Water is the most vital nutrient to our existence. Every living cell depends on water to carry out its essential function. We can live quite awhile without food, but only 2 or 3 days without water. During hot weather the body loses up to 3 gallons a day! It’s important to drink fluid to make up for this loss; otherwise, dehydration could result. Thirst is not a good indication of when you need to drink water. If you wait until you’re thirsty, you could already be dangerously low on water.
Here are some tips to keep you healthy and help you make it through the warm summer months.
* Drink at least 8 to 10 eight-ounce glasses of water daily. * Don’t count coffee, tea or soda as your water. * Drink cool water every 15 to 20 minutes – even if not thirsty. * Drink ½ to 1 cup of water every 20 minutes of exercise.
“Food Is Fuel!”
The foods we eat can influence our performance in training sessions, on race day, and in everyday living. When we THINK LIKE AN ATHLETE, we will make better choices for fueling up. Here are a few books for fitness enthusiasts and their unique needs:
* Eat to Compete, second edition, by Marilyn Peterson, MS, RD. (800)426-4545 * Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook, second edition * Nutrition for the Recreational Athlete, edited by Catherine G. Ratzin Jackson, Ph.D.
“Stress -vs- Rest”
The purpose of a good training program is to introduce stress to the body so the body can build itself up to handle future stress. Rest is necessary so that the body can go through this building phase. If you are doing intense training and not getting enough sleep or live a stressful lifestyle, your body cannot adjust and you are over training. If you have any of the following signs it is time to sit back, relax and reevaluate your training and your busy lifestyle:
* Generalized fatigue * Loss of appetite * Diarrhea * Difficulty in sleeping or early morning awakening * Recurrent headaches * Weight loss * Worsening allergies * Swelling of the lymph glands * Persistent colds, flu, or respiratory infections
Always remember, your rest is just as important as your walk!