34 Proven Ways Water Makes You Awesome

34 Proven Ways Water Makes You Awesome

34 Proven Ways Water Makes You Awesome

From the stuff we drink and swim in, to the steam that eases congestion and the ice that reduces swelling, water is all around us (and even in us). Heck, it kind of is us. “Water makes up about two thirds of who we are, and influences 100 percent of the processes in our body,” says CamelBak hydration expert Doug Casa, PhD. That probably explains why we feel better when we’re drinking enough of it. To learn exactly how water is helping us, as well as some creative ways to use it, check out these 34 reasons why you should go hydrate right now.

1.) It could aid weight loss.
Anyone looking to lose weight could be helped by upping their water intake. Studies have found that when participants drink water before a meal, they lose weight faster than those who did not drink water. Extra H2O helps us eat less by making us feel full, and it may also boost metabolism. CamelBak hydration advisor Kate Geagan, RD says it’s not uncommon to put on weight by mistaking thirst for hunger, and she offers this pro tip: Next time you feel fatigued or sluggish, “drinking water may be just what [you] need to perk up.”

2. It powers our warm-weather exercise.
With the proper precautions, working out in the heat is usually fine—and staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do. The hotter the workout, the sweatier we tend to get, so it’s extra important to replace those lost fluids. Determining sweat rate informs good rehydration strategy: “Once an athlete [knows his or her] sweat rate, they can begin to practice replacing these fluid losses in training and be optimally prepared for [athletic exertion],” says Casa.

3. It keeps things moving, digestion-wise.
Water helps us, you know, go by helping dissolve fats and soluble fiber. Drinking enough water prevents constipation and also reduces the burden on the kidneys and liver by helping to flush waste products. Geagan breaks it down: “In the large intestine, water binds with fiber to increase the bulk of the stools, reduce transit time and make elimination easier. When you don’t drink enough water and fluids, the colon pulls water from stools, increasing your risk of constipation.”

4. It helps endurance athletes fight fatigue.
Water is an integral part of most any workout, and it becomes especially important in order to prevent dehydration during long workouts. When exercising for an hour or more, drinking water treated with carbohydrates and salts (by mixing in tablets such as Nuun, or making a DIY version) can help maintain fluid balance, which aids athletic performance and helps prevent post-exercise fatigue and exhaustion.

5. It might protect against some types of cancer.
Research has found that the greater the fluid intake, the lower the incidence of bladder cancer, with more significant results when the fluid is water. One possible reason could be that urinating more frequently prevents the buildup of bladder carcinogens. Staying hydrated may also reduce the risk of colon cancer and breast cancer.

6. It can improve mood.
Drinking water makes us feel so refreshed that it actually improves our state of mind. You don’t even have to be severely in need of it to benefit: Even mild dehydration has been shown to negatively impact moods.

7. Fun, frozen workouts are great for you.
When it’s too snowy or icy to go for a run, or you want a workout that’s as fun as it is good for you, find yourself some frozen water. Try ice skating for a low-impact workout that challenges your balance, get in some hill-work while sledding, get a full-body workout while cross-country skiing, or improve your cardiovascular endurance with snow-shoeing.

8. Drinking it may help prevent headaches, naturally.
Going without water for too long causes headaches for some people, and has been identified as a migraine trigger. The good news is that in a study on the effects of water on headaches, participants experienced “total relief” from their headaches within 30 minutes of drinking water (two cups, on average). Geagan says a good way to prevent headaches is to stay hydrated throughout the day. And if you’ve already been hit with a dehydration-triggered headache, you’ll need significantly more water to help it go away. She recommends drinking two to four cups of water for headache relief within one to two hours.

9. It keeps our kidneys working.
Kidneys remove waste from our bodies, help control our blood pressure, and balance fluids, so they’re crucial to keeping our systems running smoothly. One surefire way to keep them working properly? Adequate water consumption! So drink up to keep those kidneys in tip-top shape.

