Dr. T.G. Day, MD
Water is a substance that is fascinating in many ways. It can exist in three different states, solid, liquid, and gas. It makes up 75% of the earth’s surface, and 50-75% of the human body. With water being so key to human life, it is no wonder that it can do amazing things for the body.
As I discussed in a previous blog, water is necessary for human life, and it is required for the body to exist in a healthy state. In order to have optimal health, it is important to drink the best quality water needed daily. But water also can be of great benefit for the body in other ways.
Water can lead to a state of relaxation, peace and tranquility. Have you ever sat on a beach and listened to the sound of an ocean? Or sat by a brook and watched the water flowing? Perhaps you can even recall viewing a waterfall? Or maybe even fishing in a lake? How did these scenarios make you feel? Did it evoke feelings of peace and tranquility? If it did, there were some good things likely happening within your body at that time. When we relax and are not in a stressful state, our cortisol levels decrease. When cortisol decreases, our body can be at a more restful state, thereby promoting a normal heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and increased immunity.
Water can be beneficial for the body by aiding inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis. Working out in the water, such as, water aerobics can add great resistance for building muscles without inducing more stress on the joints. If you suffer with joint problems, water aerobics may be a great way to exercise.
Hot and cold (Contrast Temperature Water Therapy) showering has been shown to also be effective in helping with muscle relaxation and reduction of injury. Athletes tend to use this method to help muscle recovery. The athlete alternates between showering with hot water, then cold water. The showering with hot water is 3 times longer than the cold water, and repeated 3-4 times. (Example, 90 second hot showering, followed by 30 second cold showering then repeat 3-4 more times). While this approach may be extreme for some, it’s something to consider if you are doing intensive workouts and wanting to decrease injury.
Soaking in a warm bath is also useful for relaxing muscles, and reducing tension. It too can be a way to bring tranquility after a long and busy day. In fact, adding Epsom salt to warm soaking water has been reported for decades to benefit various types of joint pain and muscle soreness.
I encourage you to make sure you are incorporating the many ways that simply water can be so beneficial to your life. Take time to allow the tranquility of a water scene to take affect in your life. Try some of the other uses of water discussed and make sure you are drinking the optimal amount of water for your body. It’s no wonder that God made Earth 75% water, and 50-75% of the human body water. I conclude that it is that important to human life!
Reference: The effect of contrast temperature water therapy on repeated sprinted performance. Hamlin MJ. J Sci Med Sport. 2007
Author: Dr. T.G. Day, MD is the CEO and Founder of Flourish with Dr. T.G. Day, MD Health Coaching. She is helping others achieve excellent health through wholistic health coaching. If you are in pursuit of excellent health, and becoming the healthiest and fittest version of yourself, contact Dr. T.G. Day, MD for a free health coaching consultation.