Looking after a home and family is physically demanding work. Without health, energy and emotional calm, it can be an uphill struggle. So it makes sense to prioritise your well-being, make it non-negotiable. Looking after No1 needs to be Job #1.
However, the life of a House Slave is a busy one and there may be times when what should, in theory, be top of your To Do list, can drift and slide to the nether regions of your Things That Get Neglected list.
So what to do?
Well, today I offer you one single solitary health tip which could not only reap rich rewards for your vitality, vigor and mental wellness, but also requires only moments of your day. On top of that, it brings with it real beauty benefits, reducing wrinkles and giving you a youthful glow.
And what is this magic pill? Well actually, it’s a liquid remedy, commonly known as ….water.
Yep. That’s it. Drink more water.
Now, before you yawn and roll your eyes, muttering Yes, yes we know, we’ve heard it all before, just ask yourself how much water you drink regularly? Is it close to the recommended 8 glasses? If yes, then I salute you! If not, though, you could be missing out on a quick and easy route to more health and vitality.
The accepted wisdom is that drinking plenty of water is vital for good health, yet few people do it. I believe that those who do manage it, do so not because they are more virtuous or disciplined than the rest of us, but merely because they’ve adopted the habit of doing it.
Adopting the habit of drinking plenty of water could be one of the best things you can easily do to improve your health and vitality. It can even help with weight management (which will, in turn, improve your health). It will also have you looking younger and vibrant (and improved self-esteem is also good for you). So, not only can this habit help you feel amazing more of the time, it keeps you looking gorgeous, too. Pretty useful habit, n’est pas?
So, if you want to take better care of yourself and, by default, be fit and able to take better care of your loved ones, set yourself a Water Challenge!
Although the actual advised amounts continue to vary, there is one generally accepted True Test of whether you’re drinking enough. Or should I say Loo Test…ie, you check the colour of ‘your water’ when you go to the loo. For anything darker than pale yellow – get yourself a drink!
Developing routines or habits where drinking water becomes natural and automatic is the easiest way to get more water into your day. So, here are a few ideas of how to do exactly that:
- Start your day with a large mug of warm water with a slice of lemon. This is a well-known trick for gently getting your metabolism going after the night’s fast. (Elizabeth Hurley is a big advocate of this and she looks pretty good…) Now, you may argue that you need a caffeine shot to get going in the morning but if you get into the habit of drinking plenty of water, you may well find that your natural energy and vitality will do the trick instead.
- Keep a bottle of water and a glass on your desk and by your bed. You’re much more likely to drink water if it’s within easy reach. Plus it’s a visual reminder. Perhaps you could treat yourself to a pretty glass or tumbler in support of your new quest, to make that reviving glass of water even more appealing.
Note: Beware of keeping drinking water in plastic bottles in the car or in the sun – the heat destabilises the plastic and can make the water toxic.
- Alternate herbal teas with your usual tea/coffee. Caffeine drinks count against your water intake, ie you need to add yet another drink of water to your daily quota to compensate. However, drinking herbal teas are triply beneficial because;
- they count towards your water intake goals
- they are free of the toxins found in other teas and coffees
- the carefully selected herbs have additional health-giving properties. For example, you can get herbal teas that help with detoxing, skin health, joint health, Immune system, digestion, sleep or weight.
(You can even add them to your bath for a bit of homespun spa-therapy!)
My favourite herbal teas are Dr Stuart’s (my graphic designer side loves the gorgeous packaging, whereas my Tea Connoisseur side loves their light, refreshing taste…) They have loads of different flavours so why not pick and mix till you find your favourite?
- In social settings, alternate alcoholic drinks with mineral water. You’ll barely notice at the time but you’ll be very thankful the morning after! (Also helps with weight loss.)
- Instead of reaching straight for the painkillers when you get a headache, try a glass of water ?rst. It could just be your body trying to tell you that you’re dehydrated. (It’s been suggested that by the time you feel thirsty, your body is already suffering from dehydration effects.)
- If you get bored of water on its own – mix it up! Combine a good quality fruit juice half-and-half with sparkling mineral water for a refreshing long drink (helps towards your fruit portion too!)
There are a number of great books which go into this subject in a lot more depth. I recently enjoyed Water: Pure Therapy which really inspired me to increase my water intake. A more recent popular read is Your Body’s Many Cries for Water: You’re Not Sick; You’re Thirsty – the title alone is enough to make me grab a bottle of Badoit!
So here’s to prioritising your health and well-being with one easy new habit: drinking more water. Cheers!
i just wanted to add to your comments on water, that the quality of water will effect it’s benefits on the body.
drinking pure water is absolutely vital. general tap water is full of toxins and chemicals and whilst it does hydrate the body, it is slowly poisoning the body at the same time.
i recently spent $500 on a top quality under sink water filter + alkalinity/mineral booster. which i see as a completely necessary part of my kitchen. the water tastes great, and hence also encourages me to drink more as i love the taste.
the next best thin would be rain/spring water or bought/delivered spring water and of course filtered tap water.
i would urge you to urge your readers to invest in some sort of the above… your body will be even more grateful. i realise it’s not affordable for everyone, and so for those who cannot afford it, there are those water filtration jugs that are relatively cheap, and worthwhile if you cant afford to go the whole hog.
Comment from Danielle:
Excellent point, Steve. The quality of the water you drink has a huge impact on your health – especially if you are drinking the recommended daily amounts.
I live in a spa town and the water is notoriously high quality, so I’m not averse to drinking tap water. I have also been advised that if it’s a choice between tap water and no water, tap water would be best. However, given a choice, I opt for mineral water.
There are certainly arguments for filtered water (I use one in my home) but the quality of tap water can differ greatly depending on where you live, so it may be worth doing a little homework, especially if cost is an issue. (Though don’t forget to weigh up extra costs against the expense (and misery) of ill-health.)
Thanks for raising this important issue, Steve!