Thursday, April 2, 2009

Public service announcement

Today's "public service announcement" is brought to you by my dad-well in a way.
He was shopping for a lawnmower at Sears yesterday and passed out. He got a lovely ride in an ambulance and when the doctor finished his examination he said Dad was dehydrated. I've told him he needed to drink water!

He's okay, but I thought I would give you a few reasons of why it is important to drink water...a good reminder is always appropriate!


Why drink water??

Weight loss. Water is one of the best tools for weight loss, first of all because it often replaces high-calorie drinks like soda and juice and 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, no sugar. Drink plenty to help your weight-loss regimen.
Heart healthy. Drinking a good amount of water could lower your risks of a heart attack. A six-year study published in the May 1, 2002 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 during the study period than those who drank less than two glasses.
Energy. Being dehydrated can sap your energy and make you feel tired -- even mild dehydration of as little as 1 or 2 percent of your body weight. If you're thirsty, you're already dehydrated -- and this can lead to fatigue, muscle weakness, dizziness and other symptoms.
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.
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.
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 fiber can cure constipation (often a result of dehydration).
Cleansing. Water is used by the body to help flush out toxins and waste products from the body.
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.
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 to form the water habit.

So you're convinced that water is healthier, but you'd like to know more about how to make drinking water a daily habit.

How much water? This is a debatable question. What's clear is that the old recommendation of "eight 8-ounce glasses a day" isn't right, for several reasons: that amount includes all dietary water intake, including food and non-water beverages; it also ignores a person's body weight, which is an important factor in figuring the amount; it also varies if you are sick or exercise. It's also not good to just drink when you're thirsty -- you're already dehydrated by then. Best is to form a routine: drink a glass when you wake up, a glass with each meal, a glass in between meals, and be sure to drink before, during and after exercise. Try to generally keep yourself from getting thirsty.
Carry a bottle. A lot of people find it useful to get a big plastic drinking bottle, fill it with water, and carry it around with them all day. I like to keep a glass of water at my desk, and I drink from it all day long. When it's empty, I fill it up again, and keep drinking.
Set a reminder. Set your watch to beep at the top of each hour, or set a periodic computer reminder, so that you don't forget to drink water.
Substitute water. If you would normally get a soda, or an alcoholic beverage, get a glass of water instead. Try sparkling water instead of alcohol at social functions.
Filter. Instead of spending a fortune on bottled water, invest in a filter for your home faucet. It'll make tap water taste like bottled, at a fraction of the price.
Exercise. Exercising can help make you want to drink water more. It's not necessary to drink sports drinks like Gatorade when you exercise, unless you are doing it for more than an hour. Just drink water. If you're going to exercise, be sure to drink water a couple hours ahead of time, so that it will get through your system in time, and again, drink during and after exercise as well.
Track it. It often helps, when forming a new habit, to keep track of it -- it increases awareness and helps you ensure that you're staying on track. Keep a little log (it can be done on an index card or a notebook), which can be as simple as a tick mark for each glass of water you drink.

So this is the end of the public service announcement-I'm off to fill my water glass....

3 comments:

Amy said...

This is why I've started buying flavored bottled water every time I go shopping. This gets me to drink at least 96 oz. in a 2 week period. Not quite ideal, but so much better than I used to do. :) And I try to always remember that if I'm thirsty, I need to drink water -- not something else.

dotoner said...

Glad to hear everyone is okay! I love these kind of healthy reminders so thank you!!

Teri Leigh said...

I didn't know all that. Thanks for the reminder. I am glad your dad is ok.

thanks for stopping by...