In my last article, I talked about the the importance of air (breathing better, quality of air, etc) as a first simple step in your wellness plan. Ya know, put the oxygen mask on first - literally and figuratively. We discussed how you cannot go more than a few minutes without adequate oxygen before your brain/organs start to be too depleted to function and you eventually die. It can happen that quickly. That’s how important air is so we should first focus on breathing and quality of air when strategizing a wellness plan. Common sense, correct?
To piggyback off of that, let’s think of the next most important focus: water.
While you can only go several minutes without air and survive, you can go several days without water. That’s it, though. You’ve bought more time but not a lot. That’s how important water is to human function.
When you are properly hydrated, you will find that you think more clearly, pain levels decrease, headaches may disappear, skin issues resolve, digestive problems dissipate, you release excess weight, and on and on. There are so many benefits to being properly hydrated that it’s difficult to list all of them. Just trust that your body knows exactly how to function given the right conditions. Air, water, and whole foods are at the top of the list for places to start.
Your body is designed for pure water and natural fruit and veggie juices. It needs plenty of liquid and minerals to keep you well-hydrated and have all systems function at an optimal level.
A young woman full of health issues once said to me that she drinks all day long so she doesn’t understand why she feels so terrible all the time. It must be something else. While she likely had many factors playing a role in her lack of wellnes, her beverage of choice was diet soda and that’s all she drank. She never drank water and thought that diet soda was the same anyway because both are liquids. Water didn’t have flavor to her and she preferred flavor.
While this may seem like an extremely absurd example, the truth is many people behave this way. They fill up on coffee, black tea, soda, junky sports drinks and the like. Over time, the chemicals, sugars, and extra additives can actually contribute to dehydration as well as poor health! You may not feel it immediately but even more likely, you many not associate symptoms to dehydration and chronic dehydration.
The average adult requires between a half gallon to one gallon of water daily - even more if you are more physically active. When your body is not getting enough fluids, it will first send out thirst signals. If the water needs are not met, it will then send out hunger signals in the hopes that you will eat something will liquid that it can pull to help rehydrate. Your body is brilliant. Unfortunately, many people overeat because they are answering a thirst signal with food.
The time most everyone is dehydrated is right after waking up in the morning. Instead of going right to eating or just have a small glass of water, try drinking at least a half quart to a quart of water before having any food. You many notice that some cravings even decrease as a result.
Measure your water intake for one month and assess how you are feeling at the end. Make sure you are getting a minimum of a half gallon to a gallon per day. Coffee doesn’t count. If you drink coffee, tea, or soda yo need more water and minerals than those who do not.
Peeing. Yes. You WILL pee more. We are designed to urinate to rid our body of toxins. You will likely find yourself running to the bathroom more during the first couple weeks before it levels off a bit. This will be the rehydration period. After that, you will probably not have the urge to go as often and you will feel wonderful.
Want flavor? Add some fruit or mint to your water. You can also add Young Living's Vitality essential oils. I suggest citrus fresh and spearmint but there are many to choose from.
At the end of the month, assess yourself. Did any symptoms resolve? How do you feel?
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Jihan Thomas is a holistic life coach in New York City who brings a refreshingly simple, common sense approach to wellness, success, and life. She believes fulfilled people live more passionate lives and helps her clients thrive through food, movement, mindset, community, and a good dose of essential oils.
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