Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

Navigating the Holidays: Setting Healthy Goals

GettyImages-1778515577 (1)As the festive season draws near, the anticipation of joy, celebration, and connection fills the air. Yet, for many of us committed to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, the holidays can also bring a sense of unease. The abundance of indulgent feasts, tempting treats, and busy schedules can pose challenges to our well-established routines.

But fear not! Setting healthy goals can be the compass that leads us through the festivities with balance, mindfulness, and a genuine sense of well-being.

What are goals and why should we set them?

Goals help us envision what our future will look like, it’s an intentional plan or activity we set out to achieve. We can use our goals to decide where our priorities lie. Goal setting provides focus and increases motivation. It is also important to limit the number of goals we have at one time, so we do not get overwhelmed. If this is something you are struggling with, it can be helpful to set smaller or short-term goals leading up to a larger or long-term goal.

Adjust behaviors to meet your goals.

For every goal you set, you will need to change your behavior to achieve the goal. It may help to think about the consequences of not changing the behavior vs. changing the behavior to keep motivation to continue working towards the goal at hand.

SMART goals and getting started.

People are more likely to achieve goals that meet the SMART criteria: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time bound. We can use this information to get started setting our next goal. Start with writing the goal and what makes this goal specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time bound. Once you have all these answers, you can put it all together and begin working towards achieving this new goal!

Transform this holiday season into a time of self-discovery, growth, and joy. Are you ready to set sail on a path that honors your well-being? Let's embark on this adventure together and emerge from the holidays not just unscathed, but stronger and more connected to our health goals than ever before.

Share your healthy focus this holiday season in the comments! 

Topics: goal setting goals smart goals holidays fitness goals staying active during the holidays

Celebrating Active Aging Week with NIFS: Artful Aging

AAW Artful Aging logoAs the seasons change and leaves take on vibrant hues of red, yellow, and orange we are reminded that much like an artist, we can craft our lives in beautiful ways, and what better time to celebrate that reminder with our senior residents than during Active Aging Week? Active Aging Week, celebrated annually, shines a light on the importance of maintaining an active and engaged lifestyle as we age. This year, at NIFS, we’ve decided to focus on “aging artfully” and help the residents in the communities that we partner with age well through embracing their creativity.

As fitness professionals, we are sometimes met with surprise when we step outside of the fitness center and run programs that are more wellness and activity based, but across the country we have a team full of passionate and creative staff, and together we focus on total person health and wellness. We know that aging doesn’t mean there has to be a decline in quality of life, but instead provides opportunities to explore new passions, hobbies, and forms of self-expression. As we hold offerings to promote physical, mental, and emotional well-being this week we will also be emphasizing the role of art and creativity in active aging and bringing light to some of the benefits that come with them:

  1. Social Interaction: We know that not all residents in our communities are fitness buffs, so offering programs that are outside of the box gives us the ability to connect with a new group of residents and ease them into participating in other wellness programs and events. For all, joining in on creative groups and classes combats loneliness and isolation and helps to foster social connections while nurturing creativity.
  2. Mental Stimulation: Engaging in creative activities and trying new things stimulates and enhances cognitive function and memory while keeping your mind active.
  3. Emotional Well-being: Increased happiness, a sense of accomplishment, and stress reduction are all biproducts of creative expression thanks to an outlet for emotions. Participating in creative programs can help reduce stress, improve mood, and provide an avenue for processing emotions and memories.
  4. Self-Discovery: Exploring your creative side can help you to better understand your interests, and help you find new hobbies and passions. It’s never too late to learn an instrument, try your hand at painting, or share your wisdom. Your creative work can also become a meaningful legacy!

Some of the programs that our staff have planned for this active aging week include classes in various mediums of art, music, dance, writing, expressive exercise classes paired with music or art, outdoor exercise in nature, active adventures, upcycling projects, collaborative offerings with other departments including food and beverage, activities, physical therapy, and so much more.

Artful aging is about staying engaged in the world around us, embracing creativity and living with intention. Celebrate Active Aging Week with us by embracing the art of aging well.

