A basic guide for normal everyday people who drink, smoke, are couch potatoes and don’t have the first clue how to get off their butt and become healthy.
So now I’m going to talk to you from the perspective of a Massage Therapist (it will interchange as we progress). “Are you good about drinking water?” is a question I ask my clients and friends a minimum of 1,000 times per week (slight exaggeration). The question is very important though, and I usually know the answer before they hesitantly respond “uh…well…”. The reason I know is because their body told me so.
Here’s the deal: your body is made up of between 70-80% water. Everything from the tiniest cell to heart and brain tissue has water. It’s truly the building block of life. So when you don’t drink water you become dehydrated, all way down to the tiniest cell. Your muscle tissue will “stick” together and your blood and lymph system move sludgy. Can you see the reference to massage therapy?
Therapeutic massage is meant to increase heat and circulation throughout the body, the effect being relaxed muscles, so we therapists can work out those “knots” you all ask about 100 times per session (“can you feel that knot, it’s pretty bad huh”?). Ever notice why you may feel nauseous or dizzy after a massage? That’s your circulation stirring up all that interstitial goop in your body from eating a bunch of crap and not taking better care of yourself. It has nowhere to go. This is where good ole H2O comes into play.
Drinking water will flush out those toxins (my least favorite word in the world but I can’t get away from it.) and clear out your system. It’s really the only way to move everything out of your blood and lymph and thus, your body. Staying hydrated is the first line of defense in taking better care of yourself and it really does make a difference in how you feel.
“Well, doesn’t coffee, ice tea or pop have water in it?” No, it doesn’t. Really it does but it’s not the same. Think of water as the engine oil for your body. You wouldn’t pay thousands of dollars for a new car and then use low grade engine oil to maintain it. So why do the same to your body?
“But I don’t like water. It tastes terrible.” This, I never ever understand. Ever. WTF does that even mean??! Water is colorless and tasteless. You can add fresh lemon or cucumber or peppermint oil or an orange or a lime or ALMOST ANYTHING if you need a “flavor enhancer” (whaaaat?!). Honestly, it’s not that hard. You don’t even have to replace every can of diet coke or coffee or ice tea or whatever you prefer; simply start with 1 less. Another option is every morning when you wake up, drink an 8 oz glass or water to start your day. Then at night before you brush your teeth and go to be (please don’t tell me we have to go over the benefits of teeth brushing), drink another 8 oz glass of water. Each day after, slowly increase your water intake: have a glass at lunch, or dinner, then lunch and dinner. Pretty soon you’ll find your body begins to crave it and you actually feel a little better. Your digestive system starts to work a little better and maybe your lips aren’t always chapped.
So that’s it for now. Your new mantra is “how can I make 1 small change to my daily routine to help me be a little healthier?”. Start slow and give it a shot, but all this talk about water, now I have to pee….
“Water is the driving force in nature.” ― Leonardo da Vinci