Ready to do something good for yourself in 2021? Me too. But sometimes when we start thinking about all of the ways that we can be healthier, take care of our minds and bodies, and start living our best lives, we get overwhelmed. And then it leads to analysis paralysis because we start thinking about ALL the possible ways we can adopt healthier habits, and before we know it, we’ve quit before we’ve even begun because we’ve made the whole dang thing just too dang difficult. Sound familiar? It’s very common.
But, what if I told you that healthy habits don’t have to be difficult? Sometimes, it’s all about the little things we can easily change about our day that ultimately lead us to making bigger changes. Or sticking with our new habits. And better yet: Enjoying these habits. BECAUSE we’ve made them simple, they’re going to be easier to stick to. And because we’re enjoying the process, we’re more likely to continue doing them. Sounds simple enough, right? Right!
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So, if I can encourage you to do ONE healthy thing today, tomorrow, this week, next week, every dang day, it would be to drink more water. The general rule of thumb is that you should be drinking half your body weight in ounces of water every single day, and then adding in another 8 ounces of water for every 30 minutes of intense exercise.
This is JUST water, and not your overall fluid. So things like juice, soda, and coffee don’t count! Yes, coffee is technically made with water, but it also contains caffeine, and caffeine acts as a natural diuretic, which can actually lead to dehydration. So coffee, while delicious, doesn’t count toward your daily water goal.
Health Benefits of Drinking Water
Water is so good for us in so many ways, but some of the most common health benefits of adequate water intake include:
- Removes waste and toxins from our body
- Regulates our internal temperature
- Cushions and lubricates our joints and organs
- Carries nutrients and oxygen throughout our body
- Keeps our system regular (aka those daily bathroom trips)
- Keeps our skin looking young (the literal fountain of youth!)
- Helps control our weight and helps us feel full
- Helps us power through workouts by keeping our muscles hydrated
Fun fact: Did you know that our brain actually can’t tell the difference between hunger and thirst? So, a lot of times, when we start reaching for those afternoon snacks because we think we’re hungry, we’re actually really thirsty. Next time you feel those cravings hit, try drinking 8 ounces of cold water and waiting about 15 minutes. If the feeling of hunger goes away, it means your body just needed some hydration!
And here’s another fun fact: It is possible to be dehydrated without feeling thirsty. So, even if you’re not feeling thirsty, you might still be dehydrated. That’s why it’s so important to keep an eye on both any symptoms of dehydration (I’m sharing these below) AND your water bottle throughout the day until you learn how to tell when you’re dehydrated.
Other ways to tell if you’re in need of a little hydration therapy:
- Dry mouth
- Infrequent urination or bathroom trips
- Dry, flaky skin
- Muscle cramps
- Dizziness or rapid heart beat
- Muscle cramps
- Fatigue or lack of energy
- Confusion or irritability
How to Boost Your Water Intake
So, if water is so good for us, why do we have such a hard time getting in our daily requirement? Sometimes drinking water is just not something that occurs to us as we’re navigating the busyness of our days. Other times, water isn’t something that’s enjoyable because it’s “plain” or “boring.” Regardless of your reason for not drinking enough water, it’s definitely worth identifying barriers and figuring out ways to increase your daily chugs to help you reach your water goal.
If you’re someone who doesn’t like the taste of water, try adding fresh fruit slices to your water to give it a little extra flavor. You can even look for other ways to put a little zip in your sip. My household is currently obsessed with this mocktail recipe featuring our Everyday by Transform Boost Shot. It’s the perfect way to add a little flavor to your water bottle while staying hydrated, and it also gives your body (and mind) a natural boost of energy as the day goes on.
If drinking water is something that just doesn’t cross your mind, try setting reminders in your phone, or follow my 10 Gulp Rule. What’s my 10 Gulp Rule? Every hour when your reminder goes off (or when you walk by your water bottle), you’ll grab your water bottle and take 10 gulps. You can do it, I promise! And this helps ensure that you are regularly hydrating yourself.
Here are some other sneaky ways to drink more water:
- Add spices to your foods!
- Eat foods that are high in water (cucumber, spinach, tomatoes, watermelon, broccoli, etc.)
- For every cup of coffee or every soda you drink, add on another 8 ounces of water to drink too!
- Start your day with 8 ounces, and end your day the same way
- Track your daily water intake with an app/online tracker
- Get a water filter
- Add cute water bottles to your collection
- Drink through a straw
If all else fails in your water journey, just remember that drinking water is one of the easiest ways we can take care of ourselves, and guys, it’s also calorie-free! If water is something you struggle with, focus on progress, not perfection. Look for simple ways you can add a few ounces into your day and slowly build from there. You got this!
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