Water: How much should you drink every day? This is what the Mayo Clinic has to say.

Water is essential to good health, yet needs vary by individual. These guidelines can help ensure you drink enough fluids.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

How much water should you drink each day? It’s a simple question with no easy answer.

Studies have produced varying recommendations over the years. But your individual water needs depend on many factors, including your health, how active you are and where you live.

No single formula fits everyone. But knowing more about your body’s need for fluids will help you estimate how much water to drink each day.

Health benefits of water

Water is your body’s principal chemical component and makes up about 60 percent of your body weight. Your body depends on water to survive.

Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to work properly. For example, water:

·        Gets rid of wastes through urination, perspiration and bowel movements

·        Keeps your temperature normal

·        Lubricates and cushions joints

·        Protects sensitive tissues

Lack of water can lead to dehydration — a condition that occurs when you don’t have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired.

How much water do you need?

Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.

So how much fluid does the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate need? The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is:

·        About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids for men

·        About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women

These recommendations cover fluids from water, other beverages and food. About 20 percent of daily fluid intake usually comes from food and the rest from drinks.

What about the advice to drink 8 glasses a day?

You’ve probably heard the advice, “Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.” That’s easy to remember, and it’s a reasonable goal.

Most healthy people can stay hydrated by drinking water and other fluids whenever they feel thirsty. For some people, fewer than eight glasses a day might be enough. But other people might need more.

Factors that influence water needs

You might need to modify your total fluid intake based on several factors:

·        Exercise. If you do any activity that makes you sweat, you need to drink extra water to cover the fluid loss. It’s important to drink water before, during and after a workout. If exercise is intense and lasts more than an hour, a sports drink can replace minerals in your blood (electrolytes) lost through sweat.

·        Environment. Hot or humid weather can make you sweat and requires additional fluid intake. Dehydration also can occur at high altitudes.

·        Overall health. Your body loses fluids when you have a fever, vomiting or diarrhea. Drink more water or follow a doctor’s recommendation to drink oral re-hydration solutions. Other conditions that might require increased fluid intake include bladder infections and urinary tract stones.

·        Pregnancy or breast-feeding. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding need additional fluids to stay hydrated. The Office on Women’s Health recommends that pregnant women drink about 10 cups (2.4 liters) of fluids daily and women who breast-feed consume about 13 cups (3.1 liters) of fluids a day.

Beyond the tap: Other sources of water

You don’t need to rely only on what you drink to meet your fluid needs. What you eat also provides a significant portion. For example, many fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon and spinach, are almost 100 percent water by weight.

In addition, beverages such as milk, juice and herbal teas are composed mostly of water. Even caffeinated drinks — such as coffee and soda — can contribute to your daily water intake. But water is your best bet because it’s calorie-free, inexpensive and readily available.

Sports drinks should be used only when you’re exercising intensely for more than an hour. These drinks help replace electrolytes lost through perspiration and sugar needed for energy during longer bouts of exercise.

Energy drinks are different from sports drinks. Energy drinks generally aren’t formulated to replace electrolytes. Energy drinks also usually contain large amounts of caffeine or other stimulants, sugar, and other additives.

Staying safely hydrated

Your fluid intake is probably adequate if:

·        You rarely feel thirsty

·        Your urine is colorless or light yellow

A doctor or registered dietitian can help you determine the amount of water that’s right for you every day.

To prevent dehydration and make sure your body has the fluids it needs, make water your beverage of choice. It’s also a good idea to:

·        Drink a glass of water or other calorie-free or low-calorie beverage with each meal and between each meal.

·        Drink water before, during and after exercise.

·        Drink water if you’re feeling hungry. Thirst is often confused with hunger.

Although uncommon, it’s possible to drink too much water. When your kidneys can’t excrete the excess water, the sodium content of your blood is diluted (hyponatremia) — which can be life-threatening.

Athletes — especially if they participate in long or intense workouts or endurance events — are at higher risk of hyponatremia. In general, though, drinking too much water is rare in healthy adults who eat an average American diet.

Whole Body Vibration Training (WBVT): It may be good to shake things up.

