Water is not only the foundation of life, it's the foundation of good health. A well-hydrated body is like a finely tuned race car. We not only perform better while exercising, but we also perform better at work, since our brains need to be properly hydrated as well.
"Dehydration will make the muscles exhausted, and fatigued, and the whole body has to work harder when it isn't hydrated enough," Pilates instructor O'Clair said [source O'Clair]. "So you're actually stressing your body when you're dehydrated. You won't even necessarily feel it, but it's there. If you're thirsty, you're already dehydrated."
While hydrating, make sure you know what you're drinking. Clean, fresh water is ideal most of the time, especially if your workout isn't strenuous. Sports drinks can be beneficial, but in moderation. Avoid drinks that are high in calories, sugar and caffeine.
"I think we all get in a pattern of being chronically dehydrated, starting the day with a cup of coffee," triathlon coach Furse said. "When you drink more fluids, you feel significantly better during the day."
An added bonus is that drinking water will help curb your appetite. And if you are prone to fast-food lunches, many of which are high in sodium, water will help rehydrate your system [source: Norman].
Next: No heavy lifting required.