Last week, I wrote about finding solutions in 2016 rather than resolutions. Have you found an area of stress in your life than needs a solution? Maybe you can't think of any one particular thing, so I'm going to tell you a problem you didn't even know you had. (Gee, thanks, Lori!) You need to drink more water. Okay, maybe it's just me. I need to drink more water.
There is no other time of the year that I drink less water than in the winter. In the spring, summer, and fall, I tote a huge bag with me to all the track meets, baseball games, and cross country meets. I'm one of THOSE mothers who's constantly asking their kids if they're staying hydrated. Any time our family takes a road trip, I buy a couple cases of water. It means we make more frequent bathroom stops, but by-gosh-by-golly, if somehow we can't hear the directions off our Garmin and end up lost in a wilderness, we will at least have three days of water rations. In the winter, though, I'm cold all the time. There's a thermostat war going on in our office of those who think 66 degrees is a comfortable temperature and people like myself who think 66 degrees means I may as well wear a down stuffed parka to work. I keep a space heater under my desk and drink mass quantities of coffee to stay warm. I love coffee, and as much as I appreciate all the occasional study that supports the health benefits of coffee, deep down, I know I would experience more health benefits if I cut down on the caffeine and increased my water intake.
If you're having trouble drinking enough water throughout the day, make it a point to carry some with you everywhere you go. Have a 16 ounce water bottle, and fill it at least four times. A speaker I heard at a chiropractic seminar said to take your body weight and divide it in half to get the number of ounces of water you should drink per day. So if you weigh 150 pounds, you should be drinking 75 ounces, or a little more than 9 glasses of water per day. If you're like me and have trouble drinking water in the cold, microwave it long enough to banish the chill. Hot herbal tea is another way to get more water without adding calories or caffeine. If you need a little more flavor, you can add honey and lemon. Or if you're trying to cut down on sugar, you can shun the honey and just drink hot water with lemon. I've seen other flavors added to water that sound strange but are actually quite good. A sprig of rosemary and a lemon wedge is a nice pick me up. A cinnamon stick and a slice of apple also gives the aroma of a hot apple cider without the calories.
According to webmd.com, increasing your water intake can help you control calories, energize muscles, and improve the appearance of skin. Winter is hard on muscles and skin. Tight muscles occur from scooping snow or shivering while we scrape the frost from our windows in the morning. The dry air leads to cracked and pealing skin. All the more reason to drink more water. And isn't that easier than hitting the gym's treadmill at five o'clock in the morning? Not that you shouldn't do that too, but well, this is a baby steps process. Working out is a blog for another day.