Hydrating Your Habits: Building Healthy Routines from Scratch
Don’t let the two-week myth fool you. It takes anywhere from 18 to 254 days to build a habit. It’s not as easy to start from scratch and step into a new routine as some people want you to believe. But, if you’re truly dedicated to starting fresh and fostering healthier habits in your life, it’s possible to foster a routine that not only works for you, but improves your well-being.
Building a healthy routine from scratch should start by focusing on your needs and wants. What are your health goals? Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to drink more water and improve your hydration levels? Improve your cardiovascular health, or reduce your risk of certain illnesses?
Maybe you want to focus on your mental well-being, or simply improve your mood. Maybe you want to spend more time outdoors or develop better connections with friends and family.
Whatever the case, setting goals will give you a clear picture of what you want, and you can build your routines around them. One thing to keep in mind as you start to build these routines, is that hydration can (and should) be at the core of your healthy habits.
People want to start anew and give themselves a clean slate for a variety of reasons. The most common, however, is if you’re moving to a new house or location. When you’re at this new stage in life, consider it an opportunity to start new, healthy routines. It’s an opportunity for personal growth and can help you consider what changes you really want to make. New changes can also inspire and motivate you, so it’s the perfect time to jump into new habits and see what sticks.
Healthy habits can be very personal, but a few self-care items that can be easy to insert into a daily routine include:
- Prioritizing sleep
- Getting more physical activity
- Mindfulness and meditation
- Maintaining a healthy diet
Self-care doesn’t have to be over-the-top or luxurious. It’s not something you do to spoil yourself. It’s something you should do to cover your basic needs and enjoy the mental and physical health benefits that come with it.
The Benefits of Staying Hydrated
Why is hydration such an important part of staying healthy? Why should you prioritize it as you try to build new, healthy routines? Getting enough water each day is necessary for your well-being. It regulates body temperature, keeps your organs working properly, and helps with nutrient delivery to your cells.
If you want to receive these benefits, you’ll have to make more healthy choices beyond just drinking more water in the day. For example, if you consume large amounts of alcohol, not only will you be damaging several different parts of your body such as your central nervous, digestive, and immune systems, but you’ll be damaging your renal system by unknowingly dehydrating yourself. Therefore, abstaining from drinking alcohol consistently will prevent this damage from occurring, and you will also achieve your goal of staying hydrated.
Staying hydrated will also help to keep you energized and focused. If you’re dehydrated, you might experience symptoms like:
- Dry mouth
If you’re adopting other healthy habits, like exercising more often, hydration is even more important. Exercise depletes your body of water and electrolytes, and it’s essential to replenish. Women should be drinking at least 92 ounces of water each day, and men should consume 124 ounces. If you’re working out, that number is even higher.
How To Drink More Water
Having a hard time getting into the habit of drinking enough water? That’s understandable. Some people just find it “boring,” or simply forget to drink enough throughout the day. Thankfully, there are plenty of things you can do to boost your water intake, starting with changing up the flavor.
Drink mix-ins can help to make water more exciting and flavorful, so you’re more likely to reach for it throughout the day, or choose it over a sugary soda or energy drink. You can add different fruits or vegetables to your water, or squeeze in a few drops of a zero-sugar flavor liquid.
If you don’t necessarily find water boring but have a hard time remembering to drink, let technology help you out. Set alarms on your phone or smartwatch or invest in a smart water bottle that reminds you to drink throughout the day. When you have a water bottle you love, you’re more likely to take it with you wherever you go, which makes it easier to become a more frequent sipper!
Finally, make drinking water a part of your routine. Instead of sipping away throughout the day, have a glass of water immediately after waking up in the morning. Have another before each meal, and another before you go to bed. It won’t take long for you to get into this simple habit, and even if you forget to drink throughout the day, you’ll have your routine to fall back on, so you’ll still stay hydrated throughout the day.
No matter your goals or aspirations, staying hydrated should be an important part of your healthy routine. Not only will it benefit your physical and mental health, but it can make reaching your other goals (including staying physically active) much easier.