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

k1_positions
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.

Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

Tips To Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

The holidays are here, and you’ll no doubt find yourself surrounded by festive foods on multiple occasions. Between the tempting treats and the more hectic schedule it can be harder to stick to an exercise program and can lead to higher levels of stress.

It’s easy to see why many people gain a pound or several during the Christmas season. Along with controlling your portions and maintaining a habit of regular exercise, try these following tips to keep holiday weight gain at bay.

1. Maintain a regular sleep and exercise routine.

When you are tired or stressed out, you may either mistake these feelings for hunger or eat to comfort yourself.

2. Limit alcohol.

Alcoholic beverages are festive and tasty, but they contain a lot of calories and little to no nutritional value.

If you want to indulge, try alternating alcoholic beverages with glasses of water to keep from consuming so many calories.

Alcohol lowers your inhibitions, too, which means it might be harder to resist those tempting finger foods after a few drinks.

3. Choose the right party snacks.

If you are hosting the party, you can serve lots of low-calorie goodies such as veggies and dip or fruit arranged on pretty platters.

If you’re at someone else’s party, look for the healthy snacks among the junk food, and don’t stand near the food to chat – it’s too easy to keep reaching for another bite of this or that.

4. Eat slowly.

And not just at parties – every time you eat, your stomach needs time to register the “full” sensation and signal this to your brain.

Slow down and take smaller bites so that as soon as you aren’t hungry anymore, you’ll know it.

5. Pick protein.

Protein helps control your appetite by making you feel full and satisfied for a long time.

Eat plenty of seafood, chicken, turkey, and eggs; yogurt and cheese have the same effect, but check labels for fat and sugar content.

6. Try the six days on / one day off plan.

During the holidays, if you try to deprive yourself of every delicacy and tempting treat that you cross paths with, you are less likely to stick to your eating goals.

However, if you know you have a “cheat day” coming up at the end of the week, passing on that donut or soda today may seem more doable.

You can also use cheat days on days when you have plans to go to a party or out to dinner.

Following the rules most of the time leaves room for the occasional guilty pleasure.

Try these tips to avoid weight gain this Christmas – and save your New Year’s Resolution for something else!

Is Stress Eating You Alive?

Is Stress Eating You Alive?

Is Stress Eating You Alive?

What happens to us when we get stressed?

Well many things, but for so many people it brings with it overeating (generally on junk food) which can cause a weight increase.

If overeating, then weight gain, sounds like something you would do in response to stress, don’t panic, here are a few tricks that might help you get through the rest of year without gaining that unwanted weight. Continue reading

Weight Loss Plan Using Natural Hormone!

Weight Loss Plan Using Natural Hormone!

Weight Loss Plan Using Natural Hormone!

Whenever possible it is best to use the body’s own systems and natural hormones to help with weight loss because there are fewer side effects and adjustments that have to be made. This should always be done in accordance with the recommendations of a health professional to ensure that all factors are accounted for and equilibrium is maintained for all the body’s organs and processes.

One of the most common weight loss programs to use this methodology is the HCG diet promoted in quality Austin clinics as a successful routine for patients. The goal is to utilize a low calorie diet but prevent the loss of lean muscle mass by using the natural hormone, HCG which is administered in small doses by a certified technician. This shot is used in combination with exercise and healthy eating to encourage the body to drop pounds and inches but it is important to remember that this takes time and commitment to the plan.

The HCG diet was very regimented when it was first introduced making it unpopular because it was difficult to stick with for those that wanted flexibility on food options. However, this program has since been modified and there are multiple variations that work for a wide range of individuals and their preferences without sacrificing results. Its secret is in the fact that it keeps the individual’s metabolism running consistently which means that calories are always being ‘burned’ instead of typical diets which trigger the body to ‘store’ calories. The best part is that it can be maintained for a long period of time which is necessary for anyone who wants to keep weight off after they achieve their ideal goal number.

Every individual is unique so there is no ‘one size fits all’ plan which is why working with the best HCG Diet Austin weight loss clinics can help you be more successful in your endeavor. These professionals understand the complexities of the body and how to work with your heredity, genes, lifestyle and expectations to create a plan that you can stick with over the long term. Find a center near you and start working towards the body you have always wanted for a leaner and healthier ‘you’.