Learn more about how NIFS programming makes an impact in senior living!

Senior Programs

Topics: active aging senior living active aging week, senior living wellness programs senior living activities

10 Tips for Walking 10,000 Steps a Day!

GettyImages-1392938623 (1)Striving to achieve 10,000 steps a day is a great way to move your body more and improve your overall health. Don't let the thought of 10,000 steps hinder you from trying. Start small and work your way to 10K a day this month!

10 Tips for Walking 10,000 Steps a Day:

1. Get a pedometer or fitness tracker: Wearable devices like Fitbit, Apple Watch, or smartphone apps can help you track your daily steps. These tools can motivate you to reach your goal and provide real-time feedback on your progress.

2. Start small: If you're not used to being active, begin with a lower step count and gradually work your way up to 10,000 steps a day. Set achievable milestones, such as adding 1,000 steps per week until you reach your goal. Try breaking up your activity into manageable chunks throughout the day.

3. Find a walking buddy: Walking with a friend, family member or co-worker can make the activity more enjoyable and help you stay motivated. You can encourage each other to reach your step goals.

4. Make it part of your routine: Incorporate walking into your day. For example, use the stairs instead of the elevator, park farther away from your destination, or take a walk around your neighborhood after dinner.

5. Set reminders: Use alarms or notifications on your phone or fitness tracker to remind you to get up and move throughout the day. This can be particularly helpful if you have a sedentary job. Consider scheduling it into your workday or even ask your team if they would like to have a walking meeting.

6. Choose scenic routes: Walking in pleasant surroundings can make the experience more enjoyable. Explore parks, nature trails, or other scenic areas in your community.

7. Mix it up: Vary your walking routine to avoid boredom. Try different routes, paces, or include some uphill terrain. You can also listen to music, podcasts, or audiobooks to make the time pass more quickly.

8. Track your progress: Each day log your daily step count and review your achievements regularly. Celebrate your milestones to stay motivated. 

9. Stay consistent: Consistency is key to achieving and maintaining your 10,000-step goal. Make walking a habit and prioritize it in your daily life.

10. Adjust your goal as needed: Your schedule and fitness level differ from the next person. If 10,000 steps a day feels unattainable or too easy, adjust accordingly to suit your needs. 

Your main goal is to be active daily and make it a daily habit. While 10,000 steps is a common goal, any increase in daily activity can have significant health benefits. What is your favorite app or fitness device for tracking steps?

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Topics: employee health and fitness worksite fitness walking tips walking for health

Indoor Cycling: What to Expect

GettyImages-805085582 (1)What Makes Cycle So Great?

Ready to switch up your cardiovascular fitness routine? Give indoor cycling a shot. A cycle class has the capability to give you an intense workout while keeping the impact on your joints at a minimum. The group environment of a cycle class allows you to feed off the energy in classroom and the instructor, while motivating your fellow participants.             

Indoor cycle is a great workout for all fitness levels. Each participant can determine their own desired difficulty based on the instructor’s cues.

For Your First Cycle Class

If it has been a while or your first time in a cycle class, arrive 10-15 minutes early to get assistance from the instructor setting up your bike. The instructor will be able to tell you how to adjust your bike and what cue the form so you can be set up for success before class has started.

During the class, the instructor will remind of this proper form we must maintain even during challenging portions of the ride. Along with this, you will be guided on how challenging the ride should be and what you are looking to achieve during the ride. This gives a teamwork feel to your indoor cycling ride, while pushing to be better during each segment of the class.

Hydrate! Make sure you bring plenty of water to cycle classes. Even with the use of fans, indoor cycling gets sweaty. Don’t be afraid to use active recovery portions of the ride to take a moment to drink some water and wipe of the sweat. You are working hard; you deserve a breather!

