Wednesday, July 13, 2005

How water can heal your body, help you lose weight, and make you feel better: Part 1

How water can heal your body, help you lose weight, and make you feel better!

Water: the Miracle of Life

Water truly is the miracle of life. It’s the one substance in all of creation whose absence you notice most quickly. Because it’s the one we feel, the one we need, the one we want more than any other.

And yet it’s the one we take for granted most often.

We take it for granted because it’s almost always there.

We take it for granted because it doesn’t cost much.

We take it for granted because it’s one of the substances we’ve never (in our lifetimes at least) had to worry about much.

We fret about the cost of oil. And yet -- compared to water! -- oil is pretty unimportant.

Or we complain if there’s a shortage of something or the other.

And yet almost everything that we complain about is something that we could -- if push came to shove -- live without.

But we can’t live without water. Not now. Not ever.

A Basic biology lesson

We can’t live without water because most of what we -- humanly speaking -- is water. Some 70% of our bodies are composed of this precious fluid of life.

And we’re constantly being reminded of how much water plays a part in our lives.

Think of a time when you’ve been thirsty. Really thirsty. Fortunately, most of us have never really had this happen, but try to remember a time when you had nothing to drink for a while, and your mouth got really dry.

Not a very nice feeling, is it?

Thirst is your body’s way of telling you:
“Hey, up there! Yeah, you, with the mouth! I need something to drink!”

Thirst is your friend. Thirst is the body’s way of telling you about your need for water.

A short history of water

It’s only in the last hundred years or so that clean, pure water was easily and readily available. And only in certain parts of the world is it still true.

Until water filtration systems came into general and widespread use, cholera was a constant water-borne fear. If you were to bring someone from, say, 1387 to the 21st century, they would be astonished that water is simply available, right from the tap. No preparation, no fear, no potential danger.

And no effort, too! There’s nothing like watching people in some 3rd world countries, still carrying buckets of water from a stream to their home. Water is a precious and carefully-guarded item in such areas.

Even in some somewhat civilized areas, water has to be thought about. A few years ago, my son and I went to China and Mongolia for a few weeks. Another American we met in Mongolia’s capital of Ulaanbaatar was astonished that we drank the tap water there. She and her companion said that they never drank tap water in a 3rd world country.

Well, she was a far more accomplished traveler than I was (or am) and I respected her opinions. But all of the guidebooks said that Ulaanbaatar’s water was safe, and I took their advice. (And didn’t get sick, I might point out!) But still no one even has to think about drinking water safety in most parts of North America, Europe, or Australia. That’s a blessing that’s easy to forget. And one that we should remember more frequently than we do.

So when you wake up tomorrow morning, and turn on the tap for a glass of water (I’m hoping that will soon be one of your first actions when you get up) pause a moment to think of all those throughout the world for whom water is still something to think about, something that needs taking care of. And count your blessings. We have a lot of them.


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