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Fit Friday's In The Den-5 Little Know Benefits of Drinking Water & Does Nutrition Really Matter?

by Jennifer Taylor

Here is the latest edition of Fit Friday's in The Den. Kalea Delezenne has written about nutrition and asks the question "does it really matter?" I have also included an article about 5 little know benefits of drinking water.

Watch those portions and "have a drink on me...a drink of water that is!

Jen Taylor

Does Nutrition Really Matter?

By Kalea Delezenne,
ACSM -Certified Personal Trainer
MSU Graduate-Kinesiology & Health Promotion Degree 
Trainer at The YMCA Downtown Wellness Center    

Short answer, yes. Long answer, yes and yes. Think of food not just as something that tastes good but something that is providing your body with the nutrients it requires to perform activities. Food is our fuel. When we choose to eat chips, drink pop, triple caramel mocha lattes, fast food, frozen dinners or anything that may just be ‘quick and convenient’ we are choosing fuel that may fill the void in our stomach but is not providing our body with anything that it can use. As a result we feel irritable, sleepy, sluggish, bloated and all of these extra ‘conveniences’ become stored as fat. Over time, we end up in a downward spiral of poor choices and bad habits and are not really quite sure how we got there. Not to say that the occasional sausage McMuffin with egg (which I eat 3 times a year myself because let’s face it, they are delicious) is going to be the end of you, but simply to choose these occasions sparingly. (As the Super Size video ; http://www.hulu.com/watch/63283 ;proved to us). I am worth taking the time to eat right, and so are you.

Where to begin?

  • At the grocery store. When you shop, be mindful. Shopping, just like anything else, can become a habit. You have the path that you follow around, the items you like and you go for it. Get in, get out. Slow down, take your time and think about what you are purchasing. Stick to the outside of the store as much as possible as this is where the fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, grains and dairy are located. Change is our friend!
  • Check out www.ChooseMyPlate.gov . Does your plate look like this? If not, make it your goal to have at least 2 meals a day that match the plate. Challenge yourself and your family to put their health first.
  • Education, education, education. Stay up on research, new recipes and other nutritional information. You do not need to follow every trend (like eggs being ‘in’ one day and ‘out’ the next) but pay attention to yourself and what is going on around you. The more you know, the easier it will be to make smart choices that you feel good about and that make you feel good.
  • Find what works for you. Does keeping cut up fruits and veggies in your fridge make it easier for you to eat? Then do it. Does preparing meals in advance help keep you on track with healthy eating? Do it. Nothing is one size fits all and all of us are different. Find your own path and follow it.
  • Portion control. Eat slowly, and keep in mind you do not have to clear your plate and your neighbors. If you eat out it is perfectly acceptable to take leftovers home. Be smart and think about how many calories you are consuming. That plate of spaghetti from Bravo that could easily feed 4 people? Whip out your Myplate chart and see how much you ‘should’ be eating and stick to it!

Keep at it. Habits take time and you are worth the effort.


5 Little Known Benefits of Drinking Water 

By FitDay.Com

The benefits of drinking water have been much discussed in the media. Water helps keep you hydrated, which is important because every single cell in your body needs it in order to absorb nutrients and expel waste products. But what are some of the less well known benefits of drinking water?

1) Drinking Water Keeps You Young

Drinking plenty of water is great for your skin. If you don't drink enough water, you'll suffer from dry skin, and you'll be likely to use more creams and lotions to moisturize. However, creams and lotions don't strike at the root of the problem. Drinking plenty of water keeps your skin moisturized and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

If you don't drink enough water, your body will try to retain it in order to conserve resources. This retention makes your skin puffy and can even lead to bloating.

2) Drinking Water Helps You Lose Weight

There's a reason why most diets and fitness programs ask you to drink a lot of water. One of the benefits of drinking water is that it helps you lose weight.

Water suppresses your appetite, so you don't eat as much. Drinking plenty of water also prevents fluid retention, because your body won't try to retain water if it's getting enough.

Drinking water also helps your body burn stored fat. If you're not drinking enough water, your liver will be forced to help your kidneys detoxify your body. When you drink plenty of water, your kidneys don't need any extra help, so your liver will be able to metabolize stored fat more efficiently. Drinking water flushes toxins from your body and prevents constipation.

3) Drinking Water Helps You Build Muscle

Another benefit of drinking water is that it makes your muscles stronger. That's because water carries oxygen to the cells of your body, including those of your muscles. Drinking plenty of water enables your muscles to work harder and longer before they feel tired, and this can help you build muscle.

4) Drinking Water Makes You Smarter

Drinking water can increase your cognitive function. Your brain needs a lot of oxygen in order to function at optimum levels. Drinking plenty of water ensures that your brain gets all the oxygen it needs. Drinking eight to ten cups of water per day can improve your levels of cognitive performance by as much as 30%!

Drinking plenty of water also supports nerve function. It ensures that your body's electrolyte levels remain high enough to allow your nerves to relay messages to and from the brain in the way they were meant to.

5) Drinking Water Is Good for Your Joints

One of the lesser known benefits of drinking water is that it helps keep your joints strong, healthy and lubricated. Your joints need moisture in order to remain strong and flexible, so that your movements are smooth and pain free.