What Is The Recommended Daily Water Intake To Maintain Optimal Health?

Constantly thirsty, fatigued, and suffering headaches can all be the signs of dehydration. To maintain optimal health you need to ensure an adequate intake of fluids daily. Your body requires a certain amount of water daily to maintain essential life giving properties. All your vital organs, and in particular, your kidneys, require water to function. Inadequate fluid supplies will lead to dehydration. The minimum recommended daily water intake is about 8 cups for the average adult. However, many day to day factors can dramatically change your body’s fluid requirements.

Factors to consider:

How much water you really need to drink each day will change with many circumstances. Everybody needs to drink a minimum of 8 cups daily. Indeed, many sources recommend that men drink 13 cups of water daily. These people need to drink more:

The athlete. The more you exercise, the more you sweat. The more you sweat, the more water you need to drink to replace what you have lost. If you are unsure of how much you need to drink after exercising, try this simple trick. Weigh yourself immediately before and after the exercise. The weight you have lost off the scales is what you have lost in fluids. If you have lost 1kg then you will need to drink 1 liter of water (about 4 cups.) This equates roughly to 2 cups of water for every pound lost. The extreme athlete or marathon runner will need to not only replenish their fluids but also their electrolytes. This can be easily achieved by drinking sports drinks enriched with electrolytes such as Gatorade.

Pregnant and nursing mothers. It is important to stay well hydrated while pregnant. It is recommended that pregnant women increase their water intake to 10 cups of fluid daily. Nursing mothers are using enormous amounts of fluids to produce milk. These ladies need to drink 13 cups of fluid daily.

People living in high altitudes and humid climates. People who live in altitudes over 8,200 feet (2 500 meters), will need to up their daily fluid intake,as their breathing becomes more rapid and their urine output is increased. Those who live in hot, humid, or both, environments also need to drink more fluids to replace the extra sweat.

Unwell or feverish. People who are suffering from vomiting and diarrhoea, or fevers, can easily become dehydrated. It is important in these situations to carefully monitor the fluid input. Sucking on ice is one way to keep some fluids down in easy to manage amounts.

Signs of Dehydration:

* dry mouth
* fatigue
* headache
* little or no urine output
* thirsty, mild to extreme
* dizzy or light headed
* weakness of muscles

Extreme dehydration is dangerous and can often require a hospital visit for fluids to be administered intravenously.

Easy tips to stay hydrated:

* Take a water bottle with you everywhere. Small sips soon add up.
* Be sure to drink adequate amounts of fluid before, during, and after exercise.
* Drink more on hot days, or when you are out in the sun.
* Serve water with all your meals.
* Have at least 1 glass of water between each meal.
* Remember that there is water in all beverages that you consume. Milk, juice, soda, tea, coffee, and even beer and wine, do contain varying amounts of water. Remember though, that tea, coffee, and alcohol, all act as diuretics, so too much of these and you could dehydrate yourself.

Water is essential to life. Consuming adequate amounts of water will contribute to glowing skin and a sense of vitality. Water is cheap, healthy, and calorie free. Reach for a glass now.

Life Saving Tips On How To Choose a Bike Helmet

Adults and children alike should protect their heads each end every time they ride a bike. Colliding with a car is always going to result in the most injuries, but even a casual ride on a bike path can cause a significant, if not fatal, head injury if you fall.

Bike helmets do a great job of absorbing much of the impact when you land on your head.

Types of Bike Helmets.

There are 3 main types of bike helmets available for the bike rider:

Road bike helmets tend to focus on aerodynamics, ventilation, and low weight.

Mountain bike helmets are generally made to stay on when encountering bumps. They tend to feature extra coverage for the back of the head, and offer the best protection for unexpected surprises.

Multi-sports helmets offer, as the name suggests, head protection for cyclists on the road or trail and are great for skaters. These helmets are extremely versatile and as such are great value for money.

Ensuring the Correct Fit.

Your bike helmet will not be effective if it does not fit your head correctly. Follow these tips to get the right helmet for you.

