Welcome to A Practical Guide to Wellness! In this program, you’ll be making small changes that add up to HUGE results in your overall health. I am SO excited to be kicking off this series with you!
Objective #1: Drink More Water
Timeframe: 2 Weeks
Yes, I know. You’re thinking, “Seriously?!? She’s telling me to drink more water? That’s all she’s got for me?” Hang with me here. Getting plenty of clean, fresh water is the absolute basis for good health, and a lot of us don’t get as much water as our bodies need each day. While 8 glasses a day is a good general rule, it doesn’t always hold up, and many people don’t know how much a “glass” even is!
- Every cell and every organ needs water to function properly.
- Water aids digestion (read: among other things, you need adequate water intake to stay regular. Keeping it real here, folks).
- Your kidneys need adequate water to function properly and remove waste.
- Without enough water, your skin becomes vulnerable to acne and other skin disorders, can become dry and cracked, and is also more susceptible to aging (wrinkles!).
- Blood is at least 83% percent water, therefore, if water is in short supply, blood can become thicker and increase blood pressure.
- Lack of water, or dehydration, can lead to changes in brain structure and function, and can even lead to poor cognitive function.
- Cells that don’t maintain their balance of fluids and electrolytes, shrivel, which can result in muscle fatigue. Not to mention the fact that shriveled cells aren’t going to function properly in general, which could lead to other health issues.
Drinking plenty of water keeps your body healthy and functioning properly at the most basic level. If you’re working towards a healthier lifestyle, are (or working towards becoming more) active, want to look younger and have glowing skin, or really just want keep your brain, cells and other organs working, then you need to drink water. And lots of it.
Did you know that if you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated? Yep, thirst is the body’s way of screaming at you to drink some water already.
Let’s talk numbers! Your weight (in pounds) ÷ by 2 = the minimum amount (in ounces) you should be drinking every day. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, then you should be drinking at least 75 ounces of water per day.
There are a few things to consider here:
- If you are very active and/or sweat a lot, then you’re going to need to be drinking more than that minimum amount above.
- If you have a medical condition that requires you to restrict fluid levels, then always follow your doctor’s advice. Just make sure that the majority of the fluid you drink each day is water.
- There is such a thing as drinking too much water. This is hard to do, in general, but don’t go drinking gallons upon gallons of water every day. Sometimes you can have too much of a good thing.
- When you start drinking more water, you’re going to be going to be visiting the restroom more often. Hang in there – your body will regulate over time, and this will get better.
A few tips for making your water goal:
- Find a stainless steel or glass container that you can keep full of cold water. Chemicals in plastic can leach into your water, so it’s best to avoid drinking from plastic containers and plastic straws.
- Keep a pitcher of cold, filtered water in the fridge.
- Change it up – add lemons, limes, or other fruit to your water.
- Pay attention to how much water you’re drinking, and track it! Know how much your glass actually holds (with or without ice).
- Make sure you’re drinking water every 30 minutes during the day – set a reminder on your phone if you have to.
Sodas, coffee, tea, juice or sweetened beverages of any kind, and alcoholic beverages are NOT water. These beverages cannot be counted toward your daily water intake. We’ll say that sparkling water is okay. It can be a bit acidic for your body, so make sure that sparkling water is less than 1/3 of your daily water intake. Your body needs just good ol’ flat water, too.
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Tell me: Based on the formula above, are you drinking enough every day?