10. It energizes us.
Next time you’re feeling zonked, try drinking a couple glasses of water. Feeling tired is one of the first signs of dehydration and filling back up on H2O could zap the sleepiness .

11. Soda water makes healthier cocktails.
Fizzy water is a staple for healthier versions of favorite boozy beverages. Using seltzer water and fresh fruit instead of sugary mixers makes for a delicious, better-for-you drink (that can also help prevent dehydration).

12. It may help keep us alert.
If you’re going to need to concentrate for long periods of time, keep water handy to help you stay refreshed, hydrated, and focused: Dehydration can impair your attention span, memory, and motor skills.

13. It protects our joints and cartilage.
Water keeps the cartilage around our joints hydrated and supple, ensuring that our joints stay lubricated. It also protects our spinal cord and tissues, keeping us healthy from the inside out. Geagan explains that cartilage—the rubbery material that coats our bones—is about 85 percent water. To keep this protective material healthy, we need to keep hydrated.

14. It powers our cold-weather workouts.
Most of us think of those sweaty, summer workouts as the ones we should be guzzling water before, during, and after. But staying hydrated while exercising in the cold is crucial, too: One of the ways our bodies lose water is through respiration, and when we exercise in the cold, we’re working harder under the extra layers of clothing and breathing more heavily as a result. But even though we’re doubling down on fluid loss, one study found that cold weather weakens thirst. The result? We’re working hard, losing water, and not getting any body cues to drink up, which can lead to dehydration.

15. Soaking in a warm bath or shower may make us feel less lonely.
Researchers have concluded that when people are lonely and seeking connectedness, they spend more time in warm baths and showers, substituting physical warmth for emotional warmth . Doing so seems to ease loneliness and feelings of isolation. Warm baths may also cue oxytocin, the hormone responsible for making us feel relaxed and bonded with others. Typically released when we’re experiencing closeness to others, researchers believe that rises in body temperature can cause it to be released, too (though we should mention that this study was done on rats, not humans).

16. It takes the edge off of hangovers.
Drinking alcohol causes dehydration, which can lead to hangovers. Having a glass of water with each alcoholic drink you sip is one way to offset the dehydration (and the day-after misery).

17. It helps us think more clearly.
Dehydration causes shrinkage of brain tissue. So when we haven’t been drinking enough water, our brains have to work a lot harder to perform at the same level . One study even found that students who brought water to tests did better on their exams.

18. It cleans non-toxically.
Whether you need to clean your home, clothes, dishes, laundry, or yourself, water is the basic ingredient in many all-natural cleaning products. These products have all the cleansing punch with none of the toxicity, which is better for homes, health, and the environment.

19. Gargling keeps you healthier.
A study that followed 400 participants during cold and flu season found that those who gargled water regularly were significantly less likely to contact upper respiratory infections and that when they did, their symptoms weren’t as severe . (Maybe it’s time to supplement that flu shot with funny throat noises!).

20. Eating it hydrates us—deliciously.
Water-rich fruits and vegetables like cucumber, watermelon, and strawberries contain minerals, salts, and natural sugars the body needs for optimum hydration levels, so eating them can sometimes rehydrate us more effectively (and a lot more tastily) than water alone.

21. Working out in it (yes, in it) is good for aerobic fitness.
Deep water running and water aerobics offer cardio workouts without the impact. For cross training that’s no-impact and low-stress, hit the pool. Then there’s aqua spinning, which has been growing in popularity for a reason: It provides a workout as effective as cycling on land, and might even offer increased cardiovascular benefits.

22. Living near it is good for our health.
One study showed that good health is more prevalent the closer one lives to the coast . Whether it’s the proximity to sea air, greenery, or opportunities to soak up sunshine on the beach, spending time near the water makes us healthier.

23. It balances our fluids.
About 60 percent of the human body is made of water, and keeping our fluids balanced means that all that water is doing its job—transporting nutrients, aiding digestion, regulating temperature, and so on.