The Health Benefits Of Juice Over Soda Pop – The Scary Statistics

The health benefits of juice over soda pop are numerous. 100% juices can be a great and convenient way to consume your daily serve of fruits and vegetables. Children who are finicky eaters can really benefit from having their fruits and vegetables freshly juiced.

Recent research has proven that you will still be receiving all of the nutrition and antioxidants that are contained in the fruits and vegetables when they are juiced.

Some parents have taken 100% fruit and vegetable juices out of their children’s diets, fearing that juice is linked to childhood obesity. Recent studies have revealed there is no link between 100% fruit and vegetable juices and childhood obesity. Researchers do add that you should provide your child with the amount that is appropriate to their age, which can range between 1/2 cup and 1 1/2 cups daily, depending on their age.

Juicing several fruits or vegetables together can be a fantastic way to ensure your children, and yourself, are receiving plenty of different fruits and vegetables in a wide range of colors.

In stark contrast, the recent statistics on soda, or pop, are alarming for everyone. Sodas and pop that contain sugars are dangerously high in sugars which are causing rotting teeth, contributing to the obesity pandemic, and increasing your chances of diabetes. A sugar alternative commonly used in sodas now is corn fructose syrup, which has been proven to affect collagen in growing animals and results in liver disease much the same as alcoholic’s liver disease.

Artificially sweetened sodas contain aspartamine which is a known neuro-toxin. The citric acid and artificial flavors contain MSG which is another known neuro-toxin, as well as being an allergen for many. The caffeine added to many sodas can result in over stimulation of the adrenal glands, and in children this can result in a syndrome known as adrenal exhaustion.

The phosphoric acid added to sodas has been linked to loss of calcium. In fact, in recent years the dramatic increase in the consumption of sodas amongst the youngsters in the US has seen a huge rise in the number of adolescent girls with broken bones and osteoporosis. (Osteoporosis is a bone condition where the bones are lacking in calcium. This condition was once primarily only seen in post menopausal women.) Phosphoric acid is also responsible for stripping the enamel off your teeth, leading to rotting teeth.

Drinking

Water Aerobics Routines – Great For Weight Loss, Fitness And Joints

Water aerobics routines are the ideal alternative for those with injuries or medical problems who are wanting to regain or keep fitness, muscle tone, and weight control. Aerobic exercise has many benefits. Previously, the word aerobics meant running, walking, and gym classes. These are all great activities for the person who is fit and healthy.

However, there are many people who are unable to participate in land aerobics. Those with joint injuries and diseases, those who are carrying a few too many pounds, those with back problems, the elderly, and many pregnant women need an exercise alternative. For these people water aerobics can be a huge success.

Water aerobics tend to take the format of a traditional aerobics class with music and an instructor on the dry side of the pool. Mostly participants are given flotation belts to wear to keep them up in the water. Classes tend to run from 30 – 60 minutes. Some instructors will use various props in the class, including fins and webbed gloves.

Benefits of Water Aerobics:

1. You do not need to be able to swim to participate in a class.

2. Those suffering from stiff joints will notice much more freedom of movement after a class due to the heated water.

3. Pregnant ladies can exercise vigorously without fear of overheating.

4. The water removes all impact on the joints. This is particularly helpful for those with painful joints and weight issues.

5. The water acts as resistance, fantastic for muscle tone and strength training.

6. The water supports your joints. For those recovering from injury, the water will act as a buffer, making it much easier and less painful to exercise the joint.

7. No strain on the bad back. The bad back is supported and will not be jarred when exercising in the water.

8. There are classes of various intensities, ranging from very gentle to intensely vigorous.

9. Weightlessness. The feeling of weightlessness can be liberating for some. Taking the weight away from joints means a more thorough exercise program without stress or injury.

10. Get fit without pain. Those who thought their days of jogging and dancing were over should think again. All sorts of movements designed to increase the heart rate are possible in a water aerobics class.

11. Increased flexibility. The extra exercises and stretches will result in extra flexibility throughout the body. This will be most apparent in the regions of stiff and painful joints.

