By Liz Blood
A little over a year ago, Morgun Frejo, a member of the Pawnee, Otoe-Missouria, Navajo nations, began camping at Oceti Sakowin at Standing Rock. The Missouri River is sacred to both his Pawnee and Otoe-Missouria tribes and Frejo recalls elders in both tribes telling him stories of its importance as a child.
He lived at Standing Rock from mid-August 2016 to late February 2017, just before the camp was evicted and closed by the National Guard and local law enforcement.
Tom Goldtooth: 'They Cannot Extinguish the Fire That #StandingRock Started' https://t.co/dVzhsGhjKZ @IENearth @StandingRockST @MarkRuffalo— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1487945021.0
When I first saw Frejo, he was working camp security at the main gate—informing people no weapons or alcohol were allowed in the camp. Occasionally, security volunteers were asked to close the gate, or only let in a certain amount of people. They also escorted people out of camp when needed, and walked with participants in the marches.
"The main focus was the safety of everyone participating in a march," said Frejo. "So, we acted as a kind of wall between the people there and the cops, to make sure no one on our side started anything, like an agitator. We made sure we were there in unity. There would be some people who went to a march ready to be pepper-sprayed. Masked up, not showing skin, looking suspicious—when everyone else would be moms, children, elders, people in their regular clothes."
In September 2016, Frejo was arrested, along with his uncle and several others. The police had pictures of Frejo walking away from some construction material with equipment that he could have used to lock himself to it. He was charged with disorderly conduct, criminal trespassing, conspiracy to commit reckless endangerment (a class C felony), and conspiracy to obstruct government function. Morgun maintains he never locked himself to any machinery. His court date was scheduled for August 18, but the charges were dropped a few days before he was scheduled to appear.
I met Frejo when I was reporting on Standing Rock for The Tulsa Voice. He was tight-lipped that day; he didn't seem to care to talk to me or the photographer accompanying me. The acquaintances who introduced us said Frejo had been a lot of help working security at camp.
One night in November, not long after I returned home from Standing Rock, a helicopter circled the area of Tulsa that I live in. My eyes snapped open in the dark. I lay there anxious. I thought of the people still camped in the cold by the river. They experienced that every single night, for most hours of the night, for months on end. Floodlights poured into camp, helicopters and small planes circled over it—intimidation and sleep deprivation tactics. I was there only two nights. How would any of them feel when they ever heard a helicopter at night again?
When I heard that Frejo had returned to Oklahoma after Standing Rock was shut down, I wanted to ask if he was open to speaking to me. He was the only person I knew of who had been there for nearly the entire arc of the camp. What the rest of the world watched transpire on poor cell phone videos and in Facebook updates he had experienced in person.
Frejo and I talked about what was life changing—good and bad—about Standing Rock, what changed while he was there, and what survives after the physical camp is gone.
LIZ BLOOD: Over the time you were at Standing Rock, between August 2016 and February 2017, how did you see the camp change?
MORGUN FREJO: I saw a lot change. The first sight of it, all the teepees and the camps … it was a beautiful sight to see all those tribes and nations come together. The grass was like up to above our knees and a little lawnmower was going around camp so people could make little camps. Towards the end of that month into September I was seeing more and more people coming, seeing different areas being occupied by different tribes.
Then there was the incident when they dug up those graves over the hill from camp. That was one of the first turning points. We had heard they can't go there, they can't bulldoze there, that they were still getting their papers. They were told there were burial sites up there. But they went up there and tore it all up.
A few of us jumped over the fence. My uncle got taken down by one of the security guards; that's when everyone just kind of rushed in, to not only protect him but just push off the workers there. I remember walking where they turned up the ground. A bunch of the worker's trucks were stuck in that mud. People started surrounding them and telling them to leave. One guy almost hit a woman. He got stuck and gunned it and almost hit her.
I was right behind the first row of people just going face to face with those dogs. The way the handlers were using them, they were trying to attack us. I wasn't surprised or scared—it was almost calming. I felt like I'd been in that situation before, but I never have in my life. I talked to others and my uncle about it and he said it's in our genetics—it's in our DNA because of when our ancestors went through it. The best way I can describe is the colonizers, they had dogs. They terrorized villages. They used dogs to attack people. That experience is embedded along with all of the other tragedies and misfortune we've been dealt. We've been dealing with this for hundreds of years. So even though we were scared, we were comfortable.
Then, in October, there were more people in camp. There were more police. They were militarized. I won't say they were antagonizing us but they knew where to push our buttons, not as individuals but like as a camp, also.
Camp shifted the day north camp got raided. A lot of people got arrested. That camp was treaty land that was promised to the tribe. That's why people moved up there. But where that was also a protected route for the pipeline, so it was also a blockade camp.
They rounded those people up like cattle—pulling them out of their teepees. I had family that got arrested there. Some got pulled out of a prayer circle. A lot of their sacred items got desecrated. It's saddening to know how Martin County and whoever else handled what is held sacred and precious. I heard stories of them desecrating it with urine, dumping it all on the ground as if it was already trash.
When Thanksgiving came around, that's when it started getting colder. Month by month, what I noticed personally, was the spirituality—people were coming for the wrong reasons.
BLOOD: This was a change you were seeing?
FREJO: Yeah. Why I went there was for that water, you know, because that water is us, we are that water. We are made of it. I wanted to go there and pray with that water because not only is the Missouri a powerful river—but me, as a Pawnee and Otoe-Missouria Indian in Oklahoma—that same river that flows up north flows through here. It's a sacred river to us, too.
But some that came for that call they put out—we need more people, we need more bodies, come stand on the front line, show your support that way—that's when the mentality of camp teetered. Before it was about spirituality, listening to the elders, following a protocol of being visitors, respecting their tribe.
Then it goes to we have to stop this pipeline. That was always the goal but spirituality was a main factor. It turned into yelling on the front lines, calling cops names, pigs, cussing them out. Before October, there was none of that.
There was chanting of Mni Wiconi, you know, water is life. Spirituality, prayers and singing. Then to have to wear a ballistic vest, or walk up with a plastic shield, or goggles and a face mask so you won't get sprayed in your face with mace or a rubber bullet, you know. People were saying Morton County had the OK to use live rounds, live ammo—instead of pepper spray. That's what was being spread around the front line. I think that's when people started bringing in ballistic vests. Being on those front lines, just being there, made you a target. It wasn't about being ready to take them on, it was about being ready for whatever they were going to do.
The spirituality of it was lost more and more in the sight of the people that were there. That's one of the major changes I saw. It was a lot of factors … the police escalating things, us, or certain individuals in camp that took it upon themselves to think that they were doing something justly. The cold coming in, elders leaving—or elders going so they could stay safe, you know. I think most of the camp wasn't fully prepared for winterizing.
BLOOD: How are you dealing with not being there—a place where everyone was there for, if not the same, at least a similar reason?
FREJO: It's an adjustment. It's a big adjustment. Just yesterday me and my girlfriend were cooking and she mentioned it to me. She was like, "I miss that propane"—like the smell of propane, having to make sure if the tank was empty to change it out. And having a big camp bonfire, like a campfire any night or any moment for no reason. I miss it a lot. Not only focusing on like stopping the pipeline but just being there, being unified with other people for the same cause of clean water. Everyone there not judging. We knew what we were doing and we weren't distracted.
BLOOD: This is something that, when you're just out experiencing the world now, you flash back to?
FREJO: Yeah, it's like a—it's a form of PTSD. When I was up there I got arrested, me and my uncle, and we went through our own trauma up there.
I've talked to my grandpa, who served in Vietnam. He went through crazy things. He was MIA for a while as a POW, and he escaped. After I got arrested, I went back home for a couple of weeks in October and I was talking to him and he said, "What you went through, a normal citizen that wouldn't happen to. What you went through, you're basically a warrior, a soldier now."
The way I did it is kind of frowned upon in my family's eyes because I went to jail. But they understand. They also shifted to see me as a man. They said it was good and bad. And it was along the lines of what would give you PTSD. He told me it wasn't like what he did, but it was affecting me, taking a toll.
Even seeing a small airplane or helicopter kind of makes me uneasy, but at the same time I miss that sound because we heard it all day and all night at that camp. One of the major things that used to kind of get me was the sound of a drum, hearing that outside of camp brought up a lot of feelings.
I'm still working through my own things. From talking to other people that were up there, it's not only things like that that trigger, it's that feeling of loneliness or depression … not feeling useful or having a purpose anymore because at camp everyone had a purpose.
BLOOD: So even the feeling can then be triggering. Is that what you're saying?
FREJO: Yeah. That's what hits me personally and some others that I know … that everyone's just kind of feeling useless or empty or just alone like no one understands. I still deal with the depression of missing camp, not knowing how to deal with society.
My anxiety builds up over time and sometimes hits me a lot, like for a night. That feeling of being paranoid. I try not to be mad at myself for feeling like that. I think, I'm out of camp so I shouldn't feel like this anymore. But I'm starting to realize every person who went to camp, no matter what they heard or saw or experienced—we won't fully heal from that, because we're still feeling what our ancestors felt. It's like coming to terms and being at peace, and understand all that, to try to find a healthy way to let it go or deal with it.
Just about every time I open up Facebook, you know, I'm seeing someone that I know from camp posting about what they're going through and they're wondering if everyone else or anyone else feels like that. It's an epidemic that we all have. Everything that happened up there takes a toll and it's gonna take time to heal.
Thinking about it now, it's crazy to think about two or three days of not really eating, drinking, or barely sleeping. I reflect and know I did that for the right reasons. I wasn't out partying or going on a bender. I wasn't thinking about eating or drinking water, either, but when I did I loaded up because I didn't know when the next time would be. But I didn't worry about it, either.
You know, what I was a part of up there in Standing Rock, it woke up the world. There's other camps everywhere now. There's people taking on big oil companies. There's marches. There's rallies. People are waking up to what has been happening here in Oklahoma for over a decade.
BLOOD: Where are you at right now?
FREJO: I'm working on myself—emotionally, physically and spiritually, and knowing what I can do and when I can do it. I know that, how many people have seen the light on what's going on and what's happening. It's an amazing feeling to know that there's so many people, not only in the U.S., but all over the world, that come up with inventions or a new way to get away from fossil fuels. I feel small but at the same time I'm part of something way bigger.
I have to take a step back. I know that I can't do much or I can't do what I truly want until I know that me and what I hold dear to me are ready. So I'm kind of keeping an eye on everything, but at the same time trying to take time for myself to make sure I heal and just be ready for whatever opportunities I have in the future.
BLOOD: How are people who are now gone from camp continuing to support each other?
FREJO: Keeping in touch with other protectors or other people from camp. I think that's one of the major ones. A lot of them are … just continuing the fight, going wherever they can or showing support where they can. I think a lot of them are trying to keep that momentum. But it's really hard because just that feeling of, you know, no on will understand. No one gets it.
But at the same time, it's up to the individual to either reach out or accept someone trying to support them … I know what else is out there. When they don't take that road they go to self comforting, what they know. It could be alcohol, drugs, self harm or harming others. That's a big problem, too, because a lot of natives, not only on reservations or in a small town, sometimes where we live, it's just overbearing. It's depressing … there's a lot of suicides. Just that hope, you know, of what it was like in camp. And then you go back to where you're from and there are people that, you know, they're like, "Why'd you go up there?" That doesn't involve us. It's really rough.
But as water protectors, and as a human race—have that compassion of reaching out to someone. They may look like they're having a good time or they're enjoying themselves but who knows what they're feeling on the inside … they could have a whole story that no one knows about.
Here, I walk to the gas station, or Wal-Mart, or the store and no one makes eye contact. They've got their ear buds in. No one wants to give you the time of day to look at you. But at Standing Rock man, you'd wake up, get out of your tent, someone's walking by—hey, good morning, how you doing? Even when everybody just woke up … you could walk around camp and someone would offer you coffee and you'd sit there and get to know them.
That's a major difference I'm still trying to get used to. Because before Standing Rock I was like that, you know, I wouldn't look at people. I'd just do what I had to do and then leave … but after Standing Rock I look at people, I'll give 'em like a little nod and be like, "Hey, how ya doin?"
That little interaction of just saying hi or smiling at someone, you know? Maybe they're going through a rough day. I know when someone does that back I feel better. I like seeing someone else smile. Maybe they'll do it to the next person. Just that little happiness makes the world a little bit better.
Reposted with permission from our media associate SIERRA magazine.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By James Shulmeister
Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change.
If you have a question you'd like an expert to answer, please send it to email@example.com
What was the climate and sea level like at times in Earth’s history when carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was at 400ppm?<p>The last time global carbon dioxide levels were consistently at or above 400 parts per million (ppm) was around <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/nature14145" target="_blank">four million years ago</a> during a geological period known as the <a href="http://www.geologypage.com/2014/05/pliocene-epoch.html" target="_blank">Pliocene Era</a> (between 5.3 million and 2.6 million years ago). The world was about 3℃ warmer and sea levels were higher than today.</p><p>We know how much carbon dioxide the atmosphere contained in the past by studying ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica. As compacted snow gradually changes to ice, it traps air in bubbles that contain <a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/annals-of-glaciology/article/enclosure-of-air-during-metamorphosis-of-dry-firn-to-ice/09D9C60A8DA412D16645E6E6ABC1892F" target="_blank">samples of the atmosphere at the time</a>. We can sample ice cores to reconstruct past concentrations of carbon dioxide, but this record only takes us back about a million years.</p><p>Beyond a million years, we don't have any direct measurements of the composition of ancient atmospheres, but we can use several methods to estimate past levels of carbon dioxide. One method uses the relationship between plant pores, known as stomata, that regulate gas exchange in and out of the plant. The density of these stomata is <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/095968369200200109" target="_blank">related to atmospheric carbon dioxide</a>, and fossil plants are a good indicator of concentrations in the past.</p><p>Another technique is to examine sediment cores from the ocean floor. The sediments build up year after year as the bodies and shells of dead plankton and other organisms rain down on the seafloor. We can use isotopes (chemically identical atoms that differ only in atomic weight) of boron taken from the shells of the dead plankton to reconstruct changes in the acidity of seawater. From this we can work out the level of carbon dioxide in the ocean.</p><p>The data from four-million-year-old sediments suggest that <a href="https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2010PA002055" target="_blank">carbon dioxide was at 400ppm back then</a>.</p>
Sea Levels and Changes in Antarctica<p>During colder periods in Earth's history, ice caps and glaciers grow and sea levels drop. In the recent geological past, during the most recent ice age about 20,000 years ago, sea levels were at least <a href="https://science.sciencemag.org/content/292/5517/679.abstract" target="_blank">120 meters lower</a> than they are today.</p><p><span></span>Sea-level changes are calculated from changes in isotopes of oxygen in the shells of marine organisms. For the Pliocene Era, <a href="https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2004PA001071" target="_blank">research</a> shows the sea-level change between cooler and warmer periods was around 30-40 meters and sea level was higher than today. Also during the Pliocene, we know the West Antarctic Ice Sheet was <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/nature07867" target="_blank">significantly smaller</a> and global average temperatures were about 3℃ warmer than today. Summer temperatures in high northern latitudes were up to 14℃ warmer.</p><p>This may seem like a lot but modern observations show strong <a href="https://journals.ametsoc.org/jcli/article/23/14/3888/32547" target="_blank">polar amplification</a> of warming: a 1℃ increase at the equator may raise temperatures at the poles by 6-7℃. It is one of the reasons why Arctic sea ice is disappearing.</p>
Impacts in New Zealand and Australia<p>In the Australian region, there was no Great Barrier Reef, but there may have been <a href="https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/BF02537376.pdf" target="_blank">smaller reefs along the northeast coast of Australia</a>. For New Zealand, the partial melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is probably the most critical point.</p><p>One of the key features of New Zealand's current climate is that Antarctica is cut off from global circulation during the winter because of the big <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3402/tellusa.v54i5.12161" target="_blank">temperature contrast</a> between Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. When it comes back into circulation in springtime, New Zealand gets strong storms. Stormier winters and significantly warmer summers were likely in the mid-Pliocene because of a weaker polar vortex and a warmer Antarctica.</p><p>It will take more than a few years or decades of carbon dioxide concentrations at 400ppm to trigger a significant shrinking of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. But recent studies show that <a href="http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/521027/" target="_blank">West Antarctica is already melting</a>.</p><p>Sea-level rise from a partial melting of West Antarctica could easily exceed a meter or more by 2100. In fact, if the whole of the West Antarctic melted it could <a href="http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.695.7239&rep=rep1&type=pdf" target="_blank">raise sea levels by about 3.5 meters</a>. Even smaller increases raise the risk of <a href="https://www.pce.parliament.nz/publications/preparing-new-zealand-for-rising-seas-certainty-and-uncertainty" target="_blank">flooding in low-lying cities</a> including Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington.</p>
- Scientists Sound the Alarm: CO2 Levels Race Past Point of No Return ›
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By Jo Harper
Investment in U.S. offshore wind projects are set to hit $78 billion (€69 billion) this decade, in contrast with an estimated $82 billion for U.S. offshore oil and gasoline projects, Wood Mackenzie data shows. This would be a remarkable feat only four years after the first offshore wind plant — the 30 megawatt (MW) Block Island Wind Farm off the coast of Rhode Island — started operating in U.S. waters.
Corporates Shift<p>Helping to drive offshore growth, U.S. corporate buyers <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/cities-leading-the-transition-to-renewables/a-42850621" target="_blank">are increasingly relying on wind energy to power their businesses</a>. Walmart and AT&T are the two top corporate wind buyers, while 14 newcomers entered the wind market in 2019, including Estée Lauder and McDonald's.</p><p>"Oil and gas companies have jumped into the U.S. offshore wind market, where they can transfer expertise in offshore fossil fuel development to clean energy investments," says Max Cohen, principal analyst, Americas Power & Renewable research at Wood Mackenzie. Many international oil and gas companies have already recognized this huge potential and entered the US offshore wind market, including Orsted, Equinor and Shell.</p><p>"Given the recent tumult in oil prices, fossil fuel companies may more and more be looking to diversify their portfolios, particularly with assets that are contracted or offer returns uncorrelated with oil and gas," Cohen says. "Offshore wind is an area where they may have a comparative advantage, and they can then leverage the experience with that technology to make the leap to onshore wind, solar, and other renewable technologies," he says.</p>
East Coast leads the way<p>"There is enormous opportunity, especially off the East Coast, for wind. I am very bullish," said former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. "Market excitement is moving towards offshore wind. I haven't seen this kind of enthusiasm from industry since the Bakken shale boom," he said.</p><p>Offshore wind initiatives require excessive upfront spending: a 250 MW venture costs about $1 billion, based on International Energy Agency data, but as costs fall the tipping point after which costs fall faster gets nearer</p><p>"The opportunity has been created by Northeastern states seeing the large price declines for offshore wind in Europe," says Cohen. Onshore wind is historically the lowest cost renewable resource, but is at its most expensive in the Northeast, he adds. "But costs are falling slower than for other technologies," he says.</p>
Jobs and Coastal Revitalization<p>U.S. wind energy now supports 120,000 US jobs and 530 domestic factories. A study by the University of Delaware predicted that the supply chain needed to build offshore turbines to feed power to seven East Coast states by 2030 would generate nearly $70 billion in economic activity and at least 40,000 full-time jobs. An American Wind Energy Association's (AWEA's) March 2020 report estimated that developing 30,000 MW of offshore wind along the East Coast could support up to 83,000 jobs and $25 billion in annual economic output by 2030.</p><p>Having said that, not all of the jobs are American jobs. The offshore wind developers with commercial leases in the US are all foreign companies. There is growing interest from the shipbuilding sector in the Gulf of Mexico in partnering with offshore wind companies to provide services. As a result, some of the US oil trade associations have submitted comments supporting certain aspects of offshore wind. "However, it is unclear to what extent offshore wind developers plan to use US vessels and crew, and the existing projects did not incorporate US vessels or labor at all," Hawkins says.</p>
- World's Cheapest Offshore Wind Farm to Power 600,000 Homes ... ›
- Offshore Wind Power Could Produce More Electricity Than World ... ›
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed both the strengths and limitations of globalization. The crisis has made people aware of how industrialized food production can be, and just how far food can travel to get to the local supermarket. There are many benefits to this system, including low prices for consumers and larger, even global, markets for producers. But there are also costs — to the environment, workers, small farmers and to a region or individual nation's food security.
- UN: Acute Food Shortages Worldwide May Double Due to COVID-19 ›
- The Climate Crisis Is 'a Perfect Storm' Headed for the World's Food ... ›
By Joe Leech
The human body comprises around 60% water.
It's commonly recommended that you drink eight 8-ounce (237-mL) glasses of water per day (the 8×8 rule).
1. Helps Maximize Physical Performance<p>If you don't stay hydrated, your physical performance can suffer.</p><p>This is particularly important during intense exercise or high heat.</p><p>Dehydration can have <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-tell-if-youre-dehydrated" target="_blank">a noticeable effect</a> if you lose as little as 2% of your body's water content. However, it isn't uncommon for athletes to lose as much as 6–10% of their water weight via sweat.</p><p>This can lead to altered body temperature control, reduced motivation, and increased fatigue. It can also make exercise feel much more difficult, both physically and mentally.</p><p>Optimal hydration has been shown to prevent this from happening, and it may even reduce the <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/oxidative-stress" target="_blank">oxidative stress</a> that occurs during high intensity exercise. This isn't surprising when you consider that muscle is about 80% water.<a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19344695" target="_blank"><span></span></a></p><p>If you exercise intensely and tend to sweat, staying hydrated can help you perform at your absolute best.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Losing as little as 2% of your body's water content can significantly impair your physical performance.</p>
2. Significantly Affects Energy Levels and Brain Function<p>Your brain is strongly influenced by your hydration status.</p><p>Studies show that even mild dehydration, such as the loss of 1–3% of body weight, can impair many aspects of brain function.</p><p>In a study in young women, researchers found that fluid loss of 1.4% after exercise impaired both mood and concentration. It also increased the frequency of headaches.</p><p>Many members of this same research team conducted a similar study in young men. They found that fluid loss of 1.6% was detrimental to working memory and increased feelings of anxiety and fatigue.<a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition/article/mild-dehydration-impairs-cognitive-performance-and-mood-of-men/3388AB36B8DF73E844C9AD19271A75BF/core-reader" target="_blank"></a></p><p>A fluid loss of 1–3% equals about 1.5–4.5 pounds (0.5–2 kg) of body weight loss for a person weighing 150 pounds (68 kg). This can easily occur through normal daily activities, let alone during exercise or high heat.</p><p>Many other studies, with subjects ranging from <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/signs-of-dehydration-in-toddlers" target="_blank">children</a> to <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/symptoms-of-dehydration-in-elderly" target="_blank">older adults</a>, have shown that mild dehydration can impair mood, memory, and brain performance.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Mild dehydration (fluid loss of 1–3%) can impair energy levels, impair mood, and lead to major reductions in memory and brain performance.</p>
3. May Help Prevent and Treat Headaches<p>Dehydration can trigger <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/dehydration-headache" target="_blank">headaches</a> and migraine in some individuals.<span></span></p><p>Research has shown that a headache is one of the most common symptoms of dehydration. For example, a study in 393 people found that 40% of the participants experienced a headache as a result of dehydration.</p><p>What's more, some studies have shown that drinking water can help relieve headaches in those who experience frequent headaches.</p><p>A study in 102 men found that drinking an additional 50.7 ounces (1.5 liters) of water per day resulted in significant improvements on the Migraine-Specific Quality of Life scale, a scoring system for <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/migraine-symptoms" target="_blank">migraine symptoms</a>.<a href="https://academic.oup.com/fampra/article/29/4/370/492787" target="_blank"></a></p><p>Plus, 47% of the men who drank more water reported headache improvement, while only 25% of the men in the control group reported this effect.<a href="https://academic.oup.com/fampra/article/29/4/370/492787" target="_blank"></a></p><p>However, not all studies agree, and researchers have concluded that because of the lack of high quality studies, more research is needed to confirm how increasing hydration may help improve headache symptoms and decrease headache frequency.<a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26200171" target="_blank"></a></p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Drinking water may help reduce headaches and headache symptoms. However, more high quality research is needed to confirm this potential benefit.</p>
4. May Help Relieve Constipation<p><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/constipation" target="_blank">Constipation</a> is a common problem that's characterized by infrequent bowel movements and difficulty passing stool.</p><p>Increasing fluid intake is often recommended as a part of the treatment protocol, and there's some evidence to back this up.</p><p>Low water consumption appears to be a risk factor for constipation in both younger and older individuals.</p><p>Increasing hydration may help decrease constipation.</p><p><a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/mineral-water-benefits" target="_blank">Mineral water</a> may be a particularly beneficial beverage for those with constipation.</p><p>Studies have shown that mineral water that's rich in magnesium and sodium improves bowel movement frequency and consistency in people with constipation.<a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5334415" target="_blank"></a></p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Drinking plenty of water may help prevent and relieve constipation, especially in people who generally don't drink enough water.</p>
5. May Help Treat Kidney Stones<p>Urinary stones are painful clumps of mineral crystal that form in the urinary system.</p><p>The most common form is <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/kidney-stones" target="_blank">kidney stones</a>, which form in the kidneys.</p><p>There's limited evidence that water intake can help prevent recurrence in people who have previously gotten kidney stones.<a href="https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD004292.pub3/full" target="_blank"></a></p><p>Higher fluid intake increases the volume of urine passing through the kidneys. This dilutes the concentration of minerals, so they're less likely to crystallize and form clumps.</p><p>Water may also help prevent the initial formation of stones, but studies are required to confirm this.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Increased water intake appears to decrease the risk of kidney stone formation.</p>
6. Helps Prevent Hangovers<p>A hangover refers to the unpleasant symptoms experienced after drinking <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/alcohol-good-or-bad" target="_blank">alcohol</a>.</p><p>Alcohol is a diuretic, so it makes you lose more water than you take in. This can lead to dehydration.</p><p>Although dehydration isn't the main cause of hangovers, it can cause symptoms like thirst, fatigue, headache, and dry mouth.</p><p>Good ways <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/7-ways-to-prevent-a-hangover" target="_blank">to reduce hangovers</a> are to drink a glass of water between drinks and have at least one big glass of water before going to bed.</p><p><strong>Summary</strong></p><p><strong></strong>Hangovers are partly caused by dehydration, and drinking water can help reduce some of the main symptoms of hangovers.</p>
7. Can Aid Weight Loss<p>Drinking plenty of water can help you <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-lose-weight-as-fast-as-possible/" target="_blank">lose weight</a>.</p><p>This is because water can increase satiety and boost your metabolic rate.</p><p>Some evidence suggests that increasing water intake can promote weight loss by slightly increasing your metabolism, which can increase the number of calories you burn on a daily basis.</p><p>A 2013 study in 50 young women with overweight demonstrated that drinking an additional 16.9 ounces (500 mL) of water 3 times per day before meals for 8 weeks led to significant reductions in body weight and body fat compared with their pre-study measurements.</p><p>The timing is important too. Drinking water half an hour before meals is the most effective. It can make you feel more full so that you <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/35-ways-to-cut-calories" target="_blank">eat fewer calories</a>.</p><p>In one study, dieters who drank 16.9 ounces (0.5 liters) of water before meals lost 44% more weight over a period of 12 weeks than dieters who didn't drink water before meals.</p>
The Bottom Line<p>Even mild dehydration can affect you mentally and physically.</p><p>Make sure that you <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-much-water-should-you-drink-per-day" target="_blank">get enough water each day</a>, whether your personal goal is 64 ounces (1.9 liters) or a different amount. It's one of the best things you can do for your overall health.</p>
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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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