You should wear something that you feel comfortable in for cycle class. Due to the intensity of the workout, it tends to be a sweaty one. Wear a top that is made of a sweat wicking fabric. Tank tops can be great for temperature control and comfort. For bottoms, workout tights/leggings, biker shorts, or athletic shorts can all be suitable options. If the bottoms are comfortable and not loose enough to get caught on the indoor bike, you are good to go. Normal gym shoes are fine for cycle class, and you can strap into the cage pedals. If you attend cycle classes, more regularly, bike shoes that clip into the pedals are also an option.

What do you enjoy most about cycle classes? Share in the comments! 

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Topics: employee health employee health and fitness group fitness onsite fitness center cycling

Senior Living: Walking in Awe

Do you walk in Awe?GettyImages-1432465103 (1)

A few days ago, a resident handed me an “invitation to an Awe Walk.” He had picked it up from a nearby park. He thought I’d be interested in the topic and brought me a copy. This was my first-time hearing about Awe Walking, so I was intrigued! The document invited me to not just simply focus on the present, it was deeper than that.

So, how does one take part in an awe walk? It’s as simple as choosing to walk in awe. It’s the intentional decision to focus on things around you rather than yourself. Instead of focusing on your to-do list or exciting weekend plans, choose to shift your attention externally to the beauty around you. The word awe can be defined as a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder. Of course, it may not be the first time you’ve seen the leaves change from green to deep orange and red, but the beauty and mystery can still be stunning.

Why walk in awe?

Choosing to walk in awe shifts our attention to things outside of ourselves. This change has big mental health benefits. An 8-week study facilitated by the University of San Francisco showed that choosing to walk in awe had the following benefits: increase in daily compassion and overall well-being, a decrease in anxiety and daily negative emotions.

While you become more distracted from the stressors in your life, you’re making room to notice and pay attention to things other than yourself and your own concerns. When we look away from our wants and needs for a moment, it can improve one’s love of life, relationships, and worries. Decreased levels of stress can lower blood pressure, improve sleep and digestion, and decrease muscle tension. Although an Awe Walk can be done in all settings, natural, indoor, urban, there are added health benefits of being in nature. Walking in awe can be a good reminder of how small we are in this big world and vast universe. It’s a great way to help us improve our perspective on certain things or life overall.

Invitation to Walk in Awe

Consider attending or attempting your own Awe Walk. Take note of the nature and happenings around. Be enthralled in it almost like a child would. Take a moment to feel the warm sun on your face and touch the flowers growing nearby, how do they feel? What do you hear? Can you find the animals that are making that sound? Have you found the water that is trickling nearby? Don’t just notice the nature around you, experience it. Intentionally. Fully. Try these prompts on your next walk!

  1. Begin your walk by bringing attention to your breath. Take nice slow and deep breaths - let your belly expand more than your chest.
  2. Notice your steps on the ground. Do they make a soft sound? A loud crunch? Do you feel anything? This warms up your awareness to the sensations that are easily forgotten on an unintentional walk.
  3. Be open to experience an Awe Walk. Allow things to spark your curiosity. Do you notice something that gives you a sense of pleasure or surprise?
  4. What catches your eye? Is it the wispy clouds in the sky? The windy path or maybe the comfort of a path you’ve traveled before? The color or smell of the flowers?
  5. Allow this sense of wonder, excitement, inspiration carry on into the rest of your day and further.

Try an Awe Walk! Tell us about your experience!

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Topics: walking active aging senior living senior living activities walking for health

Creative Planning for an Engaging Falls Prevention Week

Senior on Matte_low res 2There are several health-related observances through the year and NIFS staff enjoy finding ways to use these to bring attention to important topics. One of those is Falls Prevention Week in September. As a fitness management provider for senior living communities, fall prevention is a hot topic so older adults can live vibrantly for as long as possible. But you might be wondering how can you make something that doesn’t sound so fun be engaging for residents? We have found that there is a love/hate relationship everyone has with any program labeled “Fall Prevention” because residents are certainly interested in learning about how to prevent falls but have a healthy fear of falling. What better way to face a fear than head on and in a practical way, right?

