Your body is about 70% water, and drinking enough of it is vital for optimal health (1).
While everyone knows that it's important to stay hydrated, doing so can be difficult at times.
Here are 12 simple ways to drink more water.
1. Understand Your Fluid Needs
Before you decide to drink more water, you have to understand your body's fluid needs.
A common recommendation for daily water intake is 64 ounces (1,920 ml), or 8 cups, but this is not based on science (3Trusted Source).
The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) recommends that men consume 125 ounces (3,700 ml) and women about 90 ounces (2,700 ml) of fluid per day, including the fluid from water, other drinks, and foods (4).
However, NAM acknowledges that it isn't ideal to make broad recommendations about fluid needs, as they depend on your activity level, location, health status, and more (5Trusted Source).
For most, simply drinking to quench your thirst will ensure you meet your fluid needs. Yet, you may need more fluid if you exercise regularly, work outside, or live in a hot climate (5Trusted Source).
2. Set a Daily Goal
Setting a daily water intake goal can help you drink more water.
Simply the act of setting a goal can be motivating and make you more likely to make positive changes that last (6Trusted Source).
To be effective, goals should be SMART, which is an acronym for the following criteria (7Trusted Source):
For example, one SMART water-consumption goal might be to drink 32 ounces (960 ml) of water per day.
It can also help to record your progress, which can keep you motivated to achieve your goal — and make it a habit.
3. Keep a Reusable Water Bottle With You
Keeping a water bottle with you throughout the day can help you drink more water.
When you have a reusable water bottle, you can easily drink water in any setting, whether you're running errands, traveling, or at home, work, or school.
Keeping a water bottle handy can also serve as a visual reminder to drink more water. If you see the bottle on your desk or table, you will constantly be reminded to drink more.
Plus, it's better for the environment than relying on single-use plastic water bottles.
4. Set Reminders
You can also set reminders to drink more water using an app or the alarm on your smartphone or smartwatch.
For example, try setting a reminder to take a few sips of water every 30 minutes, or set a reminder to finish drinking your current glass of water and refill it every hour.
These reminders can help you increase your water intake, especially if you struggle with being forgetful or too busy to drink.
5. Replace Other Drinks With Water
One way to drink more water — and boost your health and reduce your calorie intake — is to replace other drinks, such as soda and sports drinks, with water.
These drinks are often full of added sugars, which can be extremely detrimental to your health.
For optimal health, limit your added sugar intake to less than 5% of your calorie intake. Just one 8-ounce (240 ml) cup of soda per day can exceed this limit (8Trusted Source).
Furthermore, replacing these sugary drinks with water is an easy and cheap way to cut calories, potentially helping you lose weight.
6. Drink One Glass of Water Before Each Meal
Another simple way to increase your water intake is to make a habit of drinking one glass of water before each meal.
If you eat 3 meals per day, this adds an extra 3 cups (720 ml) to your daily water intake.
Moreover, sometimes your body may mistake feelings of thirst for hunger. Drinking a glass of water before eating can help you discern whether you are feeling true hunger (12Trusted Source).
7. Get a Water Filter
In America, most tap water is safe to drink. However, if you have concerns about the quality or safety of your tap water, consider purchasing a water filter.
There is a filter for almost every budget, from costly whole-home water filtration systems to inexpensive water-filtering pitchers.
In addition, filtering your water could improve the taste.
Point-of-use water filters, such as water-filtering pitchers or filters that attach directly to a faucet, can reduce levels of waterborne bacteria, lead, and arsenic in contaminated tap water to safe levels (15Trusted Source, 16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source).
Using a water filter is also less expensive and more eco-friendly than purchasing bottled water, which is oftentimes no different than tap water (18Trusted Source).
8. Flavor Your Water
If you dislike the flavor of water, or just need a bit of flavor to help you drink more, you have many choices.
Using an inexpensive fruit-infuser water bottle is one healthy option.
Popular fruit combinations to use in an infuser bottle are cucumber-lime, lemon, and strawberry-kiwi. Although, you can use any combination of fruits that suits your taste.
You can also purchase water enhancers in powder or liquid form to add to your water, but be aware that many of these products contain sugar, artificial sweeteners, or other additives that may harm your health.
