Tuesday, July 17, 2001,
Chandigarh, India



B O D Y  &  M I N D

Water, the wonderful healer
W
ater is one of the most important ingredients of our life. In fact, the human body is composed of 65 per cent water. It is so indispensable for life that one can live only on water for days, weeks and even months. Even food is not as necessary for survival as much as water is.

Photo by Manoj MahajanAre you beating heat the right way?
Sherry Ballou Hanson
"A
cclimatisation, which takes 3-5 days, is a big issue for people who live in an area with four distinct seasons," says Cyndi Fort, Research Associate at Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research in Dallas, USA. If you live in warmer climates and exercise all year, you are probably acclimated to working out in hot weather. Or may be you belong to a health club and exercise in an air-conditioned environment.






THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
 

 

Water, the wonderful healer


DRINK 6 GLASSES A DAY COZ

  • Water relieves pain

  • Cold water stimulates organs

  • Wash hands, feel fresh

  • Copper-charged water has curative

Water is one of the most important ingredients of our life. In fact, the human body is composed of 65 per cent water. It is so indispensable for life that one can live only on water for days, weeks and even months. Even food is not as necessary for survival as much as water is.

Realising the importance of water, our forefathers made it a ritualistic part of life. Walking daily to the stream, river or village pond for their daily ablution was one such ritual.

Hydrotherapy has close links with religious beliefs too. Almost all Hindu temples are situated on riverbanks, near lakes or at least near a pond. Even mosques and gurdwaras have some source of water outside the premises for the devotees to wash their feet before entering them.

People suffering from various diseases report miraculous cures after taking ritual baths for a stipulated period in certain rivers, ponds and lakes, which abound in mineral properties. The recent Kumbh mela where millions of people took a ritualistic bath for its holy and curative values, is a case in point.

Hydrotherapy is an integral part of nature cure. All hydrotherapic treatments are intended to increase blood and lymphatic circulation, which get stagnated in the body, which cause diseases. Hot and cold water packs, and various types of baths are extensively used in treating disorders.

Cleanse your body of toxins

Would you believe that drinking six glasses of water everyday can keep you healthy and prevent all types of disorders? This practice shows spectacular results in the treatment of asthma, stubborn constipation, obesity, piles and several skin problems like acne and pimples.

Have an early dinner, say, by about 7 p.m. or so, and go to bed roughly after three hours. Do not eat or drink anything after dinner. Brush your teeth at bedtime. Rise early the next morning and sit in a comfortable and relaxed position. Drinking six glasses of water at a stretch. Remember to do this before brushing or even rinsing your mouth. (This is the reason for brushing your teeth well before sleeping). If it is difficult to drink all the six glasses at a stretch, pause after two or three glasses and then continue.

Exercise briskly or walk for 20 minutes, after which the urge to urinate will be great and you will pass large quantities of urine in quick succession. Some may even vomit and thus bring out the accumulated wastes and toxins. Passing of stools will be easy. This is a simple and effective way of cleansing the internal organs.

Water also reduces inflammation to relieve pain, eliminates toxic wastes from the body and raises or lowers body temperature according to the needs of the body. The effect and reaction of water is quicker than that of drugs in acute diseases and in the symptoms of the majority of other disorders.

Cold water stimulates the internal organs of elimination, such as the liver, kidney and bowels, and prevents congestion. When these organs do their work properly, the skin is relieved of the extra work of eliminating waste and therefore benefits too.

Washing hands not only removes dirt, but also removes tiredness. The palms and the soles of the feet contain the maximum nerve endings, which when stimulated bring a healing effect. When we walk, the blood circulation becomes brisk and the heat of the body increases and tires out the legs. Cold water relaxes the blood vessels and gets the circulation back to normal.

Water stored in copper utensils is charged with copper ions, helps to bring down high blood pressure, and relieves gastric and rheumatic problems. Copper-charged water, if taken regularly, also cures indigestion and constipation.

 

Are you beating heat the right way?
Sherry Ballou Hanson

"Acclimatisation, which takes 3-5 days, is a big issue for people who live in an area with four distinct seasons," says Cyndi Fort, Research Associate at Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research in Dallas, USA. If you live in warmer climates and exercise all year, you are probably acclimated to working out in hot weather. Or may be you belong to a health club and exercise in an air-conditioned environment. Many people, however, must adjust each spring to exercising in warm weather. Dehydration is the biggest concern.