That’s what NIFS fitness managers do during Falls Prevention Week, and you can too with some tips for the basics of planning a robust program:

Get other departments involved. Falls Prevention Week may be okay without any other staff support, but we think you have a better investment from the community and from the residents when other departments get involved. The first department that comes to mind for this topic is physical therapy. Many rehab departments are happy to work with fitness staff in bringing presentations, device checks, and even home safety checks to residents. It goes without saying that partnering with food & beverage is always fun because who doesn’t like to have snacks? Fortunately, many of our communities also have a dietitian on-site and can take it one step further with an event centered on balancing nutrition along with balancing the body. The possibilities are endless with the collaboration.

Have a mix of interactive and educational events. One of the most popular events we host is the Getting Up from a Fall Workshop. During this presentation, NIFS staff members discussed ways to avoid falls in the first place, but they also took the time to demonstrate how to safely fall and (where appropriate) how to get back up off the floor. Participants then have the option to work one-on-one with staff and learn how to safely get themselves onto the floor and back up into a chair without falling. Residents appreciate the chance to learn and then to try things themselves.

Follow up with participants. A key element to Falls Prevention Week is making sure you know who participated so you can reach out to them afterwards. There’s always a “next step” available so it’s nice to be able to personalize that according to the needs of the specific participant. For some people, it’s a balance evaluation, for others it might be a 1-on-1 exercise prescription, and for others it’s simply going to be a class recommendation. No matter what the recommendation is, following up with each individual makes the week more personal and gives them more buy-in to continue working on their own fall prevention skills.

Offering these examples remind me of feedback one of our fitness staff received from a Falls Prevention Week participant. He came to us, letting us know he had experienced a fall. It was a simple situation where they thought there was a sturdy spot to lean on, however, it wasn’t. He reported that having just completed a Fall Prevention event that day, he remembered the tips and tricks provided that can lessen the injuring that could result from a fall. Fortunately, he didn’t experience an injury and shared the news with everyone exclaiming “You do not want to miss out on this program! It really works!”

How is your community programing around health initiatives, involving the community staff, and engaging your residents? We encourage you to evaluate how you can enhance these opportunities so your residents can get more bang for their buck! For expert insight on how to make balance programming a cornerstone in your fitness center, check out NIFS Balance Redefined programming.

Learn more about balance redefined

 

 

Topics: senior living balance fall prevention falls balance training for seniors falls prevention week

Adding Balance into your Exercise Routine

GettyImages-1143018176 (1)It isn’t a secret that as a person ages, there is an increased risk of falling. While there are a few different reasons this risk can increase, we will focus on what impacts a person’s ability to keep or put themselves in a steady position. One goal as a senior fitness professional is to introduce exercise as a tool to decrease your risk of falling. And we like to do that with a variety of exercises including a balance exercise focus. What is great about balance exercise is that it can be snuck into other favorite exercises or individual exercises to address a particular balance weakness. And often, the number one challenge that the aging population faces is their fear of falling which becomes their barrier to participating in the exercise in the first place.

Cue adding balance into your exercise routine! A wise person once said, “Practicing balance doesn’t make perfect; practicing balance makes permanent!” Our fitness professionals will say the same thing. It doesn’t have to be perfect; it doesn’t have to take a long time; you just have to do it consistently to reap the benefits!

Not sure what balance exercises to start with? Consider the following when you add balance into your routine:

Already Exercise? You’re a daily exerciser and you are wondering where balance fits in. My first question to you will be “what type of exercise are you currently engaging in?” Do you walk? Do you do resistance training? Do you play sports/recreation? The great part of this is that any exercise contributes to better balance, but now the key is to evaluate how to challenge yourself (we will talk about that more later)! Since you engage in a type of exercise, consider adding in balance specific exercises for 10-15 minutes 2-3 times per week. A few examples could be:

  • Standing heel raises and toe raises.
  • Stand with your feet wide and shift your weight side to side.
  • Single leg stands.
  • Side steps (step out to the right and bring feet together and then to the left)

