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H2Oh! I didn’t realize water was that important

Your body needs water for each cell, tissue and organ to function effectively. Especially today as our lives are changing due to COVID-19, our routines may be altered, but staying hydrated should not be an afterthought.

Staying hydrated improves your health because your body relies on water to help move junk out of the body, transport nutrients to the cells, lubricate joints, regulate body temperature and improve its overall wellness.

I just had this conversation with a new patient of ours this week. His lips were dry, and he also wasn’t eating very well, yet we were working really hard with him physically.

I took 10 to 15 minutes to detail why it’s so important to get water into his system so that all his work and recovery would be maximized. Without the water, the work and the exercise are not as effective.

Why Staying Hydrated Is So Important

There is a standard recommended amount of water to be taken in a day, but the truth is, the amount of water each person needs in a day differs depending on different factors.

The recommended 6-8 glasses of water might not be enough for someone who is mostly physically active, especially athletes. This is because an athlete loses more water through sweating, hence, they will need to take more water to stay hydrated.

Drinking water can also reduce the body’s response to stress. Hydration makes your body better equipped to deal with stress, both mental and physical. Don’t we all need that right now? Get to sippin’, people, and relax!

Signs of Dehydration

The most common sign of dehydration is thirst. Other signs include a dry mouth, headaches, dizziness, dark-colored urine, muscle cramps, and exhaustion.

However, this does not mean that you should wait for a sign for you to drink more water. The more signs you can list for yourself, the more dehydrated you are and the more likely this dehydration is to have a negative effect on your systems.

On the opposite side of the coin, the more you have to urinate and the lighter your urine, the more you will notice that you feel better, more energetic, your skin will look better and your systems will be much healthier simply by filling your tank.

The best way to stay hydrated is by drinking adequate amounts of water.

Other drinks might quench your thirst, but they might end up adding more calories and sugar to your body. If you do not like to drink water, try adding a slice of lemon to give it taste.

To help stay hydrated, carry a bottle of water with you and sip on it throughout the day or keep a bottle at your desk. There are also several smartphone apps that can assist in reminding you to stay hydrated throughout the day.

Take charge of your health and stay hydrated. It is important that we maintain hydration especially as our lives change.

Changes in your life due to COVID-19, like working from home and increases in stress, can make us forget some essentials.

Just think of all the extra exercise you will get walking to the bathroom throughout your day.

Joel J. Digris is a Schuylkill County resident with a master’s degree in physical therapy. He is currently employed by Achieva Rehabilitation as an outpatient provider of physical therapy and serves residents in their homes in Carbon, Schuylkill, and Luzerne counties.

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