Treat that Bottle of Water Like a Mysterious Lover

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Month of Little Steps to Health FitessJanuary is BlogHer's Month of Little Steps to Health & Fitness, and we want you to share your favorite easy health tip! Click here to see how to play along. And check out all the tips so far in the Month of Little Steps to Health & Fitness series.

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Plenty of health articles talk about drinking more water. And many people make it part of their yearly resolutions. But ... er ... how? I mean, I get the basic how-to: (1) pour water in a glass, (2) lift glass to lips, and (3) intake water by swallowing. But what's missing is how to get over the "don't wanna" feeling that I get sometimes when I pour myself a glass of water.

Because water can be refreshing, but it also sort of feels like a waste of a drink experience. I mean, think about it. Each week I only consume probably 56 drinks. Do I really want to waste most of those on tasteless water when there are hundreds of cool drink possibilities in the world? I'm so busy drinking water that I've completely missed lychee juice. Completely missed it! And I have no space to try it because I have to work in all these cups of water. Frankly, the human body can only hold so much bloat.

And yet, water is vastly important; it is at the root of everything -- from sustaining life to keeping in good health to helping balance weight. So I can't ignore it either. I need to use up most of those 56 drink spaces on water. So how can I make it more palatable; make it feel less like liquid nothingness and more like a blank-canvas-of-a-drink ready to be painted by other flavours?

Well, to start, get a fun water bottle. A fits-your-life water bottle. And don't be afraid to get more than one. I have a one liter Camelbak bottle for around the house, and a smaller version that can fit in a purse to sip while I'm out. If your water bottle isn't doing it for you, recycle that one by passing it along to a friend and find one that does work. This is how I went from my Nalgene which was rarely used to my newer Camelbak which is easier to carry around the house.

Next, experiment with adding a bit of flavour. I'm not talking about something as obvious as turning the water into tea or lemonade. I'm talking about making a few fruit infusions and then removing the labels from the pitchers. Seriously, make a lemon one, a lime one, a raspberry one -- and then make sure you have no clue which one is going into your water bottle until you take a sip. It's sort of the water consumption equivalent to making love to your partner in a costume. Keep the mystery alive!

Lastly, keep track and work towards a goal. Check off every 8 ounces you consume and give yourself a fun treat at the end of every 32. It can be a square of chocolate, a chapter in a book, 5 minutes of alone time with your eyes closed on the sofa -- whatever floats your boat. And start looking at water consumption as the currency you must save in order to get that treat. It's not about rewards; it's about paying yourself for a job well done.

These ideas don't float your boat (Get it? It's water humour!), here are some other posts about upping your water consumption:

  • Romeocucina's resolution is to drink more water, and she states: "Drinking water raises your metabolism because it helps in digestion ... Drinking water also helps you lose weight because it flushes out by-products of fat breakdown."
  • Got2Run4Me has noticed a connection between her water consumption and snacking, and she jokes that she is going to build a moat around her pantry to keep herself out.
  • The Great Fitness Experiment has tips on how to consume more water (including a flavoured water drink she tried) as well as dozens of comments on the post with extra tips.
  • A Veggie Venture has a recipe for lemon mint cucumber water.
  • Bohemian Revolution has advice on how to create your own fruit infusions (seriously never knew about the pureeing technique).
  • Healthy.Happy.Life has a review of 10 bottled waters. (Stop thinking of it as torture and starting thinking of yourself as a water connoisseur.)

Alright, spill (see, there's that water humour again); what are your best water consumption tips?

Melissa writes Stirrup Queens and Lost and Found. Her novel about blogging is Life from Scratch.

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