Whole Body Vibration Therapy is a passive exercise using vertical directional force against gravity. This creates what some refer to as “hyper gravity”.  Our body responds subconsciously to vibration frequencies of 23 Hz or higher by contracting muscles fibers. This is because the stretch receptors in our muscles and tendons are activated; they respond by rapidly contracting and relaxing every 2-3 seconds resulting in a near 100% activation of muscle fibers, a response that otherwise can only be achieved by extended weight training.  This in turn activates a cascade of physiological responses that can improve bone mass, circulation, and balance. There is also a release of hormones such as human growth hormone (HGH) and serotonin. The benefits include increased muscle tone, prevention of osteoporosis and improved balance to name a few.

Below is a list of potential benefits which are linked to a scientific article. I also linked to Dr. Mercola’s “Peak Fitness” which discusses Whole Body Vibration Therapy. Below are 2 videos demonstrating WBV; one on “The Doctors” and another on Advanced Whole Body Vibration Workout.

The Many Health Benefits of Whole Body Vibrational Training (Dr. Mercola)

 

Sitting All Day? Well it’s time to move.

Most of us are busy and technology which can make work more efficient. It can also lead us do MORE work. This technology whether it be a phone, tablet, computer or smart watch takes our attention and we usually are sitting still using them. With these advances, most of use have become less “mobile” throughout the day. We may go to the gym and exercise, but for most of our day we are either sitting or standing in place, but not moving.

Below are several articles that explain what happens it we don’t move and innovative ways to change that. So if you have the chance just move, take the stairs, walk or even dance. You body needs to move and you will feel better for it.

10 Things That Happen When You Sit Down All Day

·       Weak Legs and Glutes
·       Weight Gain
·       Tight Hips and a Bad Back
·       Anxiety and Depression
·       Cancer Risk
·       Heart Disease
·       Diabetes Risk
·       Varicose Veins
·       Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
·       Stiff Shoulders and Neck

Sitting Is Killing You, But Standing Isn’t the Answer (And Neither is Exercise) by Fitness in Post

How to Survive Sitting All Day by Nerd Fitness

Strike a Pose. It may help you run faster

I was recently listening to a podcast from the British Journal of Sports Medicine interviewing Dr. Jon Finnoff of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Department discussing chronic exertional compartment syndrome, i.e. leg pain with activity. Dr. Finnoff mentioned modification of running technique, specifically the Pose Method as a treatment.

The Pose Method is a technique developed by Dr. Nicholas Romanov in 1977.  Dr. Romanov, an Olympic coach for the former Soviet Union, discovered that modifications in body position during an activity can improve performance.  The Pose Method has the body “posed” to optimize efficiency.  I became aware of the Pose Method some years ago when I developed chronic exertional leg pain affecting the anterior compartment, i.e. shin.  By modifying my running, utilizing the Pose Method, and transitioning from cushioned heeled shoes to a “minimalist” shoe resolved my symptoms.  This changed my stride from a hard heel strike to a mid-foot or forefoot strike increasing efficiency and decreasing the eccentric demands (work) of my shin muscles.  My symptoms resolved, and I now run pain free.

The Pose Method does require some coaching and understanding of the mechanics of the activity whether it be running, throwing or swimming.  Here is a link discussing the Pose Method which explains in some detail the theory, principle, and training techniques.

Here is Valerie Hunt’s Top 5 Tips for Learning the Pose Method

1.    Start by learning the Pose position.

2.    Practice falling.

3.    Learn to pull your foot properly.

4.    Change support between the Pose positions.

5.    Develop a rapid cadence.

If you are having some pain with your athletic activities such as running, consider the Pose Method.  Find someone who is trained in this method to help.  It is a 12-week program, but in the long-term be the key in decreasing injuries and improving performance.

Here is a of video showing how the Pose Method can improve running efficiency.

When is the Best Time to Exercise?

Exercise has many benefits, and exercising regularly makes all the effort worthwhile. The question is, when is the best time to exercise. This varies from person to person because our schedules and responsibilities may restrict the time to set aside for exercise. There are advantages to morning exercise, afternoon exercise, exercising with a buddy and exercising before meals. But what is the best time for you? Many gyms and fitness clubs such as Gold’s Gym, Workout Anytime and Plant Fitness are open 24 hours a day, making access easier, but is this a good thing? You can also exercise at home. Even the Wall Street Journal is in the act with a video on home exercise tips by Fitness Blender.  The following article may help answer this question. I agree with and recommend it to help guide your exercise schedule. When’s the Best Time to Work Out? By Claudine Morgan on July 4, 2016.

