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64 ounces of water daily. Why is this so hard?

water

The prevailing advice on water intake is eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Do you drink that much? Do you count? Do you agree with the recommendation?

I have three thoughts on this:

  1. One thing many people miss about this … the recommended 64 ounces is total fluid intake, not necessarily glasses of water in addition to the fluids you get from other sources. Food can provide up to 20% of your daily fluid intake. Soda, coffee and alcoholic beverages should be measured negatively if you’re keeping score. They dehydrate.
  2. I’m sure you’ve heard about the possibility that drinking too much water can kill you. You might also be able to kill yourself by trying to do 10,000 burpees … but you won’t. Google it if you’re concerned.
  3. Like everything else, water consumption should be about balance. The goal is to match the intake with the outgo – drinking vs. sweating. So the guidance I live by includes …
  • I don’t try to count – it’s probably unnecessary and kind-of obsessive
  • I make water my beverage of choice
  • I always keep water with me and drink it throughout the day
  • I drink water before, during and after exercise
  • If I’m thirsty, I might be dehydrated.

What do you think?

feelbettertag

First in Training, NC

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Is a 10-minute workout a waste of time?

Nope. Of course any amount of movement has value, so grab whatever time you have. Get your heart rate up if you can, work your muscles as much as possible … but just move.

A different question though might be what results you should expect from a 10-minute workout. If you do a Web search for “10 minute workout” you’ll find a ton of articles, videos, books and assorted plans on how to “get fit in 10 minutes a day.” The implication is that if you work really, really hard for 10 minutes, you can get the same results as you would with a more typical hour-long workout.

An intense 10 minutes cannot be a condensed version of a 60-minute workout. It is a portion of it. That means it’s missing some stuff – in particular, ramping up your heart beat at a healthy rate (depending on your age and health, you may need a full 10 minutes of just warm-up time to avoid injury), and stretching (more about flexibility in another blog).
So be realistic. The concept of being “fit” is usually considered to be the full meal deal: balanced strength, healthy body fat, lung endurance, quick heart recovery, a full range of flexible movement and a healthy diet. Most 10-minute workouts focus only on strength with a bit of heart elevation. Be aware of what is missing and set realistic expectations for the results you want. A reputable exercise health professional can design a program to meet the full definition of fitness and that works with your lifestyle.

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First in Training, NC


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Exercise in cold weather

In general, cold-weather workouts are almost always safe, as long as you bundle up (layers are key) and pay extra attention to slick, slippery surfaces.

Besides the need for a few extra layers, what’s happening inside my body during these colder months when I exercise?

Cold weather certainly can increase your risk of straining or tearing something. That’s because the lower temps cause our muscles to tighten a little bit more.

“Think about a block of clay that’s been sitting there,” says Polly de Mille, exercise physiologist and coordinator of performance services at the Tisch Sports Performance Center at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. That cold block of clay would tear if you stretched it, compared to how pliable it would be if you spent some time warming it up in your hands first, she says. Our muscles and connective tissue also have less elasticity when the temperature gets lower.

That’s why warming up is more important than at any other time of year, she says. In average temps, when you’re not using your muscles, most of your blood flows to your internal organs. When you start to call on your legs and arms to get moving, blood vessels open up to fuel those working muscles. But when the mercury drops, “you’re amplifying that effect.”  If you jump right into a sudden, powerful movement, like sprinting, on a stiffer-than-normal muscle, that force could lead to injury.

The cold may also slow down some of our “sensory mechanisms”.  Your nerves are colder, so there’s slower transmission rate, making, say, your feet a little numb, which could throw off your balance. It’s possible, then, to be doing damage without being totally aware of it. In warmer weather, you might read a twinge of pain as a signal to ease up; in cold weather, you might push yourself through the twinge toward injury.

The good news is cold-weather exercise injuries are preventable.  Dress appropriately for the weather and you do a gradual, proper warmup, you can avoid a lot of that.  Look at the warmup as literally warming up the muscle, tendon and other parts of your body to get ready for the greater forces that you’ll be applying to them in sprinting or jumping or landing.

feelbettertag

First in Training, NC