Monday, January 18, 2016

Improving My Health by Adding Water

Recently, as I was driving to Denver the new weight watcher commercials with Oprah aired on the various radio stations.  These commercials are not the typical weight loss product commercials.  They started me thinking about small doable changes I could make to be healthier in the New Year.  There is power in one change.  So what is my change?  Several years ago, we had a group of people that joined me for a series of programs called Small Steps to Health and Wealth that also looked at the power of small changes.

As I drove, I thought about possible changes I could make.  One of the secrets to success, is to not try too many changes at once.  What would be my first small change?  Change number one to become healthier.  Drink more water.  This should be an easy one, right?  Water is free and easy to find.  But for some reason I choose different beverages.  For me I want flavor. 

To count for water a beverage cannot contain caffeine.  So there are some options around.  Available on the market are flavoring drops and packets to add to water, some even tout added vitamins and minerals.  I can keep some flavor in my desk and handy at home.  I enjoy flavored hot tea, so choosing a decaffeinated option is doable.  Adding fruit or cucumbers to water is another way to add flavor.  At the hotel they have big glass containers of water around with various fruits in them.  They are pretty along with adding a light flavor to the water.  There are new bottles that help people make their own fruit infused water on the go.  If you are a container person, there are many cool water bottles that you can take with you and help you track the amount of water you drink.

Water is the perfect beverage to fight dehydration even for most athletics after all our bodies are mostly water.  We should avoid sports drinks which add lots of sodium and carbohydrates if we are not doing an exercise where we are sweating a lot over a period of time.  We should drink a minimum of 8 glasses of water a day, how many times have you heard this?  It really is not as much as it sounds, eight glasses is 64 ounces or 2 quarts.   Most of us use glasses that hold at least 16 ounces, so we would just need to drink 4 glasses during the day to get the minimum water amount.

An easy way to get the minimum water a day is to start your day with 16 ounces when you get up and then have a 16 ounce glass with every meal.   Once you master getting the minimum amount of water, challenge yourself to find additional times to add 16 more ounces a day.

Why is it important?  When our bodies are hydrated we feel better and bodies function better.  Water will help our bodies removed waste and toxins.  Water helps our blood pressure and help us reduce inflammation and arthritis pain.  It is the base of almost every diet from proven to fad.

So as I was driving I challenged myself to get the minimum every day even while I was busy working with the team putting on the various National 4-H Contests.   How did I do?

Wednesday – Great, thanks to the bottled water I had in the car with me.
Thursday – No Problems
Friday – Slow start to the day, as we were busy, but I took advantage of those glass containers of fruit infused water.
Saturday – Not so good, missed my breakfast opportunity for decaffeinated tea, but I did have some water during the day and before bed.
Sunday – Traveling home, I purchased bottled water at the convenience store along with my soda and made sure to drink it.

Now the challenge is to keep it up, until it becomes a habit even during my family’s crazy schedule.  Join me in this challenge and lift your glass of water in a toast.

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