Prepare for balance! Remember, all the exercises in the world will not do any good if you don’t follow these simple safety rules:

  • Wear proper shoes. Your ankles and feet need good support. No sandals or fancy shoes!
  • Utilize your strong muscles first. Get to know where your current balance is by using your strongest muscles. For example, a NIFS staff member wrote a great blog on starting from the ground up. The feet and ankles are our main support and knowing if the strength is there, is a good place to start. For example, single leg stands are challenging! And if your legs aren’t up to it yet, keep the opposite foot’s toes lightly resting on the floor for support.
  • A mirror is helpful. Look at yourself when you attempt to balance, check your posture, and note what your limitations are (such as knee replacements or back issues).
  • Stand on good flooring. Do your exercises on stable and level ground. If one side is higher or more unsteady than the other, you will be the same.
  • Use stable support. Make sure that there is a stable chair or counter available. As you practice, you will need occasional support when you feel unsteady. The main goal is to prevent falling.
  • Avoid fast movements and position changes. Slow down! Learn to turn and react with deliberate patience. Incorrect weight shifting is the number-one cause of falls. So, when you go to move or turn, remember to be as cautious as possible. What’s the real hurry? Let your body catch up with your mind’s intent.

Practice balance by challenging yourself! Just like with most exercises, your body becomes used to the movement (hopefully anyway!) After you have become comfortable with certain exercises, the next step is to practice exercises that force the body to feel unsteady and this will help the body become steadier. For example, if you’re capable of supporting yourself while raising both arms out and holding them for 10 seconds, next you can incorporate holding on with one hand and lifting one leg out to challenge yourself. Over time you can regain better balance.

These are just the basics when it comes to adding balance into your exercise routine. Keep in mind, these start with someone who has a basic understanding of exercise and balance, so if you are new to exercise NIFS highly recommends connecting with your primary physician before beginning new exercises and if it is available to you, working with a fitness professional to guide you along can keep you on track and challenging yourself.

Interested in learning more about how NIFS Fitness Management helps seniors across the country incorporate balance in their routine? Learn more about our signature program in our client locations by clicking below.

Learn more about balance redefined

 

 

 

Topics: exercise balance exercise and aging balance challenge NIFS Empowerment Workshop

Why You Should Exercise Your Brain

GettyImages-1326064432THE BRAIN: the most important organ in our body, is often the most forgotten when we think of training. Why does the brain always seem to slip through the cracks? We can’t stop talking about BMI, body fat percentage, heart rate reserve, and all these other buzz words in the fitness industry. Now you’re probably thinking “but isn’t exercise good for the brain?” and you’d be right but there is more to it than that. We aren’t specifically targeting our brain, we’re focused on our muscles, our heart and the brain is just getting a splash of the love it deserves. That’s something I’d like to change! And we can do that in the gym and at home.

Brain health according to the CDC is the ability to perform all mental processes of cognition, including the ability to learn and judge, use language, and remember. How do we go about preventing cognitive loss?

There are several different factors that go into our brain health such as blood flow, age, learning/engagement, inflammation, and sleep.

  • Blood flow is how well our blood moves throughout our body, suppling the different muscles and organ with the necessary nutrients and oxygen, as well as clearing away waste. So, if blood flow is restricted to any area (not just our brain) its bad news for us. Several things restrict blood flow in our body, things like caffeine, nicotine, heart disease, obesity, and hypertension to name a few. Regular exercise (30 minutes a day, 3 times a week) will help knock down a number of these risk factors right off the bat. But there’s still more we can do. We can limit our caffeine and nicotine intake; we can change our diet to include more heart healthy foods. Remember it take diet AND exercise to reach our health goals.
  • Our brain diminishes as we age, it grows old just like the rest of our body. We all know things don’t work as well when we get older, but that doesn’t mean we just have to accept it. One simple way to combat cognitive impairment as we age is to take a multi-vitamin. A study over a 3-year period, and including 2000 people, found that a daily multi-vitamin showed measurable improvement in cognitive function compared to those who took the placebo.
  • When you stop learning, your brain starts dying. Your brain functions on the same principles of atrophy that any other muscle in your body does “If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.” You wouldn’t expect your bench to get better if you never work your chest, would you? Well, your brain works the same way, it just needs slightly different exercises. Activities like reading, doing a jigsaw puzzle, playing chess, learning a new language and knitting/crocheting are all examples of hobbies you can do to stimulate your brain and keep it fresh.
  • Inflammation anywhere on our body is a pain, it can cause soreness, swelling and a whole host of other problems. But inflammation in our brain can lead to brain shrinkage, and when it comes to our brain, size matters. This inflammation can also lead to brain fog, memory loss, and mental fatigue because it shuts down energy production in our brain cells. One way to prevent inflammation from becoming a problem in the first place is fish oil (or omega-3 fatty acids). Fish oil is proven to help reduce inflammation in the body as well as the brain along with its heart benefits. Foods and spices like turmeric, garlic, ginger, and leafy green vegetables are also known to help reduce inflammation.
  • Lastly the one no one gets enough of, sleep. Like any good exercise program, you can’t ignore the recovery. Its important that after a long stimulating day of work, school or just hanging out we give out brains time to rest and recuperate. If we don’t get enough sleep it can lead to declines in our memory and critical thinking skills. It can also put us at a higher risk of mental illnesses, like depression. We need to make sure we get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.

Exercise is very beneficial to both our body and our brain. But it is important to remember that it isn’t the end all, be all of brain health. There’s always more we can do by looking at our diet or just trying to read 30 minutes a day instead of watching tv. So, crack open a book or bust out a puzzle and count that as you work out for the day.

Topics: employee health brain health health and fitness exercise and health brain fitness

Functional Balance Exercises

GettyImages-73232038Most folks who have ever participated in balance training know that most exercises seem to involve only the legs. While it is important to focus on our lower extremities during our training, it is important to incorporate the use of our arms for more functional and effective training. Why? Because this will have more real-world applications! For example, practicing single leg stance is important for improving balance but most of us are not going to be in a situation where we must stand on one leg for an extended period of time. We will, however, be shifting our weight from one leg to another, swinging our arms like we do when walking, taking the stairs, dancing, or cleaning the house in real world daily activities.

So here we hope to provide you with a few balance exercises to consider for a more functional exercise for day-to-day fitness!

  • Weight shifts with rotation (golf)
    • Stand with feet shoulder width apart with right hand on a chair or balance bar.
    • Raise left hand overhead with slight bend in knees.
    • Slowly hinge at the hip and bend down, bringing your left hand to the right knee.
    • Slowly rise back up, raising left arm overhead, rotating your shoulder, head, and hips, pivoting the right foot. Most body weight should now be on your left leg. This movement should almost mimic a golf swing.
    • Repeat 10 times, and switch sides.
  • Step/lunge with rotation (walking)
    • Stand 6 inches or so away from a wall, facing the right.
    • Step forward with the left foot initiating a step or lunge.
    • Extend right arm forward, turn to the left, and touch the wall.
    • Rotate back to facing forward, stepping back to the starting position.
    • Repeat 10 times, and then switch sides.
  • Hip hinge with overhead reach (stocking shelves)
    • Stand behind a chair with feet slightly wider than hip width.
    • With slight bend in the knees, hinge at the hip forward until hands are at or just below knee level.
    • Stand back up slowly and bring hands to your chest.
    • Press both hands over head as if you were putting something up in a cabinet.
    • Bring hands back down and repeat.
      • Use a weight or a ball for a more realistic experience!
  • Single Arm Standing resistance band rows (walking the dog)
    • Attach a resistance band to an anchor point (balance bar or door handle)
    • Stand back to put tension on the band and set feet just wider than hip width.
    • Maintain posture keeping your shoulders down and elbows in as you row. Make sure to avoid trunk rotation.
    • Repeat 10 – 12 times and repeat on the other side.
  • Farmers carry (carrying groceries)
    • Grab 2 heavy dumbbells (heavier than what you would normally use for biceps curl).
    • Stand tall with good posture, shoulders back, core engaged, and a dumbbell in each hand.
    • Walk at a slow and controlled pace around a room or down a hall with a flat even floor, and nothing in the way.
    • Perform this exercise for laps or for time (20-30 seconds for beginners and up to 1 minute or more for advanced).

