My number-one secret for getting/staying healthy isn’t really a secret at all.
When I was pregnant with my first child, the best advice my doctor gave me was to keep hydrated. I got a giant water bottle – one marked with easy-to-read measurements, and used that to keep track of my water intake each day. By the time I was finally done with pregnancy and nursing … well, by that time I was expecting again, so when I was finally done with all that, I had firmly established the habit of drinking water constantly throughout the day.
I’m not perfect with it anymore – my girls are four and five, long enough for me to occasionally slide back into bad habits. But oh boy, can I tell the difference when I get out of the habit. When I am drinking enough water, my mind is clearer; my body healthier; my hair and skin happier; my temptations to eat too much sugar far lessoned. When I’m even slightly dehydrated? I get slow, sluggish, and stupid. Cranky, too.
I don’t always like drinking it. Sometimes it’s too boring, sometimes it just tastes unpleasant. So often I add fruit to it to give a little more flavor, or squirt some lemon juice in, or even add just a tiny bit of juice. Anything to convince myself to keep drinking it.
And no, coffee, even decaffeinated, is NOT an acceptable substitute for water. So sorry! (Neither is black tea, which is sadder for me personally.)
Exercise is good (I’m still looking for something to fill the gap ice dance was for me this winter); healthy eating in general is hugely important; the simple act of moving throughout the day necessary; but for me, drinking enough water to stay properly hydrated is the single best thing I can do to stay healthy, body and mind.
How about you?