We hear it time and time again to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! And I will be honest, growing up I thought it was ‘weak’ when we had water breaks and people would guzzle water. I wanted to show my coaches and teammates that I was too ‘tough’ to need water and I was willing to go 100% of the time at maximum effort. Looking back now I really wish I had a coach tell me what I was doing wasn’t showing strength and determination, that it was actually malnourishing my body and causing more cramping and fatigue than the actual physical activity I was doing.
We NEED water to feed our body and allow it to work properly. So much depends on this vital nutrient: our digestion, helping regulate body temperature, organ function, helping protect your tissues, spinal cord and joints and more!
How much do you need? It depends on the person and I’m talking adults only here, but you should have half your body weight in ounces each day. So if you weigh 200 pounds, drink 100 ounces.
How do I get that much water in?!?! Well here are my tips and tricks:
1- My number one tip is to find a water bottle you LOVE and carry it with you always. Then when you see it, sip it. Some people like to have a straw, others a wide mouth bottle, some love glass while others swear by their plastic ones. I would say you have to try a few on to see what fits you best. It may seem expensive at first but if you aren’t paying for water bottles all the time, it really ends up saving you money. My go to is the one pictured by Rubbermaid. I like that it doesn’t leak and I can flip the top easily on and off. I also use a Nalgene bottle to carry my filtered water in to work so I can refill the Rubbermaid one.
2-Carry it with you ALWAYS. IN the car, to work, the gym, baby play dates, doctors appointments…everywhere!
3- Treat your water intake as part of your routine. Wake up- drink a glass. Make breakfast, drink a glass and then eat said breakfast. Drink 16 ounces on your commute to work. Have a glass before lunch, snack and dinner. Have a meeting? Drink another 16 ounces! Any consistent activity you have in your day to day life, try and add water into the mix.
4- Use a straw. It helps get the water in faster and you drink more than you normally would.
5- Flavor it up! If plain water bores or grosses you out, add some fruit to it. You can even do this and freeze them into a popsicle for a tasty treat 🙂 Checkout some yummy recipes here (flavored water) or here (popcicles)… more popcicles.
6- Be frugal! Order water at a restaurant instead of soda or an alcoholic beverage. You’ll save some money in the process! Or, if you really are craving that wine, make a pact with yourself to drink a full glass of water before and after you drink it.
7- Eat your water! No, its not cheating and you kill two birds with one stone. Eat water rich foods like watermelon (duh!), celery, lettuce, soup with light broth and cucumbers.
So, that’s your hydration sections and as far as the stretching goes, I have a THERACANE to help out with that and it is AMAZING! I got mine on groupon and have to say thought it was a bit intimidating at first. But I read the little instruction manual and which knobs are best for certain muscles and haven’t looked back since. It is amazing to give your muscles the massage they need and be able to apply the pressure you truly want with ease. I really needed this in my life the past couple of days and am working on getting the knots out of my shoulders. Your muscles need time to regroup and stretch out and this is the perfect way to get them some relief!