Fit Update: Week 44 aka Drink Your Water

November 11, 2013 by Michelle

When working out, I have a few must haves.  I’ve already figured out how important it is to have the right shoes when I work out.  I know I need the right workout gear, and I bring my bag that has everything I need for after I’m done working out to get ready to go home.  And I always have my water bottle.  I usually even make sure to fill it up just before I walk into class.

gym bag, good shoes, water bottle

When I first started to go to the gym, most fitness rooms had signs posted on the door saying that no beverages were permitted inside.  Me – being the rule follower that I am – wouldn’t bring my water bottle inside.  Instead, I’d head out of the class and stop by the drinking fountain whenever I needed water.  I quickly learned that the signs were passe and that people brought their water into class with the blessing of the instructors.  In recent years, those signs have disappeared from gyms, and water on the wood floors during classes is accepted.

Why is water accepted even on the floors that could be ruined by spills?  Gyms have figured out how essential hydration is to exercise, and they don’t want to face issues from their members passing out of having health problems because they didn’t allow water.  I’d much rather have to replace a floor than pay off a member, personally, and I think the gyms are in the same camp.

Most instructors are, too.  They tend to encourage water breaks specifically in their classes.  My Zumba instructor will call out for a water break every few songs and drinks her own water, but people are more than welcome to stop and get a drink whenever they need.  Not every instructor is great about making sure to bring up a water break, but no one discourages it.

Well, almost no one. I have one instructor who chastises those who leave their spots to grab a drink.  “What, water?  Already?  C’mon!” She’ll grudgingly give a water break a half hour or longer into her grueling class.  But even then, it tends to be when students are making massive breaks for their water bottles and after she’s tried to shame them. “It hasn’t even been a half hour yet.  Why are you getting water?”

And there are some students who are new enough or intimidated enough by her that they don’t get water except when she says it’s ok.  They don’t want to be the focus of her attention – and I can understand why they don’t.  And that’s wrong on so many levels.  No instructor should make any student feel bad while in class.  And discouraging water is not healthy by any stretch.

Personally, I don’t sweat.  If I don’t drink water, I have no way to cool my body, and I overheat.  I know this.  I’ve seen the effects first hand when I haven’t drunk enough water.  I don’t care what anyway says, I’m going to get my water, and yes, I’ve been targeted by her.  I haven’t yet walked up to her at the end of class and explained that I have a medical reason for needing to drink water frequently during class.  If I thought it would change her perception in the least, I would, but I don’t even care enough about her opinion of me to make that effort.

And you shouldn’t either.  Water is essential to our health.  Most people don’t drink enough of it on a daily basis, and especially not when exercising.  Why do you think they have so many water stations at running races?  Why is there constantly Gatorade handed out during ever stoppage in play during football and basketball and more.  You need to drink water when you exercise, and don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise.

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