Four Ways to Manage Your Hydration During the Winter Months

Four Ways to Manage Your Hydration During the Winter Months

You know you need to drink plenty of water for your health, and it’s easy to think about hydration in the middle of the summer heat. In winter, though, a cold gulp of water is probably the last thing on your mind. That can be a problem. Even mild dehydration can dampen your mood and alter your ability to function at peak performance. Plus, without enough water, your metabolism slows and your heart is at risk. Your skin dries out, which causes painful cracking in cold air. You’re even more likely to develop a cold — not because it’s cold outside and you aren’t wearing a hat, no matter what mom said. Rather, cold, dry nasal passages are more susceptible to viruses and bacteria that are also looking for warm hosts. With all these potential troubles, you need to take care of yourself. Here are four ways to make sure you stay hydrated throughout the winter months. Drink Before You’re Thirsty Because you aren’t getting the summertime cues from your body, including dripping sweat or overwhelming thirst, you may not remember to drink water until you’re close to feeling the effects of dehydration. To avoid this, sip water throughout the day. If you’re going to be outside and prefer a warm beverage, try mulled apple cider or another natural, caffeine-free drink (more about that later). Either way, an insulated water bottle that keeps your drinks at the right temperature is essential. Of course, there is such a thing as over-hydration, too. If you drink too many fluids, you can throw off the equilibrium of sodium in your bloodstream. That...
10 Yummy and Healthy Waist Slimming Foods To Help You Lose Weight

10 Yummy and Healthy Waist Slimming Foods To Help You Lose Weight

Not all foods, calorically speaking, are created equal. The 100 calories you intake from french fries are quite different than 100 calories from an apple. This weight loss food list is not only healthy, it also fires up your metabolism and helps keep you trim. The Inevitable Disclaimer As much as we’d all like a magic pill or singular slimming food that melts away the extra pounds, no matter what you eat, you need to increase your protein intake (low fat, naturally, see below) and your fitness levels. Serious weight loss only happens when you burn more calories than you take in. So, while you’re swapping out chips, sugary sodas, and indulgent desserts with the list below, hit the gym at least 3-4 days per week, get plenty of sleep, and drink plenty of water for the best results. Green Tea Green tea has higher concentrations of polyphenols, aka catechins, than any other type of tea. Catechins, along with the caffeine in green tea, could help burn extra fat. However, to get the full benefit of their fat-fighting power, look for green tea extract tablets. Dark Chocolate The science is in: chocolate is a healthy food. At least, the darker varieties are. The flavonoids in dark chocolate are also found in dark leafy green vegetables. Those all-important nutrients are wonderful at staving off heart disease and can help reduce spikes in blood sugar, the very thing that makes you feel like snacking. The less processed the chocolate, the more fiber it has as well. Also: when you’re trying to lose weight, is there anything better than chocolate? Coffee While...
Refresh Your Palate and Detox Your Body with Delicious Infused Water

Refresh Your Palate and Detox Your Body with Delicious Infused Water

What is it about spa water that is so inviting? Is it because every time you have it, you’re already relaxed and decompressing from a nice soak and a massage? Either way, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy that same luxurious feeling right at home with your own infused water. Check out these recipes below and learn a more about how you can do a little daily detox. How Water Helps You Detox Your body is constantly detoxifying itself through your circulatory system: your blood carries lymphatic fluid and other impurities out through the renal system to keep them from building up in your muscles and other organs. Of course, the more you help that process along with exercise, stretching, massage and hydration, the better you’re likely to feel. Drinking water supports this process and is even more important during the hot summer months or after a workout. Having flavored water around may encourage you to drink more and could also help replenish some of the nutrients your body loses naturally throughout the course of the day. Infused Water That Really Hydrates Every time you work out, your body loses a lot of its natural potassium. Refueling with healthy doses of potassium could help improve regular bowel movements (not a glamorous topic, but a very important one) and prevent muscle cramps. Watermelon is extremely high in potassium. Experiment with watermelon-flavored water by adding 4 cups lightly mashed watermelon and a half dozen (or more to taste) sprigs of mint to a 3-quart water infusion pitcher and let it stand. Drink throughout the day, especially after just before and after a workout and...
5 Massage Benefits That Have Nothing to Do with Pampering

5 Massage Benefits That Have Nothing to Do with Pampering

You know a good massage takes the kinks out after a long day. But massage’s reputation as a luxury may be keeping you from relishing in the many mental and physical massage benefits. Here are five good reasons to prioritize massages in your everyday life. Fight Back Against Desk Body Do you sit at a computer or a desk all day? If you do, chances are your body suffers from some postural stress. Sitting all day keeps your legs in one basic position, so your hamstrings tighten and your back compresses. Likewise, hunching over your keyboard causes neck and shoulder strain. Even if you aren’t at a desk, you get a lot of the same negative impacts from looking down at a smartphone for prolonged periods. Massage combats these effects. An active massage such as Thai massage stretches your muscles and opens you up your whole body. Hand massage concentrates on releasing the stress of typing or texting all day, and even a chair massage relieves the pressure in your upper body. Can’t make it to the spa regularly? An at-home percussion massager can make a real difference in releasing tense muscles. Calm Muscle Pain from Exercise Whether you’re putting in major work at the gym or a large part of your work is physical labor, your muscles benefit from the circulation-stimulating effects of massage. Regular exercisers who get massages consistently report less soreness after workouts, even when the participants just used a foam roller on their legs for 10 minutes. Massage also improves your flexibility by letting go of the tension, especially in your core and neck, that...
Five Pet Care Tips For Loving Your Favorite Furry Friend During the Winter Months

Five Pet Care Tips For Loving Your Favorite Furry Friend During the Winter Months

Once we all settle in for the shorter days and lower temperatures, we need to remind ourselves that dogs and cats feel the chill, too. Just like you protect yourself from the elements with heavy outer layers and warm sweaters, your beloved four-legged household members need extra care, too. Here are some simple ways to care for pets during winter so the entire family can enjoy being outside, even when the thermometer dips into single digits. The Most Basic Pet Care Tip of Them All Putting it simply: when it’s cold, keep your pets inside. If it’s too frigid for you to go outside, it’s also too cold for a dog or a cat. If you have an indoor/outdoor cat, monitor it closely when you do let it out of the house, and if it tends to wander, consider keeping it on total lock down during the coldest days of the year. If you have a dog, remember that outdoor shelters, like a house or a kennel, do not protect the exposed parts of their body like ears, paw pads, and noses. Also: just like a hot car is a huge health risk for a dog, so is a cold one. Never leave a dog unattended in the car in any extreme weather condition period. Bundle Up When you’re going on a short walk, chilly wind and freezing rain is very uncomfortable for most shorthaired dogs. Stop by your favorite spot for pet products and pick up a sweater or a water-resistant coat to keep your dog as warm as you are. You may even want a variety of options depending on the weather....