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Published on August 23, 2018

How to Drink More Water Easily When It Seems Like a Major Chore

How to Drink More Water Easily When It Seems Like a Major Chore

We all have the best intentions of drinking water. We make it our new years resolution and our goal for the week. We will even splurge on fancy water bottles made of stainless steel, glass or BPA-free plastic.

But no matter what we do, we can’t seem to get enough water in. We feel sluggish, our skin isn’t glowing, and we are foggy headed. We often don’t remember to drink or are too busy chugging coffee or tea to worry about plain old water.

The funny thing is, we also all know the benefits of staying hydrated with water. Staying hydrated leads to more natural energy (no need for 4 cups of coffee a day!), decreased hunger, weight maintenance, better looking skin and hair, naturally detoxing, and even sharper thinking.

We all also know that our bodies are made of mostly water, it’s the best beverage to quench our thirst, and has no calories, no sugars, nor any preservatives. All-in-all, the math adds up and it’s a win-win.

But then why is it such a chore to drink enough water?

Simply put, water can be boring.

But, that doesn’t mean that it has to stay that way!

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Here are some tried and true tips to increase your hydration so that you can reap all the wonderful benefits water has to offer.

1. Set a Goal

This may sound redundant and you may even say to yourself “I’ve tried this whole goal thing before”. But this is different.

The key to setting this goal for yourself is to keep the actual water visible.

Start with a big container. This container can be a milk or juice container or a large pitcher. Keep it within eyesight, and keep it full of water. Whether that water container lives in your office, on your kitchen counter, or on your passenger seat in your car is up to you. But, the point is to have this as your reminder throughout the day.

Now comes the actual goal setting part.

Set a goal that each day that you will drink 1,2,3 or 10 of those water containers. Start small and work your way up. Use that large water container to refill your glasses and count how many times you fill that large container. This will give you an easy benchmark to see how well you are doing that day.

2. Add Flavor

Oftentimes water drinking can be such a chore because we are accustomed to flavoring.

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Creating infused waters is a great way to make a delicious beverage that still provides all the benefits of plain water! Adding berries, herbs (such as mint, rosemary, or basil), cucumber, citrus, or melon can be a great way to shake up boring water and make you feel super fancy.

Infused waters will keep all day and just continue to get more delicious as the day goes on! On top of reaping the benefits that plain water has to offer, infused waters will also provide extra boosts in antioxidants and vitamins/minerals depending on your infusion ingredients. It’s a win win!

You can find containers that are specifically made for infusing, or you can make your own with just a large pitcher. Whatever works for you is great; continue to experiment with different flavors and combinations to find that award winning infusion recipe that leads you to chugging water all day long.

3. Keep it Cold

A really cold, icy glass of water is usually more appealing than a lukewarm glass. Adding ice to your water will create a tempting thirst quenching beverage that screams “drink me now”!

Especially in the summertime when temperatures are reaching ungodly highs, water is the perfect cool-down beverage.

Finding a travel water container that keeps your glass really cold is key. There are even some water cups that will keep ice frozen all day long.

You can even take this up a notch and create fun ice cubes. Using a similar approach to the infusions, freezing berries or herbs into ice cubes is a great way to add a hint of flavor without going overboard.

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4. Use a Straw

Surprisingly, many people have much more success in drinking plenty of water when a straw is involved. By simply switching to drinking via straw, it is easier to finish your glass before you realize it’s gone.

In order to continue being environmentally conscious, grab either a reusable cup with a straw or just a reusable straw. And if you are worried about wrinkles, know that staying hydrated keeps your skin naturally plump and smooth. I don’t know about you, but I would rather chance having one or two wrinkles around my mouth while preventing other wrinkles all over.

5. Carry it With You

Keep your water nearby at all times. Bring it in the car, to work, to meetings, to the gym, to the mall, and everywhere in between. Think of your water bottle as an extension of your outfit (bonus points if it matches your clothes).

Having your water bottle around will eliminate any excuse not to drink. You will likely be surprised how often you are thirsty and go for your water bottle compared to how little you were drinking before it became part of your daily ensemble.

6. Use an App

Need to drink more water? There’s an app for that.

Countless companies have made apps that use creative ways for us to track our water intake. From apps that will donate a certain amount to charities when you drink water, to apps that encourage you to grow a beautiful rose bush based on your water intake, there’s an app answer for helping you stay hydrated.

Even if you are compelled by some friendly competition, there are apps where you can challenge your friends and colleagues to “water races”. There are great ways to get started with drinking more water and create the routine of H2O over anything else.

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7. Create Reminders

Most of us function via virtual calendar these days. By creating reminders to ding as reminder to drink water throughout the day we can save ourselves any brainpower of thinking about water, just sit back an wait for the reminder.

Set these reminders each hour and be specific! If you want to drink 8 ounces per hour, add that into the pinging message. And be sure to set yourself up so that you have the water around.

The more of a chore it is to stop and drink water, the less likely you will follow through. So prepare a bit ahead of time, keep your glass full and chug when your phone reminds you to.

Concluding Thoughts

So much of our day-to-day practices are habitual. If you are finding yourself not drinking water currently, it’s all about changing that habit. Soon enough water will be all you want to drink! Setting yourself up for success is key to creating new habits. Making the new behavior easy, do-able, and actually fit in your lifestyle will make it much more likely to continue long-term. Plus keeping in mind how much better you will feel when you are hydrated will keep you going.

Whenever you are creating a new habit, start small. Don’t bite off more than you can chew no matter how tempting it is to go from zero to hundred in a day. When you are forming a new water habit, start with increasing your water intake by factors of 1 or 2. You will always have room to grow! Being realistic with where you are currently and taking steps to get to where you want to go long-term is exactly what will keep you hydrated and feeling great for years to come!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Julia Whelan

Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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