12.08.2010

Dry, Cold, Winter...Hydrate!


Water is one of the very most important substances that living creatures require. Sometimes it can be taken for granted. Chronic dehydration is linked to multiple health issues, and it's unlikely someone that is not health conscious would even notice, especially in the cold months!

In the heat of summer, it is easier to realize the need for water. Many people are watering the grass, going swimming at the pool or ocean, or sweating it out during exercise under the sun. Winter on the other hand might catch us off guard. It may not be appealing to chug a large glass of ice water while out to eat in January. Don't be afraid to ask them to hold the ice. Would you water a house plant with ice-cold liquid? No! Why do it to yourself?

Even in cold weather, the body will sweat if exertion requires it to cool down. This could be dangerous if an individual is spending extended time in the elements and over-cools. In addition, the cool, dry air of winter, and the hot dry air of the heater cause moisture loss in the skin. If internal liquid levels are down, this skin thirst can amplify to the point of cracked lips, and skin, increasing risk of infection and pain. One of the easiest ways to gauge hydration is urine color. Go for level 3 or lesson the chart.

So, drink up on H20 this holiday season! Especially during the weeks of holiday parties, where people often choose to drink more alcohol or coffee than normal, and may even eat more, digestion requires water too! Those two drinks actually rob the body of water. And do not forget! If you are heading to the slopes, take that bottle and refill often. High altitude also necessitates greater water intake.

Lets cheers to water in winter! Hot tea, water with lemon, and cocoa with skim milk are all healthy ways to take care of yourself this holiday season.

12.04.2010

Be pecky!



You might be wondering "What in the world is pecky"? I too would have asked that until yesterday when I was watching my husband's new favorite show, Swamp Loggers. I learned about pecky cypress, and it's pretty awesome! Cypress trees often grow in swamps and for unknown reasons, certain trees are attacked by a type of fungus that creates lens shaped pockets throughout the wood (as you can see in the photos above). In addition this wood is extremely dense, much stronger than a cypress without the pockets. Some of the trees may be up to 1000 years old, and in fact one about that age weighs around 28000 pounds! This highly desirable wood is incredibly durable and stable, lasting hundreds of years more when it is used in homes or other places for human appreciation. It is given a value of around twice that of any other wood harvested in the swamp.

What can we learn in this lesson from nature? Sometimes the challenges of life permeate and affect us profoundly, even attacking us to the core. It might feel like a battle. However this difficulty can give us value, and beauty, and strength beyond belief in our lives and after. I couldn't have created an analogy for yoga philosophy any more amazing than this forest lesson.

Next time I do tree pose, I will be a pecky cypress! :) I hope you'll join me.

Namaste,
Kat

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