12. Cost effective. Generally, water aerobics classes are an inexpensive option for getting fit.

13. Fun. Who doesn’t enjoy exercising in soothing, calming water to upbeat music?

14. Weight loss or control. Water aerobics is an excellent form of exercise for burning both fat and calories.

Water aerobics is an excellent option for those who may find it difficult to participate in traditional aerobic activities. Local pools and health clubs usually offer these classes.

Starting A Fitness And Exercise Program – Things You Need To Know

Once you have decided to start a fitness and exercise program, it is very easy to become over enthusiastic and do too much, too soon. Just another 5 minutes, just another set, just one more lap, is a very easy trap to fall into. We all want to see the results straight away. However, jump in too fast, and the only results you will be seeing will be sprains, strains and injuries.

The key to starting your fitness and exercise program is moderation. The most important step of all is to start off nice and slow. It is also advisable to consult with a medical practitioner before starting any new program if you have been out of action for a while.

Those who have been active in the past, or have done plenty of exercise, will find that they will bounce back into their fitness programs relatively quickly. However, just because you used to run 5 miles a day 10 years ago does not mean that you will be able to, or should even contemplate, doing that the first session back.

The most important part of any exercise campaign is the warm up and cool down. Warm ups and cool downs are essential for not straining any muscles or ligaments. 5 to 10 minutes at the beginning and end of every session will vastly improve how your muscles feel the next day.

The first few sessions of your fitness

Truth About Fats – The Good, Bad, Evil, And The Essential

When we hear the word “fat” most of us immediately think weight gain, cellulite, cholesterol, or hot chips. Over the years, many of us have been indoctrinated into thinking that all fats are bad and should never be consumed. However, more and more research is showing that there are “good fats” and “bad fats”. In fact, your body actually needs some fats. Read on to learn the important truth about fats.

Why your body needs some Fats

Fats are essential to our bodies for building cell walls, lubricating your joints, stabilizing your hormones, maintaining body warmth, and providing elasticity for your blood vessels and skin. Fats are also needed by the body for the correct metabolism of carbohydrates and protein. The important point here is that you need to consume the essential fats. Which leads us to the next question.

What are “Good Fats” and “Bad Fats”?

There are 2 kinds of fats that you can consume, the good fats, and the bad fats. The good fats are the ones essential for good health, and the bad fats are those responsible for raising your harmful blood cholesterol.

The bad fats are known as Saturated fats and are the products of animals. These fats are easy to spot as they are the ones that are solids at room temperature. These fats are full of cholesterol and are more difficult for your body to digest. Butter, eggs, cheese, ice cream, and poultry skin are all examples of saturated fats.

Trans fats are the “evil” fats. Examples of these are margarine, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, and animal shortenings (like lard). Trans fats will increase the bad cholesterol in your blood, reduce the good, and also increase your triglycerides. These fats should be avoided at all costs and can also be found in hot chips, and most fast foods.

The good fats are known as unsaturated fats and are plant products, such as seeds, nuts and vegetables. Unsaturated fats break down into two categories, monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats are liquids at room temperature (think cooking oils as an example). Sunflower oil is a good example of a polyunsaturated fat, and olive oil and canola oil are monounsaturated fats.

Monounsaturated fats, or Omega 9 fatty acids, are not essential to good health, but when used moderately are a much better alternative than animal fats. Extra virgin olive oil will always be a better alternative than butters and margarines.

The essential fatty acids are known as Omega 6 and Omega 3. These essential fatty acids are only to be found in the polyunsaturated fats.

Omega 3 fatty acids can be found in flax seed oil and fish (think tuna, salmon, sardines, herrings, pilchards, and mackerel).

Omega 9 fatty acids can be found in sesame oil, sunflower oil, walnut oil, safflower oil, pumpkin oil, and evening primrose oil.
Essential fatty acids are easily damaged by heat and light, and should be stored in cool, dark cupboards.

Essential fatty acids cannot be made by our bodies. Therefore, we need to consume some of these essential fatty acids to maintain our good health.

How much is a healthy amount?

To function correctly, your body requires the equivalent of one teaspoon of oil daily. Most of us consume far more than this.

A healthy amount to strive for is 25% of your total energy needs from fats. Most of us have at least 40% of our energy coming from fats.

