Hydration And How Crucial It Is For Your Health

Water affects every organ and cell within your body. You may not have known this, but water even plays an enormous role in the health of your back and spine.

Most of us associate dehydration—when more water is moving out of our body than we are taking in—with muscle cramps, fatigue, and extreme thirst. Indeed, these are just some of the consequences of subpar hydration. But, did you know that dehydration affects your brain as well?

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Our brain is made up of around 73% water. If we don’t keep up with our water intake, especially in hot weather or while exercising, our thinking and cognition can suffer. In one study, adolescents who exercised for 90 minutes to a state of dehydration experienced significant shrinking of brain tissue, much like a sponge left out to dry.

Make sure you drink enough

Recommendations vary depending on weight, age, and activity level but an easy one to remember is 8x8, or 8 glasses of 8 ounces of water each day. You can also divide your weight in pounds by 2 and drink that number in ounces. For example, a 130-pound female would need 65 ounces (135/2) of water per day. Many experts recommend drinking to thirst—if you are thirsty, drink!

Mental benefits

Not only does staying hydrated help balance your mood by aiding in body regulation and brain function, but it also offers some big-time benefits for your memory. Yep, it’s true. Proper hydration can help improve the flow of both blood and oxygen to your brain, ultimately helping strengthen cognitive function and memory.

Fighting fatigue

 The equation here is a simple one—a well-hydrated body is a well-energized body. Combine that with the fact that hydration can also contribute to better sleep, and you may be able to kiss the need for that regular cup of joe each morning goodbye. (Sip mindfully as you enter the evening hours, though, since consuming liquids too close to bedtime could leave you running for the bathroom in the middle of the night).

Maximize Physical Performance

If we do not stay hydrated, physical performance can suffer. This is particularly important during intense exercise or high heat. Dehydration can have a noticeable effect if you lose as little as 2 percent of your body’s water content. However, it is not uncommon for athletes to lose up to 6-10 percent of their water weight via sweat.

This can lead to altered body temperature control, reduced motivation, increased fatigue and make exercise feel much more difficult, both physically and mentally.

Optimal hydration has been shown to prevent this from happening, and may even reduce the oxidative stress that occurs during high intensity exercise. This is not surprising when you consider that muscle is about 80 percent water.

How to Tell if You're Dehydrated

·       Your pee will be dark in color (resembling apple juice)

·       You may feel nauseous and experience fatigue

·       You might cramp up, lose focus, and feel groggy

·       You stop sweating

Hydration is also important for health reasons

Dehydration can cause a dangerous imbalance in blood-sodium and fluid levels, which can lead to serious illness and even death.

The risks are heightened in extremely warm weather. If you're training outside in the heat, make sure to take in extra fluids to keep your body temperature down and prevent cramping.

Water is truly the elixir of life. As you experience all the wonderful milestones of summer, remember to drink plenty of water and eat a diet rich in hydrating whole fruits and vegetables to keep you going strong all summer long. Your body (and mind) will thank you!

Practicing Self-Care & Fitness Has It's Benefits

Practicing Self-Care & Fitness Has It's Benefits - By Guest Writer Sheila Olson

As we grow up, we pick up the belief that the greater the sacrifice you make, the greater the reward.  While working hard is essential for achieving your goals in life, the big question is when is how much striving too much? For many people, accomplishing their ambitions comes at the cost of their health. Self-care can help you regain balance in your life.

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Practicing self-care offers numerous mental, physical, emotional, and psychological benefits including:

•           Boosts your self-esteem and confidence

•           Helps you maintain healthy relationships

•           Relieves stress

•           Promotes focus, creativity, clarity, and productivity.

•           Improves your outlook on life

•           Promotes mental health

•           Builds resilience and problem-solving ability

•           Cultivates peace, calm and happiness in your life

The importance of fitness to your self-care routine?

Fitness helps you build strength and boosts your vitality to enable you to perform your daily tasks optimally. Exercising detoxifies your body and aids in maintaining a healthy weight, lowering your risk of diseases such as cancer, hypertension, diabetes and heart diseases.

People in recovery stand to benefit significantly by including exercise into their lives. Studies show that exercising lowers stress levels while producing feel-good hormones. The feel-good hormones provide a natural high while the reduced stress levels reduce the urge to use drugs. Some people in recovery pursue exercise and sports as a means of self-actualization which keeps their minds occupied, gives them a sense of accomplishment, and boosts their self-esteem.

Incorporate fitness into your life

Identify an exercise you enjoy such as jogging, walking, swimming, cycling, yoga, boxing, hiking, aerobics, dancing, and weight training among others. Start exercising 20 minutes a day for 3-5 days a week and increase frequency, intensity, and length of time as your body becomes stronger. Incorporate self-care in your fitness routine by eating healthy whole foods and hydrating adequately. Also, avoid overtraining, and warm up and cool down for at least 10 minutes per session.

Integrating other self-care practices

Initially, it may feel like self-care is taking up too much time on your already busy schedule, or that it is selfish. Start out with smaller time-frames and build up gradually. The idea is to commit every day to do something that nurtures you, even if it is for five minutes. Self-care takes being deliberate and not making excuses.  Some days it will be easy to get in the flow, other days it may feel like a lot of work. Either way, keep showing up.

Occasionally take time out to just breath and literally smell the roses. Take morning or evening walks in nature. Every so often allocate time for a bubble bath, massage or a facial. Plan and begin saving up for that vacation you have been intending to take.

