Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Stay hydrated!

Hello! I want to talk about drinking water. Plain, old water. Our bodies are made up of about 60% water, yet most of us live in a constant state of dehydration. And that is no good place to be! I thought about this because, it was part of my new years resolution and because as cold as it has been outside, the last thing you want to do is drink cold water. But being dehydrated has many negative effects to it. One it can cause headaches. Being dehydrated causes the brain to not get the right amount of electrolytes, fluid and oxygen that it needs. The nerve receptors are very sensitive in the lining of your brain, so when your vessels are dilating and constricting it will cause pain. Being dehydrated also can cause lower back pain, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, constipation, elevated heart rate, electrolyte imbalances...just to name a few things. I have compiled a small list of some interesting reasons why we should drink water and stay hydrated (other than to prevent the symptoms of dehydrated I listed above).

  • It can aide in weight loss. We all want to do whatever tricks we can to help with this right? While this is not going to make you shed pounds and pounds, especially if this is the only effort you are putting towards weight loss, which I know it's not!...It will help some. First off, replace almost EVERYTHING you drink with plain water. Replace soda, juice, tea loaded with sugar, energy drinks, etc. We end up drinking A LOT of calories each day. If you start replacing your daily beverages with water, think about how many calories you will NOT be taking in. (p.s. good way to eliminate 250 calories for the "500 calorie deficit" rule!). Also, it is recommended when you feel hungry, drink 16 ounces of water right away. Many times thirst is mistaken for hunger. You might find you aren't hungry anymore...or you may find you will end up eating less portions with your snacks/meals after drinking that 16oz of water. The last way it can aide in weight loss is it can increase your metabolism only slightly, by your body working to warm up the ice cold water you just ingested.. 
  • It helps lubricate joints. Staying well hydrated allows water to go everywhere it needs to go in your body, including your joints. As we get older, our joints tend to get stiffer, especially where you may have had injury and this will help keep them moving smoothly.
  • It flushes toxins out of your body. Your kidneys are the organs responsible for filtering your blood and riding your body of toxins and waste. Staying hydrated helps the kidneys to do this. When you are dehydrated, the toxins, which is bad "stuff" not useful for your body, can build up in your blood stream, under your skin, etc. This will make you feel...well crappy and have crappy skin complexion.
  • It gives you energy. Drinking water first thing in the morning, hydrates you and wakes your system up to make you feel energized. I have even heard suggestions to try drinking water first thing once you wake up rather than coffee to get your pep in your step. (although I do still have a small, 6-8oz cup of coffee here and there, hey nobody is perfect!)
  • It helps boost your immune system. When your mucous membranes are dry (lips, mouth, nasal passages) germs are more likely to accumulate. Staying hydrated helps keep your mucous membranes moist, an environment germs are less likely to want to be.
  • It can decrease the risk of many diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, some cancers.
Now there are many, many more reasons to drink water, but I feel these are most important. According the Mayo Clinic website, it is suggested for men to drink around 13- 8oz cups of water per day and women to drink around 9- 8oz cups of water per day.  

I have even found an Android "app" to help remind you to drink water! I am sure there are iPhone apps too!

So today my workouts were again from www.fitnessblender.com
http://goo.gl/Em0E1 - a 20 minute upper body strength routine
http://goo.gl/O6n0n - a 10 minute super intense HIIT cardio routine (awesome if you only have 10 minutes, you get a lot of bang for your buck).

Cheers to your water drinking!


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