Sunday, February 2, 2014

Water: The Easy and Cheap Health Habit, with a Huge Overall Benefit

When creating goals to achieve a life you love, often times it can feel overwhelming to take such a giant leap from where you are currently to where you would like to be. A classic example of goal overwhelm is a person who would like to loose 100 pounds. This is not an easy feat by anyone’s standards. A big goal like this usually comes with big excuses such as; a gym membership is expensive, the gym is far from my home, I don’t know how to cook healthy meals, I will have to spend a fortune on a new wardrobe, I don’t have time to count calories and hit the gym four nights per week. It is human nature to sabotage ourselves when we are on the verge of positive change. It is far easier to stay the same than it is to grow into the person we aspire to become. Over the next few months, I will be writing this column about the easiest health habits with the biggest pay off to incorporate into your daily routine. These habits will not leave room for any excuses or self- sabotage, they are cheap, easy and require very little effort, but the immediate results are fantastic. ENJOY!

Drink More Water: 
We all know we should be drinking enough water every day, but why? And how much is enough? The body is made up of about 60% water, and while the old standard of drinking 8- 8oz glasses of water per day has not been substantiated, one should be drinking more fluid daily than they are expelling through urination, sweating, bowel movements etc. The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake for men is roughly 3 liters, and an adequate intake for women is 2.2 liters of total beverages per day. These intake levels would change for pregnant or nursing women, athletes, people in hot climates and people with health conditions that cause excess loss of fluids. 

Water assists many bodily functions such as; digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, providing moisture to ears nose and throat and maintenance of body temperature. Water can also help control calories; switching out soda or sugary juices for water helps to lower daily caloric intake. If you are substituting a glass of water instead of a can of coke every day for a month, your calorie savings will be 4650 calories per month. It takes cutting 3500 calories to loose 1 pound. Therefore, just by cutting out a can of coke per day, and switching it for water, you would loose over one pound per month. Choosing foods that are higher in water content and more filling will also help you trim calories, and your waistline. Some examples of water rich foods are; fruits, vegetables, broth based soups, beans and oatmeal. H2O also helps maintain normal bowel function. When you don’t get enough fluid, the colon pulls water from stools to maintain hydration and the result is constipation. Water energizes muscles. Cells that don’t maintain their balance of fluids and electrolytes shrivel, which results in muscle fatigue. Muscle fatigue saps our energy and makes even the most active person want to park their butt on the couch all day. So keep hydrated to keep energy levels up! Water also helps skin to look young and fresh, as dehydrated skin appears more dry and wrinkled. Your kidneys do an amazing job of cleansing and ridding your body of toxins, as long as your intake of fluids is adequate, so be sure to get enough water for detoxification purposes. How do you know if you’re getting enough fluids? Your urine flows freely, is light in colour and free of odor. By drinking the recommended amount of water you are guaranteed to notice immediate health benefits from healthy colon and skin to weight loss. Water is easily accessible and very low in cost. There are no excuses as to why you can’t do your body a great favor and pour yourself a cool refreshing glass of water right now. ENJOY!

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