Are You Drinking Enough Water?

Drinking Water

Water is the most important thing you can put into your body. It’s an absolute necessity and you need it to survive. Many people though, aren’t drinking enough to stay healthy.

Generally, you should be drinking Eight 8 oz. cups of water per day. This is the most commonly recommended amount of daily intake according to tons of studies already done.

So why should you drink all this water when you’ve been doing just fine with only a couple cups a day? Well, because while you think you are doing fine, you have no idea how much better you could be doing.

Drinking the recommended amount of water will keep you hydrated and feeling good. You’ll have more energy when you’re hydrated and your body will tell you this when you’re lifting weights.

It’s also a huge benefit to your muscles. Keeping enough water in the body will help your muscles recover much faster. Who doesn’t want to recover faster and see gains sooner? Don’t lose out on bigger gains just because you don’t want a couple more cups of water a day.

If you’re trying to cut, water is also a great way to keep from eating when it’s not necessary. A lot of people think they’re hungry when all they need is some water. Have a drink now and then eat when it’s actually time to eat.

There are also several other benefits such as healthier skin and regulation of body temperature. Are you the only person in the office with sweat stains on your shirt? You probably need water. And talk to anyone who has had kidney stones before. They’ll tell you why you should drink 8 cups of water per day.

The best way to tell if you’re drinking enough water is if your urine is clear. Sometimes your urine may be yellow in the morning which is fine, but every other time you go to the restroom it should be clear.

One of the easiest ways to drink 8 cups of water per day is to drink a cup of water right when you wake up and then 1-2 cups of water with every meal. Also try to keep drinking throughout the day and avoid waiting until you’re thirsty.

A word of caution. Do NOT drink too much water. There is such a thing as water intoxication which can kill you. You may have heard about the radio station that had a water drinking contest and the woman who won went home complaining of a headache and nausea. She was found dead only 5 hours later. Don’t participate in any sort of water drinking contest and try to get your daily allowance of water in an hour.

Crystal Light is a great alternative to plain water too. It’s kind of like Kool-aid only it’s not full of sugar and it only has 5 calories per mix.

So I hope this will help you see the benefits in drinking the water your body needs. Get started right away, your body will thank you.

image courtesy of jcrojas / CC BY-SA 2.0

iFitness Exercise App for the iPhone

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UPDATE: It looks like the iFitness app is no longer available on the app store, but a couple readers have mentioned a great app called All-in-Fitness, which looks very similar, and even better than iFitness.


I don’t have any other fitness/workout apps on my iPhone so I can’t really compare iFitness to anything else, but the reason I downloaded it is because I always hear everyone talking about it. I finally read the reviews and app description and thought it sounded like it was definitely worth $2 and after playing around with it, I love it.

There are a ton of exercises here to choose from. If you’re at the gym and just need some ideas, you can choose which body part you want to work on and then pick from a variety of exercises. Each exercise has a picture, a complete description of how to perform the exercise and even a video if you need more instruction.

You can also choose exercises based on specific muscle groups or even by equipment needed. If there are any exercises you know that aren’t listed, you can add your own, complete with a descriptions and picture if you want.

One of my favorite features of the app is being able to create my own routines. You can name your workout whatever you’d like and then add any exercises from the app to the routine. And while you’re working out you can note how much weight you did for each exercise, how many reps, the date and any additional notes you want to put down. This is all logged in the app eventually makes up a graph showing your progress.

ifitness-logging

If you’re just a beginner and don’t know how to build your own routine, iFitness also has 12 routines already built in, such as a beginners program, a weight loss routine, a business travel workout and even an expert golf routine.

On top of all that, they’ve also included a weight monitor, BMI calculator and body measurement tracking. The developers also take suggestions, such as feature, exercise and routine requests and eventually include them in regular updates.

This is definitely one app I’d recommend to anyone who cares about their physical health.

Healthy, Organic and Eco-Friendly Valentines Day Gifts

Valentines Day is right around the corner and if you haven’t picked up anything yet, you better get a move on. I did some searching around for for healthy, organic and eco-friendly items that your girl will love and I find just about all of it on Amazon (affiliate links) so you can find everything you need in one place. If you have more gift ideas, please add them to the comments.

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Juice Beauty Organics to Go

Women love things that make them look and feel younger and products that make their skin softer and healthier. This organic skincare set from Juice Beauty has six different products designed to do just that.

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Perfume

Just like women like to look good, they like to smell good too. If your girl likes perfume, check out some of the “Green” products from Florascent, such as their Jasmine Perfume. At $98.95, it’s a bit expensive, but I’m sure she’ll love it. They also have several other smells if you don’t like Jasmine.

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Relaxing Baths

After a long day at work, there’s nothing more relaxing than sliding into a nice hot bath. Deep Steep makes Bath Tea in several scents such as Rosemary Mint, Honeydew Spearmint and Grapefruit Bergamot. Make it even more special by preparing the bath for her and pouring her a glass of wine.

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Flowers

Roses are the the first thing to come to mind when buying gifts for Valentines Day and Amazon has an assortment of eco-friendly roses that with each purchase, a 5% donation is giving to the the Global Giving project, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, or the Ploughshares Fund. They also carry some Blue Iris if you’re not into roses where donations go to Keep America Beautiful.

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Spa Treatment

Give your girl a special day of relaxing massages and facials by buying her a gift certificate at a local spa. SpaFinder lists several types of spas in any location and you can book directly from the site so this would be a great one if you’re running short on time.

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Stuffed Animals

My girlfriend loves stuffed animals and there are quite a few cute and eco-friendly plushes here. And if you can find one big enough, she’ll love to cuddle with it or use it as a pillow. Sadly, it seems like no matter what my dogs always find a way to get ahold of them.

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Chocolates

If you’re trying to live a healthier lifestyle you definitely shouldn’t be eating candy, but sugar-free chocolates would make a great gift. Check out the Love Bug sugar-free Valentines Day gift basket or this one; the Sugar Free Heart Valentines Gift Basket With Bear. Be careful you don’t have the type of girl that could take this the wrong way though!

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Wine

One glass a day of red wine is a rich source of antioxidants and has been known to have plenty of healthy benefits such as boosting immunity, helping to prevent bone loss and is good for the heart. Wine is also very romantic, especially if you cook her a nice dinner to go with it. My favorite place to look for good deals on wine is Wine.Woot. They update the site frequently (every few days or so) so check often to find the wines you really want.

My Back Hurts When Doing Weighted Calf Raises

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I’m sure someone else has had this problem before so I wanted write a post about it and see if anyone can provide some input. When I do standing calf raises (like the lady in the picture) with dumbbells in both hands, maybe 15-20 lbs each, my lower back really starts to hurt. Sometimes to the point of me having to hurry and put the dumbbells down before falling to the ground. Has this ever happened to you?

I can do any other exercise with no problems whatsoever, from upright rows to a variety of curls, all of which are in the same particular stance. I suppose it’s because with the calf raises the weight never moves and strains my back, but it’s something that really bothers me.

I’m guessing I have a few options; I need to start working out my lower back more often, I could start doing curls while doing calf raises to keep the weight moving, I could use a barbell instead or I could start going back to the gym and using a calf machine. I really don’t want to go back to the gym though, so I guess I’ll have to pick from the other three.

I’ve tried positioning the weight on both the front and back part of my legs and that doesn’t help either. Does anyone know if the workout loses function if I’m holding the weight up near my chest? Do I have any other options?