If you’re anything like me, you’ve recently become highly and irritatingly aware of the extent to which many things are outside of your control. COVID- 19, along with talk of elections, politics, your family’s opinions on Black Lives Matter, and the controversies surrounding our criminal justice system, have me re-evaluating where my energy is best served on a DAILY basis.
I find that if I spend all of my time blaming systems and focusing on the things outside of my control, I feel more and more like a victim of circumstance. Ultimately, this kind of thinking makes for a pretty helpless existence, that often makes me feel like I’m swimming upstream against an impossible current, or like I just want to lie in bed all day and cry; both of which do not need my energy.
Recently, I began reading “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” by Stephen R. Covey. Luckily, the first habit is all about the importance of being proactive vs. reactive in relationships and professional endeavors. He emphasizes that when we take responsibility for our actions, our opportunities for growth expand, and therefore the things over which we actually do have control or influence over expand, too.
I’ve been thinking a lot this week about what aspects of my life I can actively choose to improve that are also inside of my control. Health, in my opinion, is the number one most important aspect of our lives that we can largely choose to have control over (well, about 95% anyway), that also directly affects EVERY OTHER aspect of our livelihoods. In my opinion, good health = good life because good attitude. Bad health = bad life because bad attitude. Specifically, I have noticed one aspect of wellness that has been largely affecting my ability to function at an optimal level - HYDRATION.
“Drink more water, or you might die,” states Mick Jenkins on his single, “Jazz.”
I mean…he right tho. In a literal sense.
Most of our bodies’ mass is made of water, around 70%. Water is responsible for helping blood flow to the heart. It is responsible for assisting in ALL of the ways our bodies process and perform EVERYTHING. It helps us digest and feel full, and helps to flush out toxins that mess with our mental. It helps us function during daily activities, think clearly, and sleep well. It normalizes blood pressure and helps regulate heartbeat. It fills the spaces inside and outside of our cells; the building blocks of the building blocks of the stuff from which we are made.
Simply, bad hydration = bad function, good hydration = good function. Easy, straightforward, and something that we have a lot of control over if we so choose and prioritize.
Choosing to function poorly right now, in this sociological, economical, political climate??? CHOOSING to air on the side of victim mentality and helplessness? …naw imma head out…(and buy a big a** water bottle).
Well, how do I know if i’m even dehydrated?!
The easiest way is to check the color of your pee. If your pee is super light in color or completely transparent, you’re in the clear (literally). If it’s dark in color, or has a strong odor, DRINK MORE WATER.
Usually, for most people, the water your body loses during a workout is no cause for concern. If you’re thirsty, drink water.
More serious signs of dehydration include dizziness, low blood pressure, confusion, or feeling weak.
How much water should I be drinking during the day?!
It depends, but if you are a relatively healthy individual who is not on any medication or running marathons every day in the sun, then 3 liters a day is usually a good rule of thumb. Three liters is about 12 and a half cups.
Caffeine DOES NOT dehydrate you. Coffee does not dehydrate you, it is made of water. However, the side effects of having too much caffeine can exacerbate the side effects of being dehydrated, same goes for hangovers!
Take the week long, gallon challenge!
For one week, drink a gallon of water every day and experience how you become less hungry, have more energy, and move with more ease throughout your day.
Now that most of us are at home for the most part, the issue of not having bathroom access won't be a problem :)
Tips and Tricks for staying hydrated (and possibly losing weight at the same time!)
Keep a full water bottle next to your bed. Drink a couple cups of water before going to sleep to aid in digestion over the course of the night. Drink a couple cups first thing in the morning to kick start your digestive system without any added bullsh**, ultimately eliminating waste and jumpstarting healthy metabolism first thing in the morning.
Drink water an hour before a workout. So you begin your workout hydrated, with cushioned joints and lubricated muscle tissue. Plus, you won’t have a stomach full of water when you start doing your squat jacks.
Buy a water bottle that shows you how much you’ve drank over the course of the day.
Nalgene has them, and they’re everywhere on amazon. You might be surprised at how much water you think you’re drinking (or not drinking).
To your success and hydration, ALL MY LOVE!
NASM CPT, CNC, Pre/Post Natal, Professional Dancer