Many health authorities are now recommending between 25-40 grams of fat daily as a healthy intake for the average adult.

While fats are essential, it is important to remember that they are extremely energy dense. One gram of fat contains 9 calories. By contrast, one gram of protein or carbohydrate contains 4 calories.

Most of us would benefit from reducing the bad fats in our diets and replacing them with the good fats. Remember though, a little fat goes a long way.

Do You Know The Truth About Sodium And Salt?

Reducing your daily salt, or sodium, intake can be extremely beneficial for your health. There are many simple and easy ways to reduce your salt consumption. Read on for the truth about salt and sodium.

The consumption of too much salt, or sodium, has long been associated with health issues such as high blood pressure (hypertension), kidney disease, heart disease, fluid retention (edema), stomach cancer, stroke, and osteoporosis. Seen enough to think about reducing your salt intake?

How much salt should you be consuming?

For most people, the answer to this question is very simple, less than you are now. Most American health authorities are currently advising that the average adult should be consuming less than 6 grams of salt per day. This is equivalent to 1 (one) teaspoon of table salt, or 2.4 grams of sodium. Medical research has shown that those adults with high blood pressure will respond better to their medications if they keep their salt intake to less than 1.5 grams of sodium. Babies and children require varying amounts, and it is best to check with your medical practitioner.

An important point to consider is that your body does need a little salt to maintain your body fluids and blood chemistry to satisfactory levels.

Foods that are high in salt content.

Processed foods tend to contain very high levels of salt. Fresh foods have small amounts of naturally occurring salt. Smoked and cured meats also have a high salt content. Fast foods are another culprit for the high salt content. Some sauces, breads, breakfast cereals, and pastas can also contain more salt than you would expect. Soy sauce and ketchup can both contain high levels of salt.

Easy ways to reduce your salt intake.

There are many simple ways to dramatically reduce your salt intake:

* stop adding salt to your cooking.
* buy low salt substitutes.
* check the labels before purchasing. The same product’s salt level can fluctuate dramatically between brands.
* select fresh vegetables over tinned.
* when using canned anything, rinse under the tap before using.
* be wary of salad dressings, frozen meals, and canned soup. These products can all be laden with salt.
* select fresh meat over cured, smoked or processed. (For example bacon, salami, and sausages all have very high salt content.)
* substitute salt with herbs and spices to increase the flavor of foods.
* remember, sea salt, kosher salt, garlic salt, and celery salt are all still salt.
* reduce the amount of fast foods that you are eating.
* Swiss, mozzarella, cottage, and ricotta cheeses all contain substantially less salt than other cheeses.

Salt replacements.

The addition of fresh herbs and spices, along with garlic, and lemon juice will add flavor to your meals. Slowly start reducing the amount of salt you cook with and add to your meal, until you are down to nothing. If you do this gradually, you will not notice the difference.

Whilst salt is an essential requirement for our bodies, most of us are consuming far more than is good for us. Excess salt consumption is linked to many health issues. Minimize your salt intake and maximize your health.

The Many Benefits Of Daily Stretching Routines

Stretching routines are beneficial for everybody, irrespective of your age or fitness level. One of the best end results from a daily stretch routine is that your muscles will lengthen, giving you increased flexibility and mobility over time. Those day to day activities that may be a little pesky now will become easier and easier once you start to stretch.

As well as increased mobility, a regular stretching program will improve your muscle coordination, decrease tension in your muscles, reduce lethargy, and increase the blood supply to all parts of your body. Many aches and pains can simply vanish after a regular stretching program has been started. Two great examples of this are the dreaded back or neck pain, and knee pain.

Many people assume that stretching is something you do before and after an exercise routine. Nothing could be further from the truth. A stretching program is going to benefit you even if you never set foot in a gym or run 5 miles. Many people opt to do their stretching first thing in the morning or after they have warmed up in the shower. The important point is to choose a time of day that is easy for you to incorporate as part of your daily routine.

Stretching before and after an exercise program will ensure that your muscles recover faster, less chances of strains and sprains, less muscle pain, and a much less likelihood of injury.

Stretching safely.

Follow these tips to ensure you don’t do yourself an injury while you are stretching: