Tuesday, 9 October 2012

HYDRATION – The key to a healthy lifestyle!

  1. We all know that water is good for us as over 60% of the body is made up of water. Many people know that they should be drinking plenty of water but find it a hard habit to form. People tend to avoid drinking water as they find it tasteless and boring to drink so they end up drinking coffee, tea, sodas and alcohol, amongst many other possibilities. Consequently, there is then not enough of a water intake and the body becomes dehydrated, which is not good at all for our health.

    As mentioned 60% of the adult body weight is made up of water. Water provides the right conditions for the function of all your bodily organs and it is important that lost water is replaced to maintain cell and blood structure. Water is lost from our bodies through urine, faeces, evaporation through the skin (sweat) and expired breath. Even without moving around or exercising we lose 2 – 2.5 litres per day via these routes.

    So it is extremely important that you replace any lost water and KEEP YOURSELF FULLY HYDRATED. Hydration is a vital key to a healthy lifestyle and here are 9 great reasons why you should be drinking water regularly throughout the day:

    1.      WEIGHT LOSS - Water is one of the best tools for weight loss, first of all because it often replaces high-calorie drinks like soda, juice or alcohol with a drink that doesn't have any calories. But it's also a great appetite suppressant, and often when we think we're hungry, we're actually just thirsty. Water has no fat, no calories, no carbs and no sugar. Drinking plenty of water can only help towards your weight-loss goals.

    2.      HEALTHY HEART - Drinking a good amount of water could lower your risks of a heart attack. A six-year study published on the 1st May 2002 in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that those who drink more than 5 glasses of water a day were 41% less likely to die from a heart attack than those who drank less than two glasses.

    3.      ENERGY - Being dehydrated can sap your energy and make you feel tired, even mild dehydration of as little as 1 or 2% of your body weight. If you're thirsty, you're already dehydrated and this can lead to fatigue, muscle weakness, dizziness and many other symptoms.

    4.      HEADACHE CURE - Another symptom of dehydration is headaches. In fact, often when we have headaches it's simply a matter of not drinking enough water. There are lots of other causes of headaches of course, but dehydration is a common one.

    5.      HEALTHY SKIN - Drinking water can clear up your skin and people often report a healthy glow after drinking water. It won't happen overnight, of course, but just a week of drinking a healthy amount of water can have good effects on your skin.

    6.      DIGESTIVE PROBLEMS - Our digestive systems need a good amount of water to digest food properly. Often water can help cure stomach acid problems, and water along with fibre can cure constipation (often a result of dehydration).

    7.      CLEANSING - Water is used by the body to help flush out toxins and waste products from the body.

    8.      CANCER RISK - Related to the digestive system item above, drinking a healthy amount of water has also been found to reduce the risk of colon cancer by 45%. Drinking lots of water can also reduce the risk of bladder cancer by 50% and potentially reduce the risk of breast cancer.

    9.      BETTER EXERCISE - Being dehydrated can severely hamper your athletic activities, slowing you down and making it harder to lift weights. Exercise requires additional water, so be sure to hydrate before, during and after exercise.

    How much water should you drink?

    It depends on your bodyweight but as a general rule:
    ·         Inactive person: 2.0 to 2.5 litres per day
    ·         Active person: 4.0 to 4.5 litres per day

    So it is even more important to monitor your water intake if you are exercising regularly. Dehydration affects the building of body tissues, temperature regulation and metabolic rate. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, headaches, lack of concentration and constipation; and just 10% dehydration can be FATAL!

    Just remember folks, get into the habit of drinking plenty of water and STAY HYDRATED! Being hydrated really is the single most important factor to a healthier lifestyle.

    Rich Palmer PT
    Personal Trainer Sutton Coldfield
    “making your fitness goals a reality”

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