drinking more water might not make all your wrinkles go away, it will help to keep your skin looking fresh and vibrant.
WATER HELPS ENERGIZE MUSCLES
If you’ve ever experiences muscle fatigue after exercising, it might be because you didn’t drink enough water. Cells that can’t maintain their balance of fluids and electrolytes shrivel, which can result in muscle fatigue.
Drinking enough fluids is especially important when you exercise. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that people drink about 17 ounces of fluid about 2 hours before they exercise. Then, during exercise, they recommend that people start drinking fluids early and continue to drink them at regular intervals to replace fluids lost by sweating.
WATER HELPS YOUR KIDNEYS
Your kidneys do an amazing job of cleansing and ridding your body of toxins, as long as your fluid intake is adequate. When you’re getting enough fluids, urine flows freely, is light in color, and free of odor. When your body is not getting enough fluids, the concentration, color, and odor increases because the kidneys trap extra fluid for bodily functions. And, if you chronically drink too little, you may be at a higher risk of developing kidney stones, especially in warm climates.
WATER HELPS MAINTAIN NORMAL BOWEL FUNCTION
Adequate hydration really keeps things flowing and prevents constipation. When you don’t get enough fluid, the colon pulls water from the stools to maintain hydration. The result is constipation.
TIPS TO DRINK MORE WATER
Drink a glass of water with every snack and meal throughout the day.
Eat more fruits and vegetables. About 20% of your fluid intake comes from food.
Take a bottle with you in the car, at your desk, in your bag, and at the gym.
Set yourself up for success with a gallon a day.
Take a gallon of water and draw time increments on the side, so you know how much water you need to drink every few hours. Have fun decorating and write little words of encouragement on the container too. Some of my favorite are:
“I LOVE water!”
“I can do it!”
Stay happy, healthy, and N motion, AND REMEMBER…age is just a number!