Tag Archive for: joint health

Hydration! Your body depends on it to survive.

Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to work properly

Your body uses water to maintain its temperature, remove waste, and lubricate your joints. Good hydration from is needed for overall good health.

Improve your wellbeing

As a general rule, you should aim to drink a minimum of 2 litres, every day.

Different people need different amounts of water to stay hydrated. Most healthy people can stay well hydrated by drinking water and other fluids whenever they feel thirsty. For some people, less than 2 litres may be enough. Other people may need more than 2 litres each day. If you are concerned that you are not drinking enough water, check your urine. If it is usually colourless or light yellow, you are well hydrated. If it is a dark yellow or amber colour, you may be dehydrated.

Water is best

Other drinks and foods can help you stay hydrated. However, some may add extra calories from sugar to your diet. Fruit and vegetable juices, milk, and herbal teas add to the amount of water you get each day.

Even caffeinated drinks, such as coffee and tea, can contribute to your daily water intake and a moderate amount of caffeine (200 to 300 milligrams) is not harmful to most people. This is about the amount in 2 to 4, 250ml cups of coffee. It’s best to limit caffeinated drinks as caffeine can cause some people to urinate more frequently, feel anxious or jittery.

Sports Drinks and Hydration

These can be helpful if you are planning on exercising at higher than normal levels for more than an hour. They contain carbohydrates and electrolytes that can help your body absorb water. However, some sports drinks are high in calories from added sugar. They also may contain high levels of sodium (salt). Check the serving size on the label. One bottle usually contains more than one serving.

Some sports drinks contain caffeine, too. Remember that a safe amount of caffeine to consume each day is between 200 and 300 mg.

Energy Drinks and Hydration

Energy drinks are not the same as sports drinks.

Energy drinks, such as Red Bull and V, usually contain large amounts of caffeine. They also contain ingredients that overstimulate you, such as guarana, ginseng, or taurine. Most of these drinks are also high in added sugar. These are things your body doesn’t need so best to avoid energy drinks!

Tips for Staying hydrated

  • Carry a reusable water bottle, fill it with tap water and keep it with you during the day.
  • Try adding a slice of lemon or lime to your water.
  • When you’re feeling hungry, drink water. Thirst is often confused with hunger. True hunger will not be satisfied by drinking water.
  • Some research suggests that drinking a glass of water before you eat may also contribute to a healthy weight-loss plan.
  • If you have trouble remembering to drink water, drink on a schedule. Drink water when you wake up, at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and when you go to bed. Alternatively, try drinking a small glass of water at the beginning of each hour or before each meal.

Why is stretching as important as exercise?

Improve flexibility and the range of motion in your joints.

Better flexibility can even improve performance in activities like running or decrease the risk of injury by helping your joints move through their full range of motion, enabling your muscles to work most effectively. Stretching also increases blood flow to the muscle, keeping them healthy.

It may seem like a chore at first but if you make it just another part of your training, you even may come to enjoy the ritual of your post-workout stretch!

Improving your flexibility

Before you take the plunge into stretching, make sure you do it safely and effectively.

While you can stretch anytime, anywhere (in your home, at work, in a hotel room or at the park) you want to be sure to use proper technique. If done incorrectly it can actually do more harm than good.

Stretching Essentials

Use these tips for safe stretching.

1. Focus on major muscle groups.

When you’re stretching, focus on major muscle groups (just as we do at the close of each session) such as your calves, thighs, hips, lower back, neck and shoulders. Make sure that you stretch both sides. For instance, if you stretch your left hamstring, be sure to stretch your right hamstring.

2. Be smooth.

Stretch in a smooth movement, without bouncing. Bouncing as you stretch can cause injury to the muscle.

3. Hold and breathe.

Hold each stretch for about 30 seconds or four breaths; in problem areas, you may need to hold for around 60 seconds or 8 breaths. Breathe normally as you stretch. Breathe into the stretch as the muscle releases.

4. Stretch just beyond discomfort, just before pain.

Expect to feel tension while you’re stretching, but not pain. If it hurts, you’ve pushed too far. You want to stretch just beyond discomfort but just before pain, then hold the stretch.

5. Incorporate movement.

Gentle movement can help you be more flexible in specific activities. The gentle movements of tai chi or yoga, for instance, can be a good way to stretch.

6. Be consistent.

Stretching can be time-consuming but you can achieve the most benefits by stretching regularly. You should aim for at least two to three times a week. When you don’t stretch regularly, you risk losing any benefits that are gained from stretching. For instance, if stretching helped you increase your range of motion, and you stop stretching, your range of motion may decrease again.