24. Its sounds are soothing.
Exposure to unpleasant noises (screams, scrapes, electric drills, subway trains, perhaps?) can elevate our pulse and blood pressure and cause stress hormones to be released . In contrast, in one study, participants rated bubbling water as the most pleasing sound they were asked to listen to. The sounds of water flowing has also been found to have therapeutic effects.

25. Swimming around in it works out the body and mind.
Swimming has been found to improve long-term physical and mental health and is a great option for anyone who wants an impact-free cardio workout . Those seeking peace of mind might consider diving in too; spending time in the pool is believed to reduce depression.

26. When frozen, it provides pain and swelling relief for soft tissue injuries.
Ice has been shown to be an effective short-term therapy for sprains and strains. Cold packs reduce blood flow and swelling in the affected area and also treat pain .

27. Spending time in cold water is good for athletes.
Studies show that immersion in cold water is beneficial for sustained athletic performance in the heat, and for treating muscle damage after exercise. On hot days, immersion in cold water can keep body temperatures level and blood flowing.

28. It’s been linked to heart health.
Can drinking water keep us heart healthy? There seems to be a link between risk of death from coronary heart disease and water intake: Research has shown both that consuming more water means a lower risk of death from coronary heart disease and that risk of death rises when intake of “high-energy fluids” (like soda and juice) increases.

29. A warm footbath before bed could help you sleep.
One small study found that adults with sleeping problems experienced better sleep and less wakefulness on nights they received a warm water foot bath before going to bed.

30. Waterbeds can help some people with back pain.
Perhaps there’s a therapeutic reason that waterbeds were all the rage in the ’70s and ‘80s. Research indicates that waterbed mattresses are associated with improving back pain symptoms and providing a good night’s sleep (though the benefits were small).

31. It may help relieve congestion.
Stuffy nose got you down? Inhaling steam from a humidifier or pot of boiling water can help clear up congestion. Salt water can also break up all the gunk that makes us stuffy: Stream it from one nostril to the other with a neti pot or try a saline nose spray to loosen things up.

32. Shoveling after a heavy snowfall makes for great cardio.
Okay, so snow’s not exactly water, but it’s definitely similar enough! If you’ve ever spent time shoveling after a snowstorm and felt like you got a darn good workout, it’s because you did. In fact, shoveling snow makes demands on the body similar to a treadmill workout at maximum effort . As long as you’re already in good cardiovascular health, grab a snow shovel the next time heavy snowfall sidetracks your workout plans! (To avoid injury and strain: Warm up first and use proper shoveling technique—snow shoveling is hard work and can cause injury!).

33. Spa therapy could relieve pain and aid relaxation.
If you suffer from chronic pain, a hot-water soak could help. A review of spa therapy (soaking in baths of hot water or mineral water) showed that it has been an effective treatment for pain and rheumatic disorders.

34. Soaking up steam heat is good for the heart.
Relaxing in a sauna could be as healthy as it is calming. In one small study, participants who sat in a sauna for 15 minutes every day for three weeks showed improved heart function and blood pumping capabilities, and were able to exercise more . Researchers concluded that sauna therapy could be an effective complement or alternative treatment for some people with chronic heart failure.

Original Article by Sally Tamarkin – http://greatist.com/health/health-benefits-water

Unique Weight Loss & Family Practice now has a Vibration Plate Machine!

Unique Weight Loss & Family Practice now has a Vibration Plate Machine!

Unique Weight Loss & Family Practice now has a Vibration Plate Machine!

Our patients are welcome to utilize the vibration plate machine, as available, at no extra charge.  Sessions run for approx. 10-12 minutes and there is no need to make an appointment. Come in and take advantage of this unique wellness tool.

What is vibration plate machine?

Vibration plate machines are exercise devices designed to cause the muscles in your body to continuously contract when you stand on them, writes Dr. Kristie Leong, a family practice physician, on HealthMed. The function is to help you build strength and possibly burn calories. Many gyms in the U.S. offer the use of vibrating machines in their exercise facilities, and you can purchase them from fitness retailers for at-home use.