These are exercises that can be done with little access to fitness equipment, but we still recommend connecting with your fitness professional to make sure you are completing them safely. All these mentioned can be modified to fit your abilities and what is more important is that all these exercises can be translated into real life activities.

Keep in mind, this is all about “functional” balance. While not all exercises are labeled as functional, they are still beneficial. For example, leg presses are great for building strength in the lower body, but they do not address balance specifically. Knowing why certain exercises are functional is also a great way to keep your fitness routine engaging, because now you know why you are performing a certain movement, and how it will apply out outside of the gym!

Interested in learning more to help your residents stay fit with functional fitness? NIFS Fitness Management includes 1-1 services and group programming that can help make sure your residents fitness program keeps them engaged in the things they love to do! Contact us for consulting opportunities.

Learn More: NIFS Consulting Services

Topics: exercise exercise at home balance functional movement exercise and aging

Hydration Beyond Liquids

GettyImages-1410793080Staying hydrated is an important part of staying healthy and functional during everyday life. Proper hydration helps the body perform several crucial functions including regulating body temperature, keeping joints lubricated, delivering nutrients to cells, and keeping organs functioning properly. Quality hydration also helps to improve quality of sleep, cognitive function, and general mood. Considering all the functions that hydration helps to maintain it’s important to ask a few questions: How much fluid to we need to consume and what are some sources to get it from?

According to the Mayo Clinic men should consume 15.5 cups of fluid per day and women should consume 11.5 cups of fluid per day. When people see those numbers, their minds immediately go to liquids: water, sports drinks, tea, etc. Water is an excellent and very popular source of liquid to maintain hydration. Sports drinks can also be very effective, particularly during or after lengthy, strenuous exercise. Even tea can be an effective hydrator when consumed in moderate amounts. As effective as these liquids are, they are not the only quality sources of hydration in our diet. In fact, about 20% of fluid is obtained through foods with high water content. There is a plethora of foods, particularly fruits and vegetables, that can help keep you hydrated throughout the day.

There are several great fruit options to help you stay hydrated. Watermelon might be the most famous and effective example. With a 92% water content is one of the most hydrating foods you can eat. It also is very low in calorie density which makes a good snack for weight loss or weight maintenance. Cantaloupe is another fruit that really packs a hydration punch. It has a 90% water content and Vitamin A which can boost immune health. You can also add cantaloupe to salads, smoothies or even yogurt to help hydrate while eating a meal. Other fruits that can be great for hydration include peaches, strawberries, and oranges. Not only do each of these fruits help with hydration but also provide other nutritional value.

Vegetables can also be a great source of hydration in everyday life. Iceberg lettuce is an excellent example of a veggie that help with hydration. It is also easy to a dd into your diet by making salads. Additionally, it contains fiber, vitamins A and K, and potassium which adds some good nutritional value. Zucchini is also a great way to help hydrate. It has a very high-water content and is also low in calories. Furthermore, it provides a lot of diet versatility, meaning you can eat it as is or add it to something larger. It works well on its own but can also be incorporate into soups, stir-fries, or other side dishes. Celery, Cucumbers and Tomato can also be very valuable sources of hydration outside of liquid. Each provide their own nutritional value whether it be antioxidants or valuable vitamins.

Staying hydrated is a vital part of maintaining your everyday health and well-being. As such it is important to know all the sources of hydration that are out there. Water, tea, milk, and other liquids are great options to stay hydrated but it’s important to know alternative sources. Incorporating water rich fruits and veggies into your diet can make it easier and tastier to stay hydrated throughout the year!

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Topics: hydration worksite wellness diet and nutrition