Tag Archives: hydration

Water For Wellness

The overall picture of wellness can be daunting, but don’t let that stop you.  Your wellness can be tackled one small change at a time, and a big change for your health that really takes little effort is drinking more water.

Don’t underestimate the wonders that water can do for your health.  Water cleans your dishes, car, and your clothes, and who out there doesn’t appreciate how good you feel after a shower?  When you drink water, you’re doing that for your insides.  Water is a key component in your overall health.  It aids the body by flushing out toxins, regulating body temperature, assisting in  digestion and relieving constipation, as well as aiding in weight loss.

Flushing out Toxins – Water allows the body to remove toxins through sweat and urine.  Water also allows for greater function of the kidneys and even helps to reduce the chance of kidney stones by diluting those toxins.

Regulation of Body Temperature – When you get hot, you sweat.  The sweat evaporates off your skin and leaves you with a more balanced body temperature.

Digestion – Water aids the breakdown of food and promotes regular bowel movements. Allowing our body to become dehydrated forces the body to extract water from the colon, leaving stool harder to pass.  Adequate water consumption stops this process, thus relieving constipation.

Weight Loss – Drinking water in between and before meals makes the stomach feel full, reduces the urge to snack, and limits the amount of food we eat at meal times.  Water is also has no calories in it, and replacing soda and other sugar filled drinks reduces our caloric intake.

10 Ways to Make Water More Exciting


We often hear that keeping yourself hydrated is a key to health and wellness. With hot summer temperatures it can be even more difficult to make sure we’re drinking enough fluid.

Common Signs of Dehydration

    • thirst
    • dizziness
    • tiredness
    • nausea
    • chills
    • headache
    • muscle cramps

Dehydration Stats

    • Adults need 2-3 litres of fluid per day
    • Sweating helps cool the body, but it can also cause dehydration if you haven’t been drinking enough
    • If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated
    • Sip water throughout the day rather than gulp it when you feel thirsty

Sometimes plain old water can be boring, especially when there are so many tastier (and more sugary) options out there in juices, sodas, iced teas, slurpees and frapps.

But water is still the best option for keeping the body hydrated. So… add some things to your water bottle (or your kids’ water bottles) to make it more exciting.

 10 Ways to Make Water More Exciting

1.   Lemon, Lime or BOTH!

2.   Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, oh my!

3.   Cucumber and Ginger

4.   Great balls o’melon!

5.   Fresh Mint

6.   Orange Slice ice cubes

7.   Frozen sliced grapes

8.   Cinnamon Stick it!

9.   Fun, funky water bottle

10. Colourful, twisty straws!

Tweet us your favourite water tips with #H2Otaste at @YMCA_Calgary.


Dehydration information from dieticians.ca
Photos via rgbstock.com.

Contributing to a Healthy Community: Group Exercise Etiquette

Participating in a group exercise class can be a very motivating and enjoyable fitness activity.  There are as many reasons for taking a group class as there are people in the class!  Some are there primarily to socialize and visit with friends.  Others want to take away ideas for their personal workouts.  Still others want to work hard throughout the class and get in the most intense workout possible.  Whatever your reason for participating, please keep the following points in mind:

  • If you are there primarily to socialize, please respect the people who are there to get in a good workout and keep your conversation to a whisper level (or stay to the back of the room/pool).
  • New to group exercise?  Please come a few minutes early and let the instructor know so that she/he can ensure you stay safe during the class.
  • Ditto if you have any mobility issues that require exercise modification.
  • Please come on time – it is unsafe for you to miss the warm up and jump right into the class.
  • Stay right until the end – the stretch is the most important part of any exercise class – your muscles have worked hard and they need the flexibility training and relaxation provided during the final portion of the class.
  • Make sure you bring a water bottle.  It is critical that you stay hydrated during class to avoid cramping, headaches, nausea, etc.

Most of all, have fun – that’s what group exercise is all about!

Contributing to a Healthy Community

Sports Drinks

Do you use sports drinks for an energy boost?  Make sure you read the nutrition label on
anything you are consuming.  Energy drinks certainly have their place if you are doing a very long (think ½ marathon or more) workout.  However, be very careful as some of these drinks contain more sugar than a can of pop!  For a regular workout, the best choice for hydration is still good old H2O.

Contributing to a Healthy Community

Sports Drinks

Do you use sports drinks for an energy boost?  Make sure you read the nutrition label on
anything you are consuming.  Energy drinks certainly have their place if you are doing a very long (think ½ marathon or more) workout.  However, be very careful as some of these drinks contain more sugar than a can of pop!  For a regular workout, the best choice for hydration is still good old H2O.

Sports Drinks vs. Water for Kids

In an article on the Moms Team website, Brooke de Lench takes a look at whether water or sports drinks are better for hydrating kids in sports:

This article includes a really comprehensive and detailed chart comparing water and sports drinks, as well as links to other related articles.

A number of studies in recent years have  shown that sports drinks re-hydrate kids who are active in the heat better than  water. Given a choice, kids will drink a lot more of a sports drink than of a  glass of water.

An oft-cited 1999 study in the Journal of Applied  Physiology reported that drinking a properly formulated sports drink with  carbohydrates and electrolytes (sodium and potassium)  increased fluid intake by nearly one-third (32%) compared to water. Because they  taste better than water, sports drinks encouraged kids to keep drinking until  their fluid needs were met.

Read more: http://www.momsteam.com/nutrition/sports-hydration/fluid-guidelines/sports-drinks-best-at-keeping-sports-active-kids-hydrated#ixzz1sakYltV9


Sports Hydration for Young People

The Moms Team website takes a look at the importance of hydration for young atheletes:

“Proper hydration is just as important to athletic performance as the food your child eats, and more important to his safety. An athlete who becomes dehydrated is at risk of a heat illness, among the most dangerous sports injuries, as well as the most preventable.”

Read more: http://www.momsteam.com/nutrition/sports-hydration#ixzz1saji82VJ


Trainer’s Tip: The Importance of Keeping Hydrated

Many people forget the importance of proper fluid intake, especially in the winter.

When you start to get thirsty you are only about 1% dehydrated, therefore just drinking when you are thirsty can work to replace lost fluid in sedentary people that are in controlled climates and have easy access to water, but is not necessarily ideal.  For an athletic population even being dehydrated by 1% can hinder your performance. That is why it is so important to maintain optimal hydration levels when participating in physical activity.

In preparation, you should drink at least 500ml of fluid 2-3 hours before activity and another 250ml 10-15 minutes before your activity. This fluid is needed to achieve optimum hydration prior to exercise.

During the activity, you need to maintain adequate hydration levels. To do this you should have a regular intake of fluid during the activity of around 250ml every 15 minutes. Do not wait until you are thirsty because by that time you are already dehydrated and your performance will suffer. For activities that are less than an hour in duration stick to plan old water as your choice of fluid replacement. For activities that are longer than one hour you can choose a sport drink that is going to replace fluid, carbohydrates and electrolytes.

During exercise you do not burn enough fat for any type of noticeable difference on the scale. If you do weight yourself before and after a workout session and you have decreased in weight, you have lost a lot of fluid and you need to re-hydrate. The best way to optimally re-hydrate after your activity is to weigh yourself before and after your activity and for each kilogram lost consume 1 litre of water. Many people mistake the weight lost during exercise as fat loss when it is actually fluid loss. Do not ignore this lost fluid.