The Theory

Vibrating machines activate your body’s stretching reflex, which forces your muscles to contract with no effort on your part, according to the American Council on Exercise. ACE likens the effect to a doctor tapping under your kneecap with a small hammer, causing your leg to kick. The result could be increased strength and power.

The Methodology

You can just stand on an operating vibrating machine to use it as exercise, says Leong. But she says you can also perform exercises such as lunges and squats while standing on a vibrating machine in the attempt to enhance the workout. An average vibration plate exercise session runs 10-15 mins.

The Experts Say. . .

Although training on a vibration machine might help improve balance and improve muscle strength in elderly adults, you should not use it as a shortcut to lose weight, says Lashowski. Incorporate strength training, cardiovascular exercise and a healthy diet into your daily routine, Lashowski says. Traditional exercises have proven health benefits, such as reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, which a vibration plate may not provide.

Traditional exercise supplemented with whole body vibration has been shown to reduced pain and fatigue in women. It can help improve balance in older adults, as well as reduce bone loss, even alleviate pain.  

Clinical Data Shows

In a study conducted by the Artesis University College in Antwerp, Belgium, 61 obese or overweight people were divided into four groups that received differing treatments to determine the weight-loss effects of the various treatments. At the end of the study, the group that received weekly vibration plate machine exercise instruction lost an average of 10.5 percent of their body weight, and maintained the loss throughout the duration of the study. A group that received a diet and regular conventional exercise instruction lost and maintained an average of 7 percent; a diet-only group lost and maintained an average of 6 percent, and the control group gained 1.5 percent. Although the research shows encouraging results for vibration plate machines, more research is needed to confirm that the machines are beneficial for weight loss, study leader Dirk Vissers says in a 2009 “Eureka Alert.”

Sample Vibration Plate Workout

People who are out of shape and considered sedentary can start their vibration exercise workouts by simply standing on the plate, knees flexed. This is supposed to stimulate natural muscle contractions and get blood flowing. People who are used to exercise can add actual exercise movements while on the equipment to enhance the effects of both the vibration plates and the exercise. Some of the exercises you can do on vibration equipment include squats, calf raises, front and side lunges, pelvic thrusts done with your feet on the equipment while lying with your back on the floor, push-ups both with your hands on the vibrating deck and also with your feet on the deck, triceps dips done from the deck, and scissors exercise for your abs done while seated on the deck.

How Successful People Think

How Successful People Think

How Successful People Think

Usually, successful people are happy and optimistic. They think of the downside as the runway to skip from their next leap upward. They have a mortal fear of failure.

They have courageous approach and risk, and they do not expect to understand everything before they start to do things, or start doing things, and they keep thinking about how to keep things going and how to improve. If you want to think like successful people, you need to master the tips below.

  • Possibility Thinking

Many people think they are no able to able to perform certain tasks that seem unachievable, because of the kind of success associated with the task. When we believe that we can do what others say is impossible and succeed, many doors will open for us. Thinking impossible will attract others who believe in the impossible. Successful people make things happen, and they do not just sit and wait until someone comes up with a new idea. Indeed, the possibility of thinking is contagious. You cannot help but feel more confident and think bigger when you are in the vicinity of potential thinkers.

Possibility thinking is a heroic act, as it allows the future break from the past. This allows the flow of new probabilities and outcomes. Possibility thinking is the son of evolution. Hope and vision power it.

  • Creative Thinking

How often are you in a situation where there would be no other solution to a specific problem?

When creative thinking is applied to the situation, you will have a basic formula to follow and work through the details of the problem to achieve a practical solution.

With creative thinking, you will be able to look at a problem from different angles. This can only be light at the end of the tunnel that leads to a solution.

  • Reflective Thinking

Reflective thinking helps create a deep learning, enabling the growth of the individual in many aspects, including morally, emotionally and cognitively. Reflective thinking helps to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the individual allowing individuals to question the values and beliefs, challenge assumptions, to identify bias, recognize the fears and find areas for improvement.

