Sports

Gooding’s Guide to Fitness - A Water Carol

Image-wise, water is the Ebenezer Scrooge of beverages. Without considering its health benefits, many people may view water as miserly,boring, plain, unromantic and bland. Among all the other more colorful, sweet, fruity, chocolatey, bubbly options, water simply is ... simple. However, the health benefits of drinking water (yes—plain, filtered water) are extraordinarily remarkable. Before you say, “Bah Humbug”, consider these facts about water:

• A recent study reported that the odds of developing breast cancer were reduced by 79 percent, on average, among water drinkers. One possible explanation is that maintaining a dilute solution within cells reduces the potency of estrogen and other carcinogens that cause long-term tissue damage.

• Water forms the makeup of synovial fluid (the lubricating fluid between joints) and cerebrospinal fluid (fluid in between vertebrae and around the brain). If your body is even slightly dehydrated, less fluid is available in these areas to protect your joints, spine and brain.

• Drinking water is good for your brain. According to a recent study, a fluid loss of only 2 percent of body weight caused reductions in arithmetic ability, short-term memory, and the ability to visually track an object.

• Water helps to regulate your body temperature. If you are dehydrated, you can’t sweat enough to lower your body’s core temperature, which can lead to heat stroke or nausea during exercise.

• Water serves as a solvent for minerals, vitamins, amino acids, glucose, and other nutrients. Without water, your body can’t digest these nutrients, let alone absorb or transport them.

So, how much water should you drink? The recommended amount is eight 8-ounces glasses of water per day. If you exercise you should drink 16 ounces of water 2 hours before exercise, 7-10 ounces every 10-20 minutes during exercise, and 16-20 ounces after exercise. It’s important to drink water before you feel thirsty to avoid dehydration. The early, mild signs of dehydration are: fatigue, loss of appetite, flushed skin, heat intolerance, light-headedness, dark urine, dry cough, burning in stomach, headache, dry mouth, hoarse voice, and muscle cramps.

Dickens describes Ebenezer Scrooge: "The cold within him froze his old features, nipped his pointed nose, made his eyes red, his thin lips blue, and he spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice ..." Sounds like Ebenezer Scrooge may have been dehydrated. Happy Holidays everyone.

Angie Gooding is an educator and a personal trainer certified through ACE (American Council on Exercise), an IFPA professional figure competitor, and owner of Inspire Fitness & Training. She lives locally, and trains clients in a private location in Marysville. She can be reached at AngieGooding@comcast.net or www.inspirefitnessandtraining.com, or you can find “Inspire Fitness and Training” on Facebook.

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