Finding Balance: Part 2


Fluid Balance

How much water do you drink every day? Is it enough to keep up with your lifestyle? An insufficient amount of water can lead to a long list of catastrophic events within your body. Failure to maintain fluid balance can lead to dehydration, which can cause fatigue, muscle cramping, and body temperature imbalances. Sufficient water helps to sustain proper kidney function, regulates the fluid inside and outside of cells, and helps to flush waste from our bodies. Water and electrolyte components are also involved in the control of osmotic pressure. Osmosis is the force that impels water molecules to move throughout our bodies. Seems pretty important if you ask me! The amount of water needed can be conditional to each person. A few factors to look at are; activity level, age, gender, and climate you live in. It is very important to re-hydrate after a workout since our bodies have just lost a good amount of water through sweating. It is also good to remember that thirst is a poor indicator of our need for water. Once you feel that thirst, you’ve most likely been dehydrated for some time already. And as we get older a lot of times our thirst mechanism won’t work as well.  So do what you need to do to get enough water EVERY DAY. I carry a water bottle with me everywhere I go, that way I have no excuse not to get enough!

Stress Balance

When you are stressed your body goes into a “fight or flight” survival mode.  This causes the hormone, cortisol to release, increasing your heart rate and giving you a surge of energy.  Some stress can be helpful if you are using it to help you accomplish a project on time or perform a task, whether it’s winning a sporting event or performing on a stage in front of 500 people.  It seems though that most of us stay in a constant state of “stressed” and never give ourselves a break from it.  Stress can have many side effects and will manifest itself differently in each person.  It can cause headaches, upset stomach, lack of sleep and a compromised immune system.  It can also alter your outlook on life causing mood swings, nervousness and depression.

So what are some ways that we can give ourselves a break from that stress and relax a little bit? Just a few things that you could try are: exercise, finding a hobby, stretching/yoga, getting a massage, breathing techniques, or writing down your feelings. I think that it is very important to carve out time for yourself to just be, breathe and put your worries aside.

I know that balance can be a hard task to accomplish and I struggle with it on a daily basis. In time though I believe that balance can be accomplished with a little work and a lot of learning about one’s self.