  • Shared Thinking

If you have friends who are older than you or both at the same level, you have to use their knowledge and smartness to your advantage. Shared thinking is about exchanging ideas with people who are successful and intelligent. To do this, you need to surround yourself with successful people.

  • Questioning Popular Thinking

To be successful in life, we must first think well. But can we learn new mental habits? I say yes!

Don’t follow other people’s thought because they find something impossible or because a large group of people thinks something is impossible then you conclude it’s impossible. That’s wrong! Change your thinking, and your life will be changed, don’t follow crowds.

To change your thinking from popular thinking, you have to do what is stated below:

  • Write Down Your Goals And Follow Them

Many of us have had a very difficult year, and we are not satisfied with ourselves. Write down your goals for the next five months. Once you have identified these goals, plan how you can reach these goals.

How to Reduce the Dreaded Austin Allergy Symptoms – Part 2

How to Reduce the Dreaded Austin Allergy Symptoms – Part 2

How to Reduce the Dreaded Austin Allergy Symptoms – Part 2

Other ways to naturally reduce and/or eliminate allergy symptoms

An integrative and holistic approach to allergy treatment includes supporting and improving the immune, adrenal, and digestive symptoms with proper nutrition, sleep, specific supplements, and herbal medicine. Medications may be necessary, but should be used for the most severe cases and under direct supervision by your healthcare provider.

  1. Avoid dairy. Dairy thickens mucus and for many people worsens congestion and asthma symptoms. I would absolutely avoid dairy if you suffer from asthma or allergy induced asthma.
  2. Avoid wheat. More and more data is coming out on the negative effects of wheat on the body. Grain Brainand Wheat Bellyare written by two different medical doctors stating the inflammatory effects wheat has on the body, and it all starts in the gut. Try eliminating it for 30 days and see how you feel.
  1. Avoid sugar and grains. Choose a wide variety of fresh vegetables, pasture raised protein and healthy fats.
  2. Get enough sleep. Inadequate sleep weakens your immune system and makes you more susceptible to viruses, allergens and illness. You should get 8-10 hours of sleep nightly.
  3. Manage emotional stressors. Stress can worsen symptoms of allergies and predispose you to infection. Find ways to relieve stress including exercise, breathing exercises, stretching, and meditation.
  4. Have your vitamin D level checked. Vitamin D deficiency can weaken your immune system. Ensure your level is adequate or supplement if necessary.
  5. Vitamin C. Take 1-3 grams 2-3 times daily or to bowel tolerance.
  6. Probiotics. 1-2 times daily. Buy a quality product that has 3-5 billion organisms per capsule.
  7. Take zinc. Zinc is a trace element essential for cells of the immune system. Foods high in Zinc include red meat, mushrooms, oysters, pumpkin, flax & sesame seeds, and dark chocolate.

Herbals, Homeopathic therapies and misc. therapies

If you are eating clean, sleeping well, and managing stress and still suffer from allergy symptoms, you may want to try the following natural therapies.

  1. Butterbur. A derivative from a common weed in Europe, butterbur has been shown to be just as effective as the drug cetirizine, the active ingredient in Zyrtec. [Caution to those allergic to ragweed, butterbur is in the same family.]
  2. Quercetin. Natural plant derived compound that helps stabilize mast cells and prevent them from releasing histamine. Also, a natural antioxidant. Recommended dose 1,000mg daily and best if started 6 weeks before allergy season.
  3. Raw local honey. Can build immunity through gradual exposure of local allergens. Also, helps thin mucus.
  4. Local Bee Pollen. Natural antioxidant and anti-microbial action, but is also a remedy for hay fever and allergies. Should be taken at least six weeks before the season begins. Can be found in many grocery stores as well as a natural pharmacy.
  5. Combination allergy supplements. Many “natural antihistamines” (e.g. D-hist) contain a blend of botanicals and seem to be effective and well-tolerated. These can be found at your local natural pharmacy or grocery.
  6. Homeopathic drops. There are specific seasonal allergy formulas that can help reduce the body’s negative reaction to allergens. There are specific Grass, Weed and Tree blends. These can be found at a natural pharmacy.