Create an end of the day ritual whereby 30 minutes before your bedtime, turn off all the electronics, dim the lights, and get in bed. Take a few deep breaths and allow your body to ease tension. Identify at least three things in your life or the day that you are grateful for. You may make a mental note of them or actually note them down in your journal. Allow yourself to lay relaxed, aware of your body until you drift away to sleep.

There will always be a new goal for you to pursue and things to do. Self-care may mean the difference between whether you go through life overloaded with stress, or with ease. Do not wait until the damage of neglecting yourself is done, take charge of your life now and find ways you can nurture your body, mind, and spirit.

Photo credit: Unsplash


 

 

Tips for Choosing A Certified Personal Trainer

So, without any cheating, you are now determined to push your fitness to the best possible level!

No doubt, technology tools have motivated you for a moment, but do you feel like you're capping? You decide then that it is time for a personal trainer to accompany you. Bravo! But do you know how to choose this professional?

For many people who do fitness, the personal trainer, the training camp or the nutritionist quickly become essential in the evolution of a training program. They find themselves destitute when it comes to finding the most appropriate resource.

You have decided to take charge by calling on the services of a private trainer. Yes, but there you have to find a good one. Here are the tips for doing this.

Use Your Network

Start by asking in your network if someone does have a good coach to recommend you. This type of reference is often the most reliable. Also, this is one of the most effective and used ways to find your coach is good old-fashioned word-of-mouth. It is often enough to ask around, to friends, family or colleagues office. You can also ask gyms whose "coaches" are also doing private training.

Since personal trainer rates can be quite high, it's important to find one that's right for your needs, goals, and budget.

Ask for Diplomas

Even before the first warm-up, it is essential to learn about your coach. "Some people self-proclaim private coach simply because they are sports enthusiasts who train a lot, but it does not mean they are allowed to give lessons, it can even be dangerous to take advice from them. That's why you always have to ask the person who will perhaps train you according to his diplomas, his training, and his certifications ".

Request A Trial Period

Before committing for several months, it is essential to check your "compatibility" with the coach. For that, nothing is worth a trial period; it can be a single session, but we recommend a trial week instead.

“The healthy relationship with the coach is significant,” says certified personal trainer of Utah. If you do not see him as a kind of model, as someone, who inspires you, if you do not have some confidence in him, that's a bad sign. His teaching may not be appropriate for you. In this case, do not hesitate to change the trainer after the trial period. "

Ask for A Personalized Program

The main benefit of using the services of a personal trainer is precise to benefit from tailor-made sessions. The opposite must be an alarm signal. The customization of the training program is the basis; we will not build the same program to someone who never plays sports and works in one office than another who has physical work on a building site.

Therefore, be wary of pre-established programs. "A coach must adapt his training program according to the need of his clients; if he comes out of standard lesson plans, identical for all his candidates, it is unacceptable. He must establish one specifically for you.

Now you may understand the approach, you will find the personal trainer more easily, who will be better suited to you.

BENEFITS OF WEIGHT-LOSS

Sandy Hancock

It's talked about often that losing weight “feels great.” Many assume that this feeling arrives after months of sweat and determination. However, as soon as you start to incorporate a healthy lifestyle of whole foods and exercise you will feel a change. Your energy will start to soar. Your mood will improve and you will find yourself having feelings of happiness and self-worth. You may be able to get off some medications due to weight-loss, you'll spend less on health care, and your risk of cancer and diabetes will be lower. Then one day you will find your skinny jeans fit perfectly. And while, there is an incredible sense of accomplishment when you do reach a milestone goal, there is real happiness on your daily journey. Let me explain.

Your body is incredibly responsive. We heal from sickness. We feel energy from a great workout. Our minds feel the endorphins of exercise and positive thinking. As soon as you begin to give your body what it’s meant to receive, nutrition, hydration, activity, and self-love, it responds almost immediately. You feel light, energy, and power. And, you physically begin to FEEL a change.

If you want weight-loss, to feel energetic and empowered here's a few tips that can help you get started.

Feel Hydrated

Getting plenty of water promotes weight loss, increased energy, relieves fatigue, flushes out toxins, improves complexion and boosts the immune system, just to name a few. Your stomach will feel slimmer since it can digest food easier and staying hydrated helps you avoid headaches. Plus, water doesn't add a single calorie! Aim to drink 3 liters to 1 gallon of water every day.

Feel Energetic

Feeling more energetic only takes a few daily changes. Those changes are sleep, eating enough to fuel your day, and exercising regularly. Eating whole foods throughout the day and keeping sugar intake low gives you immediate energy. By five o’clock you'll either be sluggish from sugar or you’ll be actively engaged in your evening events. Exercise release endorphins, which is a hormone secreted within the brain and nervous system that causes an euphoric effect, making you happy with more energy. Sleep helps weight-loss, memory, problem solving, concentration, and energy. Studies show that the best amount is at least 7 hours.

Feel Empowered

One of the greatest feelings in the world is progressing towards a goal! Each and every day that you follow a diet of whole foods and exercise, you are taking a step (or two or three) forward. Your mind is incredibly powerful. Some of my clients have allowed themselves years of negative self-talk. It’s dark, damaging, and hurtful. However, just a few days of healthy eating and exercise quickly reverses that negativity. If you are mindful you will notice these changes. Light immediately penetrates darkness. You feel hopeful, excited, and CAPABLE of reaching your goals. And, if any thread of discouragement returns, you can quickly replace that fear with positive affirmations and acknowledge that you are on your own path of success.

If you begin enjoying the benefits of healthy nutrition and exercise on a daily basis. You’ll immediately fall in love with the way you FEEL!