Are You Drinking Enough Water?

You probably already know that it’s important to drink enough water. A minimum of eight glasses of water a day is recommended. You should aim for more if it is really hot, or you are working out and sweating a lot. Getting enough water in your body will prevent you from getting dehydrated.

According to WEBMD the early signs of dehydration are increased thirst, dry mouth, sticky saliva and reduced urine output with dark yellow urine. You may also experience a lack of energy and a headache.

None of these sound very fun. I know it is hard sometimes to drink that much water; especially when sodas and coffee tempt us. However, to stay healthy and feel great, we should strive to drink those eight glasses of water a day.

Here are a few tips to help you remember to drink the water, and to make it a little more pleasant or interesting.

1. Keep a Log

This can be as simple as a little piece of paper on the fridge, or a page in your day planner. Just make a little checkmark, or dash on the piece of paper every time you drink a glass of water. The log will help you keep track of how much water you have had in any given day. You'll also be surprised how motivating it is to try to get those eight little checkmarks on there every day. Another idea would be to use little stickers instead, or even find an app for your phone.

2. Add Some Lemon Juice

I tend to get bored with drinking just water after a few days. Change things up and add a little flavor by adding a teaspoon or less of lemon to your water. You can also try some other fruit juices. Just make sure you are still drinking mainly water. Just a splash of juice should be enough to make things interesting and give the water some flavor without adding a lot of sugar and calories.

3. Try Some Club Soda

If you are craving the fizz of a soda, try some Club Soda. Most brands have a little too much fizz for me. I end up watering them down with – guess what – water. If you want to get really fancy, check your local grocery store for flavored club sodas. Alternatively, you can also add a splash of fruit juice to your watered down club soda.

4. Drink Some Water When You Feel Hungry

Unfortunately many of us have become so out of tune with our bodies that we feel hungry when we are actually thirsty. If you feel hungry, try drinking a glass of water first. You may just be thirsty.

5. Carry A Water Bottle

It’s much easier to drink water when you have it readily available. Carry a bottle of water around with you in the car, at work, while running errands, in the yard, and even while you are working around the house. You'll be sipping away the water without even noticing it.

6. Drink More If You Are Working Out

We already touched on this, but it bears repeating. Make sure you drink a few extra glasses of water if you work out, or if you spend some time outside while it’s hot. Your body uses and needs more water when it sweats a lot. So don't forget to fill back up on water during and after your exercise.

Just pay attention to how much you drink and implement some of these ideas if you don't get the recommended eight glasses of water a day. Your body will thank you for it in the long run.

7 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Coconut Oil

It is a common misconception that coconut oil is bad for you. People all over the world are experiencing the healthy benefits of using coconut oil. It is actually one of the healthiest oils you can consume. Here are the top seven reasons why you should use coconut oil as an alternative to other common cooking oils.

1. Coconut oil doesn't turn to fat in your body!

Unlike many other common oils, like soy (vegetable) and corn, coconut oil won't make you fat. Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), which are an easy fuel for the body to burn, without turning to fat. Most other cooking oils and fats contain long-chain triglycerides (LCT). LCT's are usually stored as fat. Since coconut oil is a MCT, it is more easily absorbed and converted to energy quicker.

People in the tropics have relied on coconuts as a traditional staple in their diet for centuries. They consume large amounts of coconut oil every day. Instead of getting fatter, it helps them stay healthy, lean and trim. When they switch from coconut oil to our modern oils, they develop obesity and the health problems that our modern society faces.

Some other people who have known this truth for a long time are people who are in the animal feed business. When livestock are fed vegetable oils, they put on weight and produce more fatty meat. When they are fed coconut oil, they become very lean.

2. Coconut oil increases your metabolism!

Not only does coconut oil convert to energy quicker in your body, it increases your metabolism, which promotes weight loss. Because it boosts your metabolism, it helps your body burn fat more effectively.

Coconut oil may triple your calorie burn. Since coconut oil is a MCT, it is converted to energy so quickly that it creates a lot of heat. In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, MCT's burn three times more calories for six hours after a meal than LCT's.

The February 15, 2005 issue of Woman's World magazine stated that coconut oil is the "underground high-metabolism secret."

This is great news for people who have thyroid problems, since coconut oil improves sluggish thyroids by stimulating the production of extra thyroid hormones. Most other common oils, like vegetable (soy) and corn have been shown to inhibit thyroid function.

3. Coconut oil has omega 3 fatty acids!

Most cooking oils contain omega 6 fatty acids, something we get way too much of in the United States. Our omega 6 to omega 3 ratio should be 1:1 but it is more like 50:1. We need to drastically cut back our omega 6 oils and consume much more omega 3 oils to be healthy. And coconut oil is filled with these healthy omega 3 fatty acids.

