Tag Archives: water

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.

Clean It Up

Eating clean means different things to different people.  For some clean eating may mean a vegetarian or vegan diet, switching to gluten free, removing processed foods, or choosing organics.  For some, eating clean can be as simple as removing junk food like chips and candies from our diets.

Eating clean is subjective, and is based on what our current diet is.  For me, clean eating is all in the pronunciation.  Being able to pronounce all of the ingredients in what I eat, and knowing what each ingredient is.  When I think of clean, I always think of water, water washes away the dirt and grime on our cars, our floors, our clothes so it stands to reason water will wash the toxins out of our body as well.

Any change that you can make towards cleaning up your dietary intake is a positive one.  Remember that it doesn’t have to be a huge change, and that small steps forward are more successful changes than making a drastic change all at once.

Drink up!

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.

World Water Day

Today is UN World Water Day. For more information about World Water Day and what you can do at home or work to conserve this essential resource check out this link from the United Nations.

World Water Day

Today is UN World Water Day. For more information about World Water Day and what you can do at home or work to conserve this essential resource check out this link from the United Nations.

Portion Sizes

When we start talking about nutrition we often get into conversations about macronutrients, how much water to drink, having “clean” foods as the mainstay of your diet and so on. What we can avoid, and it’s really far too important to overlook, is portion size.

When we enjoy a particular food it is really easy to gobble up far more than we really require. For example, a portion of pasta is half a cup. Yes, that is right. HALF a cup. Your cupped fist is about one cup and that sure isn’t too much pasta, is it? A standard restaurant sized plate of pasta will check in at about four cups plus whatever is added in sauce and a side dish.

The Canada Food Guide suggests that our portion sizes be adhered to according to our gender and age. It is just a guideline but can offer some good suggestions on what your portion sizes should look like. The biggest “bang for your buck” always comes in the form of vegetables and a bit of fruit. They are packed with nutrients and have a much lower caloric cost than most other foods.

The next time you’re eating a meal have a good look at how much food is actually on your plate. Would it amount to one cup? Two? More? If it’s mostly veggies then that is fantastic! If it is mostly rice then maybe it’s time to have  good look at measuring out your servings for a few days to get a good idea of what your ideal portion size looks like.

Swim to Survive at Saddletowne YMCA!

Swim to Survive is a program designed for those afraid of water or those
who don’t know how to swim but want to be safe around the water. There are 3
skills involved:   learn to roll into deep water, swim 50 m (any style) and then
tread water for 1 minute. These are the skills required to survive an
unexpected fall into deep water (backyard pool, lake, ocean, river etc). This
program can first be tried with a PDF (personal floatation device) and then attempted
without it. Y Calgary is offering this program for the first time at Saddletowne YMCA for kids 8-12 and adults 18+. There are 3 classes  and anyone who wants to join, can talk to members services!

SipSmart! Empowering Kids for Health

Juice, flavored waters, sports drinks and soda – all sugary drinks – could be bringing down your child’s health. Sometimes it’s hard for both parents to recognize what is and what isn’t healthy these days, with clever packaging and mixed messages in the media about what is good for the body.

CBS covered the story in Juice As Bad as Soda. Stories like this raise awareness and get us thinking, but what more? Enter SipSmart BC. Sip Smart! BC™ was created and developed by the BC Pediatric Society and the Heart and Stroke Foundation with funding from the BC Healthy Living Alliance. This educational program is all about teaching kids how to take action for thier own health beginning with making smart drink choices.

“Sugary drinks are everywhere, and too much sugar is not good for a child’s health. Sip Smart! BC™ is a new, educational program that helps teach children in grades 4 to 6 about sugary drinks and about making healthy drink choices. Sip Smart! BC™ was created and developed by the BC Pediatric Society and the Heart and Stroke Foundation with funding from the BC Healthy Living Alliance.”

Check out SipSmart for tons of information for parents and teachers about teaching kids how to make healthy drink choices.

What’s the Best Way to Hydrate?

Store shelves are packed with different options for how to rehydrate after a good workout. But what’s the best way? In this article on the WebMD.com website, Elaine Magee takes a look at the options out there and helps determine which is best for you:

“We all know that when we work out, it’s important to stay hydrated. Something we may not be so clear on is what exactly we should drink when we exercise.

Ordinary water, of course, is the classic choice. But with store shelves everywhere full of sports drinks, energy drinks, and various flavored and fortified waters, what’s an exerciser to do?”

Read the full article on the WebMD.com website.

Nutrition Tips – November 2012

WATER! It’s often overlooked but absolutely imperative to good health and excellent function in the gym or outside.

Your body is made up of up to 75% water, depending on how much body fat you carry. Here are just a few of the reasons you should up that intake on a daily basis:

  • Regulating body temperature
  • Carrying nutrients and oxygen to cells
  • Protecting body organs and tissues
  • Lubricating joints
  • Helping dissolve minerals and other nutrients to make them accessible to the body
  • Moistening tissues for your mouth, eyes, and nose
  • Flushing out waste products

Our bodies require about 2 liters per day just for optimal body function as per the list above. Additional fluids are needed if you are active or if the weather is hot. If you attend fitness classes like hot yoga the water intake requirement goes up yet again.

Most people are dehydrated and often will mistake that dehydration for hunger. The next time you think you’re hungry have a tall glass of water and wait ten minutes! Symptoms of dehydration can also include dizziness, cramps, fatigue and can cause urine to turn a dark yellow or brownish colour.

Make sure you are drinking at least 2 liters of water daily in addition to the fluids you get from your food. This will help your body function at its best!

See previous editions of Nutrition Tips.