Water: the foundation of youth, health & beauty!
There is a saying, “you can’t pour from an empty cup, take care of yourself first!” We as women, however, often have a laundry list of excuses to exempt ourselves from the wise adage. I, too, invent so many reasons why I cannot take time out for myself to practice healthy habits that enhance my life! And have you noticed that when under stress, the problem compounds? We simply do not make the time to do those things that would help us feel and function better, even when we know we can use the extra boost.
Thankfully, women are those in the family that enjoy nurturing and caring for others—and we should! However, I believe that as we care for ourselves we will care for others in a better way. One of the reasons that I created Movin’ Together was to provide a vehicle for women to encourage women. In 2008, Deb Fitch and I had the opportunity to have a class for Parks and Recreation, teaching the movement component of Movin’ Together. When I thought about starting Movin Together again, I first decided I would gear it toward the baby boomers (my own generation). But when Morgan Koziar (nineteen years old) and my daughter, Julianna (six), asked if they could be a part of Movin’ Together (a facet of Home Page), I knew my vision needed to expand.
Not only did Morgan ask to join me as I stepped out to begin this adventure again, but she was a great encourager to me. C.S. Lewis has a great reminder to all of us that are more mature and it is this: you are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. This time the adventure would be to encourage all women of any age to feel their best, look their best, do their best, and be their best for others.
I was blessed with additional inspiration when my cousin and I were sitting with her father—my 95-year-old uncle (my mom’s brother)—at the Carelton Nursing Home, who was in Hospice Care. Candace and I enjoyed a rich time of reflecting on her father’s life, a God fearing, people-loving man. (Even in this challenging time, we were movin’ together.) During one of these conversations, she handed me a small envelope with a few items about me that Uncle Dave had saved. One of them was a paper heading about our 2008 Movin’ Together class. Even at the end of his earthly life, he was cheering me on. That really is the heart of Movin’ Together — to cheer us on!
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This week on Movin’ Together, we are discussing the importance of hydrating every day. Sometimes I would get so “busy” that at three o’clock in the afternoon, when I began to feel thirsty, I realized that I had not even drunk one glass of water all day. Of course, we have all heard how important it is to drink water, which I knew as well—but sometimes the knowing and the doing do not match. As a wife or mom or grandmom or whatever your role, hydration plays a great role in helping you to feel your best.
To put it simply (and there are volumes of books written on the benefits of water), water keeps your organs functioning properly, clears toxins, eliminates excess sodium from your body, hydrates your muscle cells, nourishes your skin, and boosts your metabolism. Additionally, weight loss can only be accomplished when you are giving your body the water it needs in addition to enough nutrients. This is helpful information for those of us who would like to shed some pounds for a “healthier you” this year.
How much water do we need to drink in a day? One of the simple formulas for determining the general amount is to take your weight and divide it by two and drink that amount in ounces each day. There are other formulas to encourage us to hydrate each day and each of them are alerting us to be diligent about our water intake. Some suggestions to help us hydrate are to start your day by drinking two 8 ounce glasses of water, and then one 8 ounce glass before going to bed at night. Drink two, 8 ounce glasses before each meal, preferably a half hour beforehand. You might also try keeping a pitcher of water on your kitchen counter containing your recommended daily intake of water to remind you to hydrate. When leaving the house, take a bottle of water with you. To make it fun for your kids or grandkids, purchase a fun water bottle or buy the eight ounce water bottles for them to drink. As we drink, we can remind them to do so as well. If you do not like the taste of your water, you may want to consider buying bottled water. Also, consider adding flavor to your water by infusing it with lemons, strawberries, blueberries, cucumber, and herbs to change things up.
Water-rich foods are another way to hydrate this winter. These include fruits, vegetables, broth-based soups, oatmeal, and beans. Some of the fruits and vegetables especially high in water content are watermelons, cantaloupes, apples, oranges, kiwis, celery, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchinis, and carrots. Soup can be homemade broth or store bought according to desire for convenience, and made from chicken, beef, or vegetable according to taste. Adding onion and garlic can strengthen your immune system, an excellent idea during flu and cold season.
Many years ago, I asked my neighbor Maria how she kept her skin looking and feeling great in the winter. She suggested another way to hydrate the largest organ of the human body, the skin, through hot baths with almond oil and milk powder. (A quick recipe: 1 tablespoon of almond oil and 1/4 cup of milk under running water.) If you have no allergies to these two ingredients, they make for an enjoyable bath. Children also enjoy bathing and this mixture will not irritate their skin, but refresh it. There are many recipes for this type of bath solution, such as adding oatmeal, also soothing to the skin.
When starting the habit of hydration it can become a beneficial pattern that affects the rest of our lives, especially helpful as we get older. If you struggle with taking the time to hydrate, this is a great opportunity to connect with a friend so you can support one another to start this life changing habit! Pursue it with intention and joy! (Or, at the very least, a smile.)
Next month, we will share the first movement part of Movin’ Together and we’ll invite you to join in!
Sara is certified through the American Aerobics Association International for Sports Nutrition Consultant and as a Personal Fitness Trainer.