4. Coconut oil gives you energy!

Because of the healthy omega 3 fatty acids and the fact that it increases the metabolism, most people that switch to coconut oil feel a burst of added energy in their daily life.

This is because coconut oil is nature’s richest source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT's), which increase metabolic rates and lead to weight loss. MCT's promote thermogenesis, which increases the body's metabolism, producing energy.

This is because coconut oil is nature’s richest source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT's), which increase metabolic rates and lead to weight loss. MCT's promote thermogenesis, which increases the body's metabolism, producing energy. Many people with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia have found that adding coconut and coconut oil to their diet was helpful to them.

5. One of the best things you can use on your skin and hair is coconut oil!

Coconut oil one of the best things you can apply directly on your skin and hair. It gives temporary relief to skin problems like rashes. It aids in healing and restoring skin to a younger appearance. It has also been known to help with people who suffer from yeast infections in the skin, as well as many other skin problems.

Not only does is soften and smooth your skin, coconut oil has antioxidant properties that protect the skin from free radical damage. Coconut oil makes excellent massage oil too.

6. Coconut oil has healthy benefits that most other oils do not!

Evidence is mounting that coconut oil has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and antiviral effects when both consumed and used topically on the skin.

Most oils oxidize and turn rancid very quickly causing free radical damage in our bodies. Coconut oil is not easily oxidized and does not cause harmful free radical damage like polyunsaturated vegetable oils. Free radical damage is thought to be responsible for many ailments in our body from arthritis to increased susceptibility to cancers.

Coconut oil also helps our bodies absorb other nutrients more effectively, such as Vitamin E.

7. Coconut oil is one of the best oils you can use for cooking!

It has a higher smoke point than olive oil, which means it can take higher temperatures better. There are several healthy omega 3 oils we can choose to consume, such as flax and olive oil, but they don't do well under the high heat we use for cooking. Coconut oil can be used in higher cooking temperatures.

It is harder for coconut oil to go rancid, unlike other cooking oils, which are usually rancid long before you even bring them home. Rancid oils cause free radical damage in the body, which is a leading cause of cancer. Coconut oil is stable for over a year at room temperature.

Because of the misinformation we have been given for years, we have lost out on the healthy benefits that coconut oil has given the people of the tropics for centuries. But now it has been rediscovered! Coconut oil is so effective, it won't be long before we see coconut oil supplements promoted, but you can get the jump on the popular crowd and start consuming and cooking with coconut oil today!

2 Steps To Six Pack Abs

First off, I want to mention that, for most people, getting six pack abs is not an easy task. It requires dedication, but it is possible! Below is a general 2-step guide that, if followed religiously for 3 months, will produce results.

Step 1: Nutrition

This is the single most important part of the puzzle, hands down. You can have the most impressive set of abs, but if they're covered with a layer of fat, you won't see them! Break up your day with 5 or 6 mini-meals because this jump starts your metabolism. And stop eating the food that is preventing results: white bread, loads of pasta, soda, candy, fast food, hydrogenated oils, sugars and fructose corn syrup.

Instead, replace them with foods that will help you reach your goal: oatmeal, olive oil, whole grain breads, fruits, vegetables, nuts, eggs, natural peanut butter, chicken, fish, protein and water. Be realistic- you'll slip here and there, but make a conscious effort to radically improve your eating habits because getting a six pack will be impossible if you don't.

Step 2: Exercise

You need to concern yourself with 3 different exercises: cardio, weightlifting and ab exercises. And aim to workout 3- 4 times a week.

The cardio you do can be anything: walking, running, biking, swimming....whichever cardio you don't mind doing so that you'll stick with it. Aim for 30-45 minutes, a minimum of 2 times a week.

Weightlifting is important because 3 pounds of added muscle burns as many calories as a 1 mile jog...and this is while you're just sitting around! Aim for 30-45 minutes, a minimum of 2 times a week. If you're confused as to what exercises to do for each body part the Gym & Tonic fitness professionals have extensive knowledge and will happily share their tips.

The last exercise you need to incorporate into your workout is ab exercises. Aim to work your abs a minimum of 3 times a week. There are a ton of different ab exercises you can do so try to find 3 or so that you enjoy doing so you can mix it up. Click HERE for a good database of different ab exercises.

Tip: mix up your workout routine every 2 weeks to keep your body guessing and changing. Add or take away different weight or ab exercises, or at the very least, vary the weight, reps or form of cardio you do.

Well, there you have it. Follow the above for 3 months religiously, and while results will vary from person to person, you will experience improvement.

It will take dedication on your part, but imagine the feeling you'll get when you look in the mirror and like what you see.