by Shannon Talbot
I’ll be the first to admit that it’s ironic that Health Class was one of my poorest subjects in high school and one I paid the least attention to yet here I am, a Certified Health Coach. Perhaps I was dreading the day we would learn about childbirth and the video so tuned everything out. Who knows?! I do know that one of the things I loved about my Health Coach training was relearning all of those important healthy habits that I generally knew about but didn’t necessarily practice.
For all of you out there who also tuned out Health Class or who could use a refresher on Healthy Habits, this post is for you and is about the one thing you should probably be doing more of. Are you ready? Drink more water. Not juice, coffee, crushed grapes also known as wine. WATER!
Sounds simple and it is. Once we get in the habit. You see that’s one of the first lessons I learned in my Health Coach studies. We all generally know what we should be doing to be healthier but knowing it doesn’t mean we actually do it. So, today I’m going to teach you a few simple steps around how much water you should be drinking and tips to get you there.
A good rule of thumb to follow is to drink half of your bodyweight in fluid ounces every day. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, drink 75 ounces of water per day. However, if you also drink caffeinated beverages (coffee/tea), alcohol and worked up a sweat that day, then you need to add more water to replace the dehydration caused by those drinks & activities.
But first off you need to know where you’re starting from. How much water do you currently drink on a daily basis? How far off are you from your target? If there’s a big gap, gradually increase your water intake every day until you get to that target amount. You’ll be going to the bathroom a lot in the beginning but don't worry, it will subside once your body is used to the increased water intake.
How can you increase your water intake?
-Drink 1-2 glasses of water first thing in the morning to rehydrate your body and brain after sleeping
-Drink hot water with lemon – this is especially great first thing in the morning and kickstarts your digestion, along with many other health benefits
-Carry a water bottle with you everywhere you go and make sure you refill it often. There are water bottles that have measurements on the side and remind you how much you should have drank by certain times throughout the day which can be handy.
-Make your drinks fancy - add slices of lemon, lime, cucumber or orange; put your water in a wine or martini glass
-Drink 8 ounces of water before exercise and sips of water throughout exercise
-Set a timer on your phone to remind you to drink water, especially if you wear a mask at work where it’s not as easy to sip throughout the day
-If you have digestive challenges, drink most of your water between meals
Why is water so important? First off because our bodies are 60% made up of water and secondly, because water is vital to all of the activities shown below in this infographic from the USGS.gov.
This week I challenge you to:
1) Track your water intake, and
2) Start implementing some of the tips above to get to your optimal water intake target
To Happiness, Health + Presence