Take the quiz below and see if you know your heat facts.

1. How often should I drink fluids?

A. Throughout the day

B. Before and after exercise

C. Intermittently during exercise

D. All of the above

2. When is the best time to exercise in hot weather?

A. Donít exercise in hot weather

B. Morning or evening

C. Late morning or early afternoon

D. Whenever you feel like a workout

3. Should intensity of workout be less in hot weather?

A. Yes

B. No

C. Only if you live in a warm area

D. It doesnít matter

4. Will pouring water over your head rehydrate you?

A. Yes

B. No

C. Only if you wear a hat, too

D. Only if you donít wear a hat

5. What fabrics are best for exercise in hot weather?

A. Cotton because it absorbs moisture

B. Sweats that make you retain heat

C. Synthetic fibres that wick moisture away from body

D. Waterproof jacket and pants

6. Should I wear a sunscreen when exercising in the sun?

A. Yes

B. No

C. Depends on how fast you are moving

D. Only if you exercise at noon

7. When is air pollution lowest?

A. Afternoon

B. Middle of the day

C. Early morning

D. Air pollution is not a concern during exercise

8. Which are signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke?

A. Disorientation, dizziness

B. Weakness, vomiting

C. Cessation of sweating

D. All of the above

9. Water is the only fluid you need to drink during exercise.

A. Yes

B. Only if you feel thirsty

C. Not necessarily

D. Donít drink fluids while exercising

10. Do I need to pay attention to the humidity level?

A. Yes

B. No

C. Only if I am going to enter a competition

D. Only if I am exercising in water.

Answers:

1. (D) You get the point. You need to maintain adequate hydration at all times. Your heart rate will run higher in hot humid weather, and you will lose more sodium than normal until you become acclimated. If you do not maintain your fluid balance you risk circulatory failure, even death, according to Ford.

2. (B) Since you have already made the decision to work out in hot weather, choose early morning or the evening hours when sun is less and heat is not as much of a factor. Mid-day is bad news; opt for working out indoors if this is the only time you have. A water workout is also an option if water feels cool to you.

3. (A) "Never try for a personal record (PR) on the hottest day of the year," suggests Ford. Whatever your sport, take heat and humidity into consideration when planning your workouts and training sessions. The American Running and Fitness Association suggests cutting intensity by 65 per cent to 75 per cent during your first workout in the heat. Then build back up to your former level over the next 10 days.

4. (B) Pouring water over your head during a workout or competition will not affect the fluid balance in your body, though it will make you feel better. Wearing a comfortable hat can help you retard dangerous heat buildup, but hydration is accomplished by drinking fluids. So pour all the water you want over yourself, but drink it too!

5. (C) You don't want to wear anything that will retain heat (sweats, waterproof garments), and cotton is not a good choice in hot, humid weather, because it holds moisture in. Wear synthetic fabrics that wick moisture away quickly and allow good airflow next to your skin.

6. (A) The effects of sun exposure are cumulative, so it is a good idea to use a sun screen. Oil based products last longer when you are wet: water based sun screens don't feel as heavy. Take your choice, but use one on parts of you that are exposed, like nose, ears, arms and shoulders, etc.

7. (C) Weather you are trying to avoid pollen, industrial pollution or auto exhaust, levels are usually lowest early in the morning. If you live in a high pollution area, or you are allergic to tree and grass pollen, make your exercise decisions accordingly. A health club would be ideal if you can't fit in a workout before midday.

8. (D) The first symptoms are usually dizziness, weakness, fatigue, followed by disorientation, nausea and vomiting. Stop exercising and get out of the sun immediately with the start of any of these symptoms and drink fluids and rest. Severe symptoms are require medical intervention at once.

9. (C) Water is best if you are working out outdoors in the heat for an hour or less, says Ford, but for longer training sessions you need to replace carbohydrates. Warmer weather causes faster metabolism of these substances, so you need to replace them with a cool carbohydrate sports drink such as Gatorade. If you don't replace fluids daily the damage can be cumulative, over days. So drink before, during and after exercise. Once you have had a heat illness you are more susceptible from then on. You never adapt to heat illness.

10. (A) "Under humid conditions your body sweats, but you are not any wetter than the air," Ford reminds us. Overheating is a real problem in humid weather because your body cannot evaporate the heat. A good breeze really helps because it dries that moisture and cools the skin.

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