Drink More Move More Challenge

January 3, 2015

As the air gets colder and drier, you may feel the same thing is happening to your skin. You may also find it harder to get motivated to exercise, especially after the holidays. This month we are focusing on hydration and health with the Drink More, Move More challenge. That is a bit of a misnomer. One of the focus points is on staying hydrated, which doesn’t necessarily mean drinking more water. I’ll explain that more as we go. The second focus is on being active every day.

Move More Drink More Pin

I have to tell you, I love challenges. I’m competitive and challenges help me to focus. I also find challenges to be fun to do with friends. You get built-in accountability and support by doing things together. So grab a friend, and join in!

Since I love making my own wellness products, I’ll be posting some hydrating skin treatments that I like. I also have some friends who have wonderful products that may interest you, so I’ll try to round up some information from them. I’ll be sure to post tips for getting in more activity, and maybe a quick workout or two to help you on your way.

Here are the goals and benefits of this challenge:

  1. Improve the look and health of your skin
    • Decreased dryness of skin
    • Decrease appearance of wrinkles
  2. Consume enough water to have pale yellow urine
    • Stay hydrated
    • Decrease caloric intake
  3. Be active for 10-30 minutes daily
    • Improve your health
    • Decrease unintended weight gain

Goal 1: Improve the look and health of your skin

When you’re dehydrated, your skin can look dry and wrinkled. Getting an adequate amount of water can help keep your skin looking healthy. The good news is that most likely you’re not dehydrated enough to cause any negative impact on your skin. What you (and nature) do to your skin on the outside also makes a difference. Exposure to excess sunlight, cold and dry air, frequent hand washing, and the use of alcohol based sanitizers can really dry you out. Try minimizing your exposure to the winter elements by wearing protective clothing, such as gloves for your hands. Another healthy skin tip is to use a moisturizer, especially after washing your hands. The moisturizer, when applied to damp skin (water again!), seals in the moisture. So, water is good for the skin, both inside and out.

Goal 2: Consume enough water to have pale yellow urine

Quote water 3 (Blog)

I believe that the primary fluid source for adults should be water, not juices or coffee. Juices often contain a lot of sugar and people often add things to their coffee, like cream and sugar. This can lead to increased caloric intake, meaning more empty calories going in, which can result in unintended weight gain. To stay hydrated, I like to count how many glasses of water I drink just to increase my awareness of how much fluid I’m taking in. I don’t have any particular goal for how many glasses I drink, I just note how much water I’ve been drinking.

When it comes to water, I don’t recommend aiming for a specific number of glasses per day. In fact, there is no specific measure of water that works for everyone, at least not according to anything I’ve read or heard.  There goes the old “8 glasses per day” recommendation. Knowing that might make you feel better. I know it made me feel better. Remember, fluids come from many places other than drinking water. You get fluid from fruits and vegetables, cooked foods such as oatmeal, and other liquids that you consume, like milk with your cereal. Also, if you get too hydrated, you can become ill. Your body needs to have a good balance of fluids. When the fluids are too high or too low it can affect things like the thickness of your blood and the rhythm of your heart. Those negative effects happen in extreme cases and are rare in healthy people.

So how do you know when you’re consuming enough water? Look at your pee. Yup. Look at it. Is it dark yellow or almost brown (brown is bad please consult a doctor about that)? Is it pale yellow to almost clear? Does it have a strong odor? The goal is to have urine that is pale yellow to almost clear with little to no odor. Oh, and if you’ve eaten something like asparagus, that is not the odor I’m talking about. It should also be noted that some foods and medications can cause your urine to get darker, so be mindful of that.

Goal 3:  Be active for 10-30 minutes daily

Being active is just that. No, you don’t have to go to a gym or do a workout DVD. You just need to do something that involves moving your body around and brings your exertion level up just a bit, maybe to a level 12-13 on the Borg scale. You can find the scale online (search: Borg RPE), but here is a breakdown of the scale rating exertion from 6-20:

6-7 is extremely light work (washing the dishes)

8-11 is very light, achieving about 50% of your maximum heart rate, no difficulty breathing (a leisurely walk)

12-14 is somewhat hard, achieving 50-69% of your maximum heart rate, able to speak in sentences (a moderately intense workout)

15-16 is hard, achieving 70-79% of your maximum heart rate, able to speak in short choppy sentences (a high intensity workout)

17-19 is very hard, achieving 80-90%+ or your maximum heart rate, able to speak in single words (so intense that you can only keep up with the activity for 30-90 seconds)

20 is maximum effort and extremely hard, achieving >90% of maximum heart rate, unable to communicate verbally (maintained for 30 seconds tops, not something I recommend doing)

These simple changes may prevent weight gain! Did you know that the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends 150 minutes a week of moderately intense activity for weight maintenance?

Getting started is easy. Simply taking a walk around your house, doing some crunches, or dancing during a commercial break all count as activity. At work you can choose to take the stairs or walk for 10 minutes during your lunch break. You could set some small goals to get you started. For example, you can set a goal of starting with 10 minutes of activity each day for week 1, 15 minutes a day for week 2, and so on, until your are up to 30 minutes of activity a day.

Now let’s get started!

Here is a sample tracking form for the challenge. Click the link below the sample for a printable tracking form to use during this challenge.

Drink More Move More Sample Tracking Sheet

Drink More Move More Tracking Sheet Download

Want to read more about this topic, as well as get a urine color chart? Click here for an article from one of the organizations that I’m certified through. I found it right after writing this article! It goes into further detail, and lines up perfectly with this challenge.

Thanks for reading. I would love to see your thoughts about this challenge in the comments section below. Don’t forget to share this article with someone you think would benefit from reading it!

~ Cece

* Any changes to your diet and activity level can impact your health. Check with a qualified health care professional to make sure that you are healthy enough to exercise, and to make sure that dietary changes are safe for you.

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