Fitness Friday #4: What's the Deal About Water Anyway?

Okay, so what’s the deal about water? I confess that since this is so late in the day, you’re just going to have to trust my memory on facts and details I have heard and read about water consumption and dehydration, etc. I don’t have time to peruse the internet checking my facts, etc., or Fitness Friday would bleed into Karene’s Slovenly Saturday that she is planning and I would hate to do that!

And, poor Ashleigh, no I have no healthy cold remedies or treatments. Since all of my adult life I have either been a public school teacher or a mother of small children, I have a pretty hearty immune system (I’m sure as I type that the germs in my house and on my keyboard are conferencing about what horrendous marching funk they can way-lay me with) so it’s probably been YEARS since I’ve had a cold – the flu, yes, but not a cold. But, take care of yourself and allow yourself to rest and yes, drinking lots of water will help.

Why is that? Why is that my standard answer to anything? “Drink lots of water!!” Everyone in my family knows that if they come to me complaining of ANY ailment – headache, stomach ache, sore elbow, whatever – my first question to them will be: “How much water have you had today?” Americans live in chronic dehydration and I have even had a pediatrician tell me that almost every child he sees is in early stages of dehydration. What’s up with that? One of the things I have read “somewhere out there” is that most adults don’t even recognize their thirst anymore and mistake it for hunger. I notice that a lot – that I want to eat when, if I will stop and think, I’m really thirsty, not hungry.

So, besides the fact that God made our bodies to work better with water, why do we need it – and so much of it?

Warning – moderate talk of digestion processes ahead. It won’t be any worse than taking a kid to the pediatrician and discussing diapers, etc., but if that grosses you out, just go drink water.

1. Water helps the body get rid of waste. I know, a basic “duh” statement. Let’s think about if weight-loss is your goal. Imagine someone you know who has lost massive amounts of weight. Did they complain about how many fat cells they were sweeping up and/ or vacuuming up in a given day? Of course not! How does the body get rid of waste? All-righty then. Let’s certainly help THAT process out. Water flushes the system, keeping things that we don’t need in our body moving along.

2. Water aids in digestion. This goes along with #1, obviously. Your digestive system is dependent on water to keep it moving along. Imagine if you crammed everything that you ate in a given day down your disposal and didn’t run the water. You would have a serious plumbing problem on your hands. The same can be said for your body! If your digestive system doesn’t have the water it needs, it is forced to do its job itself by cramping up the muscles of the digestive system to move the food along. That’s grief no one needs! Drink water! For this reason, your system also needs mucho fiber, but that’s another day.

3. Cells in your body need water to repair themselves. The Lord made our body such a perfect machine that it can repair itself! Cells need to repair themselves after exercise, as well as any injury you may have. Water speeds up that process. Partly by getting rid of any waste in your system, but also by keeping the cells at an optimum level of fluid.

There are many other, debatable reasons for drinking water. I mentioned last week that some research shows that it increases your metabolism, another disputed study shows that it decreases your hunger, and some people seem to think that it gets rid of fine lines in the skin. That truly makes sense since water-filled skin cells will repair themselves better and not leave lines, but the lines I have earned on my face are way beyond fine!

(Little House on the Prairie:
Salesman to Mrs. Olson: Yep, this cream can even get rid of those crow’s feet.
Mrs. Olson (horrified): Crow’s feet??? These are laugh lines!!
Salesman: Lady, nothing was that funny!
I think about that line frequently while putting on my make-up!)

I have mentioned here that many of us are walking around dehydrated and don't even know it. Early symptoms of dehydration are dry lips and thirst. If you live in a dry climate, like I do, you may just think that dry lips are part of the lifestyle, but they don't have to be. Beyond those two symptoms, headache and stomach cramps and/ or nausea or diarrhea are all symptoms of dehydration. Yes, those are all listed as possible side-effects on any medication produced, as well as the symptoms for 19 other maladies -- but if you're drinking your water, you can rule out dehydration!

So, the basic idea is to drink your water. I have found that I recognize my thirst for it now. Yes, I drink other things – lotsa, lotsa, lotsa Diet Coke, occasionally some very weak and doctored coffee, etc. – but I try to be sure I have at least my 64 oz. water. Obviously, exercise and hotter weather will increase your need for water. Be kind to your body and drink your water!


Ashleigh said...

Ha... when I told John this morning that I could feel a cold coming on, his response--"Drink some water!" I hear it so often I probably repeat it in my sleep. He grew up at 10,500 ft. elevation where the motto for staying out of the hospital from lack of oxygen is, "Pee often and pee light!" (I can't believe I just typed that--I think it was my wild half--my Southern grandmother would kill me) Anyway... I've been drinking my water today, hoping to keep the germies away. I think my Troy--who has been sick nine times in his 10 months of life--and I could borrow your strong immune system sometime.

Roxanne said...

When Tony and I first moved into our house, it was November. There was some very dry, brown grass that looked like it had died long before it made it onto the pallet from whence it came to be placed atop what had been bare dirt in our yard. The day before signing, I came to check on things, and there was a strange Vietnamese man in my soon to be back yard.

When he saw me he said,

"You home ownuh wife?"


"Tell yo husband I say, 'Watuh. Watuh, watuh, watuh.' By spring the grass turn green. But he need to watuh."

Then he was gone like a theif in the night.

Tony and I still say, "Watuh. Watuh, watuh, watuh."

Denise W said...

Why do people resist water?! It's good and good for you! Since Jim has been trying to lose weight - he's discovered water. At night he'll say he's hungry and I tell him to "drink some water and go to sleep."

Yall, drink more water!

Ashleigh said...

I am at Roxanne's comment!! I always admire someone who can type an accent. :wink: I'm going to be telling John "Watuh, watuh, watuh."

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