Remember that exercise should be done in moderation and consistently. Modifications or limitations may be needed due to medical conditions such as diabetes or heart disease. It is important to consult your physician prior to starting an exercise program if your being treated for such a medical condition.

Below are some great tips to remember for your exercise routine from webmd.

·       Be Consistent

·       Develop a Routine

·       Set Realistic Goals

·       Use the Buddy System

·       Make Your Plan Fit Your Life

·       Be Happy

·       Watch the Clock

·       Call in the Pros

·       Get Inspired

·       Be Patient

The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) has some advice for those beginning their exercise program as well. Before You Exercise – Tips for the Beginner Exerciser.

Here, I included an article from the Wall Street Journal, The Peak Time for Everything, Back More in a Day By Matching Tasks To the Body’s Energy; Lung Power at 5 p.m. by Sue Shellenbarger Sept 26, 2012. It may help you schedule your day so you have time to treat yourself and exercise.

Hopefully, these articles can help you have a more efficient, active, healthy and most of all enjoyable day.

Aquatic Physical Therapy

Aquatic Physical Therapy uses the unique properties of water for strengthening, stretching, balance and endurance training. Land based physical therapy uses modalities to relieve pain, stretching muscles and equipment for strengthening.  There are times exercise is best performed in water to place less stress on joints.  This is the essence of Aquatic Physical Therapy.

In addition to reducing stress across arthritic joints, it also increases resistance when moving through the water and the ability to work several body parts at one time.  Below is a list taken from a section on the American Physical Therapy Association’s website on Aquatic Physical Therapy listing some of these benefits.

Function
Aerobic capacity/endurance conditioning
Balance, coordination and agility
Body mechanics and postural stabilization
Flexibility
Gait and locomotion
Relaxation
Muscle strength, power, and endurance

Interventions used in Aquatic Physical Therapy include, but are not limited to, therapeutic exercise, functional training, manual therapy, breathing strategies, electrotherapeutic modalities, physical agents and mechanical modalities using the properties of water and techniques unique to the aquatic environment.

So the next time your physician recommends physical therapy ask if Aquatic Physical Therapy is right for you.

Click here to learn more about Aquatic Physical Therapy

 

If I run, will it cause knee arthritis? Probably not.

Exercises like running can provide numerous health benefits. It has been thought in the past that running may cause or increase the risk for the wear and tear arthritis known as osteoarthritis. Recent data suggest that in non-elite runners, i.e. recreational runners, there does not appear to be an increased risk, but rather a possible protective effect.  This comes with some important and practical points. Running needs to be habitual and the less the body weight, i.e. BMI, the less the chance of developing knee arthritis. Below is an abstract discussing this from the 2014 American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting;

Habitual Running Any Time in Life Is Not Detrimental and May be Protective of Symptomatic Knee Osteoarthritis: Data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative.

Here are some tips that may keep you running happier and healthier:

  • Use the right fuel. Eat well; Eat healthy.  You can’t run away from a bad diet.
  • Take care of yourself including health issues. Ask your doctor if you’re not sure.
  • Optimize you mechanics. From your shoes to your form. Be efficient.
  • Stay strong. Weight training and core strengthening protect the joints.
  • Remember to rest. This includes sleep and breaks between runs.
  • Know your limits. Listen to your body. It doesn’t lie.
  • Have a plan and make running a “habit”.
  • Most of all have fun! 

 

YOGA: It may help more than you think

Yoga is an combination of awareness of both mind and body popular for young and old. There is Restorative Yoga, Power Yoga, Hot Yoga, and even SUP Yoga. The practice of yoga contains benefits that help not only our physical being, but our mental being as well. Recently, researches have discovered benefits involving brain function that may improve physical function. It has been used by athletes to maximize body awareness, muscular control, and balance.

 
Below are several links that explain what yoga is and some of the unexpected benefits. I recommend exploring yoga to see if it may help you. A word of caution though: it can be very physically demanding and may cause injury if preformed too aggressively or improperly, so make sure you have proper instruction and you too can experience the many benefits of yoga. Namaste.

 

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