Stop reaching for aspirin and start reaching for water

By the time you read this, the Northeast should have had a couple of snow storms, freezing temps and Old Man Winter locking down his hold for a few months with slippery roads and frozen lakes.

In past articles, I have written a lot about the importance of having a healthy mindset to better our lives and businesses. The mind is more complex than I will ever comprehend, but over the years I have learned that there are some things we can physically do everyday to maintain it. Number one is water. Yep, staying hydrated is that important to staying on top of your day.

No directions or training are required. Did you realize we all have something so readily available with the power to create or impede success?

There are signs each day for direction; many are overlooked or misinterpreted.

While running though the day, it is not uncommon to have short-term memory loss. By the time you reach the truck, remembering what the customer asked for becomes a mystery. Do you shake it off as, "I have too many things on my mind."

As the afternoon comes around, do you find yourself rubbing a certain section of the back wishing that it wouldn’t hurt the way it does. Do you regret the doctor's visit you think is imminent?

Do sore leg muscles seem to occur more frequently? Then walking back to the truck, you try to make a mental note to check out some new shoes on the weekend, while wondering if old age is setting in?

"Feels like everything on my mind is starting to takes it toll." Has reaching into the cash draw for some aspirin become habit due to the recurring headaches?

"Man, I have to get more sleep." During the short drives between shops, do you find yourself becoming unfocused and tired quickly?

All of these instances are direct signs that you could be dehydrated.

A few years back while on a winter rescue coverage weekend in the mountains, I stepped out back of the cabin to relieve myself. What I saw in the snow was a colorful sign requiring action. The snow changed to the colors commonly found in a Fruit Loops commercial.

I went back in the cabin and directed everyone to grab their Nalgene bottles and start hydrating.

Quick check No. 1

If the color of your urine is a "pretty" color (or colors), you aren't drinking nearly enough water. Those moments of short-term memory loss or finding that you have frequent headaches are signs you are using the water inside of your body—but not replenishing it. This leads to mild dehydration.

Quick check No. 2

Mild dehydration causes several other issues that make the day on the route seem much longer. A big one is muscle fatigue. If you are continually rubbing sore muscles, most likely they are not receiving enough water to keep blood and nutrients flowing.

Water has the power to change your health, your mindset and your life. All of these affect your everyday business. Would you rather ride in a canoe down a river full of water or carry it on your back in the dry river bed? That is what you ask of your body if you do not hydrate properly each day.

Start the New Year with a commitment to learn the benefits of H2O.