To say it simply, the best defense against allergy season is to eat clean, sleep well and manage stressors. Identifying food allergens and sensitivities can greatly reduce symptoms. Starting on bee pollen and a combination allergy supplement that includes Butterbur and Quercetin may be helpful, but start early (at least 6 weeks before allergens start). It may be necessary in severe cases, especially in those who suffer from asthma, frequent sinusitis and bronchitis. we recommend discussing with your healthcare provider.

If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or on pharmaceutical medications regularly, you should consult your healthcare provider before starting on any supplement or herbal treatments.


How to Reduce the Dreaded Austin Allergy Symptoms – Part 1

How to Reduce the Dreaded Austin Allergy Symptoms – Part 1

How to Reduce the Dreaded Austin Allergy Symptoms – Part 1

Living in Austin, often listed as one of the Top 5 Worst Places for allergies, you probably know firsthand what it’s like to suffer from allergies. This week’s record breaking cedar pollen records ha Austin is unique in having three distinct pollen seasons. The fall season, from mid-August to early November, ragweed and other weeds predominate. In the winter, Mountain Cedar pollen lasts from December to February and is unique to Central Texas. In the spring, oak and other trees like ash, elm, and pecan pollinate from February to early June. The hot, dry summer weather often kills off much of the grass, which means there is generally very little pollen in July and early August. Because of the three distinct pollen seasons, many people in Austin suffer with allergy symptoms year-round.

Allergy Symptom Preventions You Can Do Today:

  • Wash your hair every night and take a shower before you go to bed.  Pollens and other allergens can get in your hair and on your skin, transferring to your sheets and pillowcases when you lay down to sleep at night.  By washing your hair before bed, you can reduce your exposure to the allergens.
  • HEPA Filters. A type of mechanical air filter that traps harmful particles such as pollen, pet dander, dust mites and tobacco smoke. It can be very helpful in reducing allergen exposure at home. Pillow and mattress covers can also help to reduce in home exposure.
  • Avoid fans to cool rooms, use the air conditioner/heater which pulls air through the HEPA filters to reduce allergen exposure in the home.
  • Keep windows closed when driving, and put car a/c on recirculation instead of fresh air setting.  This reduces the amount of pollen ad other allergens from entering the vehicle. If necessary, limit time outdoors when allergen counts are the highest.
  • Nasal Irrigation. Rinse 2-3x daily and help wash away inhaled allergens, as well as treat sinus congestion. Also, it is a great way to prevent sinus infections.

These methods plus avoiding carpet or have cleaned regularly and keeping pets out of sleeping areas are all great ways to reduce allergen exposure.

So, what exactly is an allergy?

An allergy is an overaggressive immune response triggered by ingesting certain foods, touching certain substances, or inhaling an irritant, such as pollen or animal dander. Many people think it is a result of having a weak immune system but it is actually your immune system working really well. Substances capable of causing allergic symptoms are called “allergens.” Allergy symptoms may develop at any age, and often depend on frequency and quantity of exposure to allergen. This is why many people living in central Texas over a period will develop allergy symptoms.

Common symptoms of allergies are sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, itchy, watery eyes and nose, rashes, fatigue, and headache. For some people, these symptoms are seasonal, but if constantly exposed to allergens, symptoms can be year-round and significantly affect a person’s health and quality of life.

Some Common Allergens:

  • Inhalants (pollens, house dust, animal dander, mold, chemicals)
  • Ingested Allergens (foods, beverages, additives, medications)
  • Injected substances (drugs, vaccines, insect bites)

Medications for allergy sufferers include antihistamines, decongestants, and, when severe enough, corticosteroids. Common side effects of these medications are elevated blood pressure, drowsiness, dizziness, headache, nervousness, difficulty sleeping, dry mouth, and nose (which can then cause bloody noses). For many people, the medications do a poor job of managing symptoms and create unpleasant side effects.