There are 2 main determinants of your health that I believe contribute the most to our longevity. As you age, your body is more heavily influenced by your internal and external surroundings. Both can lessen your vitality and increase levels of radical oxygen species, contributing to cancers, Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease, and other metabolic diseases. However, you have the potential for great longevity, as long as you are mindful of your day-to-day choices, specifically hydration, and movement.
Your brain is composed of 80% water, muscles 76%, and skin 64% water. When you do the calculations, water is what makes up over half of our body! Does this make sense now why one of the first questions I ask my clients who have headaches, fatigue, or memory issues is “what is your hydration like?” Water is one of the most essential determinants of our health because our bodies and the foods that we eat (plants, animals) all NEED water to survive.
What are some ways you can stay hydrated? First, carry a water bottle with you wherever you go. If you don’t like water plain, add a couple of slices of lemon, blueberries, or strawberries to provide natural flavors and antioxidants. Another way to increase water intake is through fruit consumption. Eat hydrating fruits from the berry family, watermelon, pineapple, apples, and others to provide hydration.
Additionally, they have constituents that help fight inflammation throughout the body, lowering your risk of disease. Consuming vegetables like cucumbers, peppers, zucchini, lettuce, and carrots offer a range of vitamins and provide immune-boosting potential for the body.
Can you have too much water? Ideally, we want to aim for half of our body weight in fluid ounces of water. If you exercise or drink coffee, alcohol, or black tea, you have to make up for those losses and add to your daily water intake. If you are someone with low kidney function, speak with your doctor about your optimal hydration levels to keep excess fluid from building up in your body.
We are vibrational beings—every cell in our body has a charge and a frequency to maintain. When we have a buildup of body charge, we are designed to naturally expend it, and one of the ways to do so is by moving. Movement is more than just releasing energy, it is also therapeutic.
Movement helps lubricate joints, strengthen our cardiovascular system, and improve immune response and lymphatic flow. Hydration helps these as well. When you enjoy movement outside in the sun and amongst fresh air, the benefits of movement or exercise amplify. The sun has a powerful effect on our hormones and vitamin D status. Fresh air provides an opportunity to cleanse the respiratory tract and expand mind clarity through our breath.
If you hate the word exercise like me, here are some ways you can move to help you be vital: dance by yourself or with your partner, go for a walk outside, swim in a pool or lake, ride a bike around town, or go shopping (yes, I just gave you permission to go shopping.) Oh, and don’t forget to your water to keep your hydration levels up!
I hope this has encouraged you to start moving and drinking towards your future as a vital being!
Sofia Adams, ND
My name is Sofia Adams and I am a naturopathic doctor at Vale of Health, a virtual naturopathic consulting practice. I have specialized in homeopathy and lifestyle modifications to optimize vitality and individualize care for a variety of health concerns. It is my duty to help ignite the self-healing mechanisms each one of us contains by addressing the foundational determinants of our health and provide holistic recommendations that create a driving force for our body to regain our health. When I am not helping clients, I enjoy working with my husband on our farm, gardening, and trying new recipes in our kitchen.