Meditation For Busy Folks

Have you ever read an article or seen a TV show exposing the benefits of meditation (lowers blood pressure, reduces stress, improves concentration) and think to yourself, ‘that’s exactly what I need!’

All of a sudden, you’re on a mission to try it. So you find a moment in your day where you’re alone and no one can bother you (good luck, right?), you close your eyes and try to erase all the crazy thoughts zooming around your head...  "Am I doing this right?  My hips are so tight.  What should I cook for dinner? My posture sucks. I don't have time for this." You eventually give up after a few minutes and vow that meditation isn't for you. Or maybe you've done none of this and have always wanted to start meditating.

I get it.  Meditating can be tricky when you don’t have a plan in place, but I have just the thing for you. In today’s video, Meditating for Busy Folks,  I’m sharing with you my no-fail meditation trick to get you feeling zen and relaxed in less than 5 MINUTES!

Our schedules are so packed with meetings, deadlines, errands, etc.  that we need to find pockets of time that would normally go wasted in our day and use them to inject some healthy habits. Here’s to turning over a new leaf and making this ancient tradition a permanent fixture in your daily routine. Let me know when you try it!

5 Ways to Drink More Water

October 2007 | Chicago Marathon
As I waited for the gun shot to signal the beginning of my second full marathon, I felt beads of sweat roll down my back. The temperature was almost 90 degrees and it was only 8am in the morning.  They were calling it the hottest marathon day in Chicago history. I wouldn't need the gloves or thermal jacket I packed to get me through the race, I would need something more vital: water.

I was around mile 13 when they called the race off. Concerned residents were bringing out ice bags and cups of water to help the overheated runners.  There was no water left at any of the stations. I was determined to finish so I took very small sips from my water bottle.  After six hours and 30 minutes, I crossed the finish line with dry lips, no tears and a pounding headache. I was seriously dehydrated.  I never wanted a drink of water as badly as I did that day.  

Although our day to day situations aren't as drastic as my event in Chicago, studies show that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.  That means the majority of us are walking around with symptoms such as dizziness, dull headache, dark urine, low energy, dry skin and/or tiredness. Depending on your fitness level, you should be drinking up to 8 glasses of water a day.  The more active you are the more water you'll need but 8 is the best number to keep in mind.

Question: how many glasses of water have you had today? If you're nodding your head with a big smile on your face because you are well on your way to 8 glasses then I say "kudos to you". If you can't remember drinking any water at all today, then I have just the thing for you.

Regardless of where you fall on the water test, here are 5 sneaky ways to sneak in some H2O.

1. Wake up call:  As soon as you wake up, go straight to the kitchen and drink 2 glasses of water with a squeeze of lemon.  Your body has been fasting for at least 8 hours and you need to hydrate. The brain is made up of almost 75% of water so it needs water to function at it's best. If you're a big time coffee drinker like my husband, drink the water before and wait a few minutes to see if you really need that cup of coffee.

2. Style it up: Find a portable glass bottle that has a little finesse.  You're more likely to use something everyday that looks good.  There are tons online like this one. Try to avoid plastic bottles because most of the chemicals in them are toxic and leak out into your water.  I use a mason jar I bought from Target or a huge porcelain mug I got from Starbucks.   

3. Eat your water:  I know this is a list on how to drink more water each day but by adding high water content foods like cucumbers, melons, zucchinis, oranges, etc. you sneak water in to hydrate your body. Cut up your fruit and veggies and keep them handy to snack throughout the day. 

4. Happy Hour:  It's Friday night and you just got paid and you want to have a drink or two, right?  Alcohol seriously dehydrates you so try to alternate water after every drink. If you can't do this, once you get home (ahem, after someone drives you) drink 2 glasses of water before you hit the sack. Your body and head will thank you later.

5. Spice it up: If you hate the taste of water, add some fresh fruit, herbs or spices to jazz it up.  I like to cut up lemons, oranges and mint. The trick is to put the spice/fruit/herb on the bottom of your cup, muddle them together, scoop ice on top and then add the water.  The ice will keep everything down. If you want some more recipe ideas, check out this article.

Unlike my Chicago story of being stuck in the middle of a marathon with no water, I'm pretty sure it's easier for you to get some H20 whenever you need it.  Make a pledge to yourself to incorporate more water into your daily routine. Remember, when you start to feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. If you need a reminder, set one on your phone to go off every hour to drink up.