How’s Your Hygrometer?: A New Year Challenge!

January 15, 2003

It took me a while to learn what the thing is on my living room wall that reads my room’s humidity. It’s called a hygrometer. It’s obvious that it watches the humidity in our home but it isn’t obvious how much humidity we have or should have. I only know that when I start getting hit with static shocks in the winter I need to crank up the water content in the air!

This all came together as a topic when my hubby started to get interested in cigars. Yes, I know some of you are confused, but the cigar smokers will understand. Cigars should be kept at a certain temperature and in a specific amount of humidity. The hubby decided to join an on-line cigar club (cigar of the month?) and start stockpiling some favourite smokes with a buddy when he goes down to California to visit relatives. So while I kept watch over the little gauge in his expensive cigar box I started to think about the humidity we ignore around ourselves.

We, as people, need to deal with the water in our lives. Who hasn’t been told to drink 8 glasses of water a day? Indeed, there are a number of articles and books out which are trying to get the message through to us. For some reason we want to be camels and rarely drink enough to nourish our systems! Coffee doesn’t count! One of the most quoted books on the subject of water is Your Body’s Many Cries For Water by Fereydoon Batmanghelidj, M.D. ( as quoted in Woman’s World, December 3/02).

The author warns us that we are likely to experience many symptoms of our need to drink. Hunger signals are likely to increase when we don’t drink enough water. When you don’t get the amount of water you need, the body will seek out alternative energy sources through food. It also makes us fatter when we don’t drink enough water. How many actors and celebrities have you seen toting around water bottles? It’s not just a celebrity status item, it’s a natural weight loss method. When you start drinking water, or alternatively an occasional herbal tea, you start boosting your stores of fat-burning enzymes. This means that just by paying attention to drinking water you increase your metabolism. That means you burn off more fat. “Wow! Get me a glass of water,” I say.

If you have a problem with stomach gurgling and water retention, no problem. Go to your local Health Food Store and pick up a bottle of Calcium and Magnesium tablets. Also making sure that you get 1/4 tsp. of salt per gallon of water. It helps to clear your bladder. Salt and these minerals are needed to keep your fluids balanced internally. Make sure you’re not eating lots of high salt foods on the side though or that you have been warned off salt by your M.D.

Remember the half-hour rule. Start sipping water a half hour before a meal and your system will feel full more quickly. You eat less, and you’ll be less likely to mistake your body’s cry for water instead of food.

Some people lose as much as 50 pounds just by drinking the correct amount of water daily. Make it a habit!

In the meantime, your skin may be screaming for water too. I’m getting more and more prone to dryness as the years fly by. I’m scratching when I don’t use a good loofah to scrub the dead skin off my legs, and forget to turn on my humidifier. ICK! Who needs blood-flecked legs?!

Humidifiers are very helpful. Consider buying a hygrometer to monitor your room’s water content. Keep your windows closed and let the humidity stay in. Also, depending on the size of your home, a peaceful water fountain can add to the water in your home. (For those of you into Feng Shui, good chi increases if you put water sources in the North and South East of each room). For those of you who snore, installing a humidifier is often recommended by M.D.s as a cause of snoring is a dry throat.

All this humidity helps your personal appearance too. English skin is something to admire – so soft and supple. Is it any wonder with the constantly humid conditions in Britain? Of course it’s hell on trying to air dry your wash!

In the same way we clean our floors and shower our exterior covering why shouldn’t we be habitual enough to clean our internal irrigation systems and the air we breathe?

For the New Year make a resolution to drink more water…and keep to your promise! I have to go get a glass of water right now. Happy New Year.

Laura Seymour first published herself, at age 8. She has since gone on to publish a cookbook for the medical condition of Candida. She is working toward her B.A. (Psyc).

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