9. Drink One Glass of Water Per Hour at Work
If you work a standard 8-hour workday, drinking a glass of water each hour you're at work adds up to 8 cups (1,920 ml) to your daily water intake.
Fill up your cup as soon as you get to work, and at the top of every hour, simply drink the remaining water and refill.
This method will keep your water intake consistent throughout your workday.
10. Sip Throughout the Day
Sipping on water consistently throughout the day is another easy way to help you meet your fluid goals.
Keep a glass of water or a reusable bottle nearby and within your line of sight for a constant visual reminder to take a sip.
11. Eat More Foods High in Water
One simple way to get more water is to eat more foods that are high in water.
- Lettuce: 96% water
- Celery: 95% water
- Zucchini: 95% water
- Cabbage: 92% water
- Watermelon: 91% water
- Cantaloupe: 90% water
- Honeydew melon: 90% water
In addition to their high fluid content, these fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that promote your overall health.
12. Drink One Glass of Water When You Wake Up and Before Bed
An easy way to boost your water intake is to simply drink one glass when you wake up and another before you go to bed.
A glass of cold water in the morning may help wake you up and boost your alertness (28Trusted Source).
The Bottom Line
Adequate water intake is essential to good health.
The National Academy of Medicine estimates that most people need 90–125 ounces (2,700–3,700 ml) of fluid per day, including fluid from water, other beverages, and food.
However, it can be difficult to drink water habitually, especially if you are busy, regularly forget to drink, or dislike the taste of water.
Choosing from these 12 simple tips can help you boost your daily water intake.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Healthline.
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Since even moderate-intensity workouts offer a slew of benefits, walking is a good choice for people looking to stay healthy.
How to Rock Your Walk<p>Walking isn't just fun and healthy. It's accessible.</p><p>"Walking is cheap," says Dr. John Paul H. Rue, a sports medicine doctor at <a href="https://mdmercy.com/" target="_blank">Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore</a>. "You can do it anywhere at any time; [it] requires little to no special equipment and has many of the same cardio benefits as running or other more intense workouts."</p><p>Want to up your walking game? Try the tips below.</p>
Use Hand Weights<p>Cardio and strength training can go hand-in-hand when you add weights to your walk.</p><p>A <a href="https://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/Fulltext/2019/03000/Associations_of_Resistance_Exercise_with.14.aspx" target="_blank">2019 study</a> found that weight training is good for your heart, and <a href="https://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(17)30167-2/abstract" target="_blank">research</a> shows it reduces the risk of developing a <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/nutrition-metabolism-disorders" target="_blank">metabolic disorder</a> by 17 percent. People with metabolic disorders have a higher chance of being diagnosed with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes.</p><p>Rue suggests not carrying weights for your entire walk.</p><p>"Hand weights can give you an added level of energy burning, but you have to be careful with these because carrying [them] over a long period of time or while walking could actually lead to some overuse injuries," he says.</p>
Make It a Circuit<p>As another option, consider doing a circuit. First, put a pair of dumbbells on your lawn or somewhere in your home. Walk around the block once, then stop and do some bicep curls and tricep lifts before walking around the block again.</p><p>Rue recommends <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/exercise-fitness/running-with-weights" target="_blank">avoiding ankle weights</a> during cardio workouts, as they force you to use your quadriceps rather than hamstrings. They can also cause muscle imbalance, according to the <a href="https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/wearable-weights-how-they-can-help-or-hurt" target="_blank">Harvard Health Letter</a>.</p>
Find a Fitness Trail<p>Strength training isn't limited to weights. You can get stronger by <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/bodyweight-workout" target="_blank">simply using your body</a>.</p><p>Often found at parks, fitness trails are obstacle courses with equipment for pullups, pushups, rowing, and stretches to build upper and lower body strength.</p><p>Try searching "fitness trails near me" online, checking out your local parks and recreation website, or calling the municipal office to <a href="https://calisthenics-parks.com/" target="_blank">find one</a>.</p>
Recruit a Friend<p>People who workout together stay healthy together.</p><p><a href="https://bmcgeriatr.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12877-017-0584-3" target="_blank">One study</a> showed that older adults who exercised with a group improved or maintained their functional health and enjoyed their lives more.</p><p>Enlist the help of a walking buddy with a regimen you aspire to have. If you don't know anyone in your area, apps like <a href="https://www.strava.com/" target="_blank">Strava</a> have social networking features so you can get support from fellow exercisers.</p>
Try Meditation<p>According to the <a href="https://www.nccih.nih.gov/research/statistics/nhis/2017" target="_blank">2017 National Health Interview Survey</a>, published by the National Institutes of Health, meditation is on the rise, and for good reason.</p><p>Researchers <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29616846/" target="_blank">found</a> that mind-body relaxation practices can regulate inflammation, <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/biological-rhythms" target="_blank">circadian rhythms</a>, and <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/glucose" target="_blank">glucose</a> metabolism, as well as lower <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/high-blood-pressure-hypertension" target="_blank">blood pressure</a>.</p><p>"Any form of exercise can be turned into a meditation of some type, either by the surroundings you are walking in, like a park or trail, or by blocking out the outside world with music on your headphones," Rue says.</p><p>You can also play a podcast or download an app like <a href="https://www.headspace.com/headspace-meditation-app" target="_blank">Headspace</a> that has a library of guided meditations to practice while you walk.</p>
Do Fartlek Walks<p>Typically used in running, fartlek intervals alternate periods of increased and decreased speed. These are <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-hiit" target="_blank">high-intensity interval training (HIIT)</a> workouts, which allow exercisers to accomplish more in less time.</p><p><a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0154075" target="_blank">One study</a> showed that 10-minute interval training improved <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/metabolic-syndrome" target="_blank">cardiometabolic</a> health, or lowered the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, just as well as working out at a continuous pace for 50 minutes.</p><p><a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0111489" target="_blank">Research</a> also shows that HIIT workouts increase muscle <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/fast-twitch-muscles" target="_blank">oxidative</a> capacity, or the ability to use oxygen. To do a fartlek walk, try walking at an increased pace for 3 minutes, slow down for 2 minutes, and repeat.</p>
Gradually Increase Pace<p>A faster walking pace is associated with a lower risk of <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/copd" target="_blank">chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)</a> and respiratory diseases, according to a <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30303933/" target="_blank">2019 study</a>.</p><p>Still, it's best not to go from a stroll to an Olympic-worthy power walk in a day. Instead, increase your pace gradually to prevent injury.</p><p>"Start by walking at a brisk pace for about 10 minutes per day, 3 to 5 days per week," Rue says. "Once you've done this for a few weeks, increase your time by 5 to 10 minutes per day until you get to 30 minutes."</p>
Add Stairs<p>You've likely heard that taking the stairs instead of an elevator is a way to add more movement into your daily routine. It's also a way to step up your walking. Stair climbing has been shown to <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211335519301123?via%3Dihub" target="_blank">decrease the risk of mortality</a> and can easily add a bit more challenge to your walk.</p><p>If you don't have stairs in your home, you can often find them outside a local municipal building, train station, or at a high school stadium.</p>
Is Your Walk a True Cardio Workout?<p>Not all walks are equal. A walk that's too leisurely may not provide enough burn to qualify as cardio. To see if you're getting a good workout, try to <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-check-heart-rate" target="_blank">measure your heart rate</a> using a monitor.</p><p>"A target goal for a good walking workout heart rate is about 50 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate," Rue says, adding that maximum heart rate is <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/fat-burning-heart-rate" target="_blank">typically calculated</a> by 220 beats per minute minus your age.</p><p>You can also monitor how easily you can carry on a conversation while you walk to gauge your heart rate.</p><p>"If you can walk and carry on a normal conversation, that's probably a lower intensity walk," says Rue. "If you are slightly breathless but can still have a conversation, that's probably a moderate workout. If you are out of breath and can't talk normally, that's a vigorous workout."</p>
Takeaway<p>By shaking up your routine, you can add excitement to your workout and reap even more rewards than a basic walk provides. Increasing the pace and intensity of a workout will make it more effective.</p><p>Simply pick your favorite variation to add some spice to your next walk.</p>
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