We’re more than a month and a half into 2013. How are you doing with your New Year’s Resolutions? Many of us are unsuccessful with resolutions because we try to change too much too soon, and get frustrated when we don’t see immediate results. We then give up or self-sabotage, feeling that we’ve failed altogether. The key to success is to make gradual changes. This year, we looked at 13 ways to be healthier in 2013, and are now examining each Healthy Habit one by one. We’ve already looked at the healthy habits of sleep, taking the stairs, and not sweating the small stuff. Today we’re examining the healthy habit of sticking with water.
If you’re like just about everyone, there’s a good chance you’re not drinking enough water each day. Our bodies are 60 percent water, and every system we have relies on water to function properly. Without water, we can’t flush toxins from our system or carry nutrients to our cells. We lose water when we breathe, perspire, and eliminate waste from our bodies, so it’s critical that we replenish at regular intervals to stay hydrated.
When we don’t have enough water, our systems don’t function at their optimal level, leading to fatigue and dehydration. Most healthy adults need between two and three liters of fluids each day. A good rule of thumb is to take your body weight and divide that number in half to get the number of ounces of water you should drink in a day.
We get fluids from water and food, especially fruits and vegetables. Although we might drink other things throughout the day, such as soda, coffee, tea, milk, or juice, they don’t give us the same restorative effects of water. Drinking a sufficient amount of water each day will not only keep you hydrated, but help you feel full, improve the look of your skin, and keep you regular.
Furthermore, under certain circumstances, our need for water increases. The most obvious condition that increases our need for water is exercise. It’s critical that we replenish our bodies as we sweat. For a short period of exercise, aim to increase your water intake by 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups. For longer exercise sessions, consider the duration and type of exercise, as well as how much you sweat to formulate the amount of water you need. Likewise, hot or humid weather, high altitudes, illness, and pregnancy will increase your need for water, so it’s important to hydrate more frequently under these conditions.
Drinking water can seem like a chore, especially if you’re used to drinking other beverages. But if you’re not getting the recommended amount, you could be damaging your health. Vow today to swap at least one drink for a glass of water, and chances are you’ll feel much better.
Talk it up:
Do you drink enough water?
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