Important: Make sure you have officially signed up for 21DHL before you proceed.
This is Day 1 of Live a Healthier Life in 21 Days Challenge, Jan 2012 run. Subscribe to the free newsletter for lifetime access of personal development articles and future challenge announcements like this one.
HELLO EVERYONE!! Welcome to Day 1 of 21DHL! Today is 2012, and it's the first day of the new year. I just finished the countdown for the new year, and I'm really excited to see what this year has in store for all of us.
For sure, I'm definitely very pumped up to be kicking off the new year with 21DHL for all of you, because I know at the end of the next 21 days, all of you are going to be healthier and fitter than you've ever been.
Doing the challenge in groups
As there are so many participants in 21DHL, and due to the personalized nature of 21DHL challenge, I've split everyone into different groups, based on the first letter of your username
. You would know this if you have already created your 21DHL journal.
- Group #1: A-B
- Group #2: C
- Group #3: D-E
- Group #4: F-H
- Group #5: I-K
- Group #6: L-M
- Group #7: N-P
- Group #8: Q-S
- Group #9: T-Z
Your job for the next 21 days is to (1) follow your 21-Day Healthy Living Plan (which you should have already done via the Pre-Work) (2) follow the 21DHL official daily tasks (3) post your progress in your journal every day, for the 21 days (4) check on your group members' progress by reading their posts, supporting them and encouraging every step of the way.
If you feel that you might not have the time to read/comment on everyone's journals, don't worry
. Simply select a handful of participants you want to follow and follow their journals. It's not a necessity to read everyone's journals in your group, though it'll be nice to do so and provide support to them.
Also, even though I've split you into the groups above, feel free to follow other participants in other groups as well (while supporting your own members)! We're ultimately doing this as one big community to achieve healthy living!
Day 1 - Drink the Right Amount of Water
Past 21DHL participants probably saw this coming, as this was the first task for last year's run too.
If you've read 45 Tips To Live a Healthy Life
post on PE before, you might recall this as the first tip, which is to drink more water
Why am I setting this as the first task for 21DHL? Because water is life. Water is essential for our body to function – Do you know over 60% of our body is made up of water? Water is needed to carry out our body functions, remove waste and carry nutrients and oxygen around our body. Since we lose water every day through urine, bowel movements, perspiration and breathing, we need to replenish our water intake.
Furthermore, drinking more water alone actually aids in losing weight. A Health.com study carried out among overweight/obese people showed that water drinkers lose 4.5 more pounds than a control group. The researchers believe that it’s because drinking more water helps fill your stomach, making you less hungry and less likely to overeat. I agree with that, and I have an added take that your body tries to retain whatever water you take when you don’t take in enough water, leading to increase in weight. Whereas when you regularly drink water, your body knows that it’s going to get its supply of fluids, so it doesn’t try to retain more water.
Shockingly, most of us actually do not drink enough water. We only drink like 1-2 times a day, during the meal times, and we do not hydrate ourselves at all in the other times of the day. Hence, our first task of 21DHL is to drink water - specifically the right amount of water for our best health.
Step 1: Calculate the amount of water you need to drink
Most of you probably heard the common phrase "drink 8 glasses of water". What it really means for us is to "Drink the right amount of water that's needed for your body". It's important to note that we have different fluid needs, and we should identify what is the optimal amount for ourselves. It is equally important to drink more water if we are lacking water, as it is important to drink less water if we are drinking too much. Drinking too much water can be as harmful to our body as drinking less water is.
To estimate how much water you need to drink, use the method below.
- Divide your weight (in pounds) by two. This is the amount of water intake (in ounces) you need in a day. (150lbs = 75 ounces/day) Or;
- If you use the metric system, divide your weight (in kg) by 30. The answer is the amount of water intake (in liters) you need a day. (66kg = 2.2 liters/day)
Then, take the number and multiply it by 80%. Food intake contributes about 20% of our fluid intake, so this final number is the actual amount of water in fluid form that you need to drink. This is a rough estimate - if you've an active lifestyle, you live in a warm climate where you perspire a lot and/or you do high level of physical activity (sports), you can add about 5-20% more.
Remember, when in doubt, use your own body as a gauge. If your lips/throat feel dry, your lips look dry, and you feel dehydrated, that means you should be drinking more water - and you should have been doing so long ago, because signs of dehydration typically surface only after our body has been depleted of water for a while.
Step 2: Drink this amount of water today
Make sure you drink this amount of water today (slightly more is okay too). Water here refers to pure water, NOT soda
, coffee, tea (drinks with caffeine) or alcohol! These are diuretics - mean they cause a fluid outtake rather than intake when you consume them!
Don't drink them all in one go because it's not going to solve the issue! (We're not a camel; our water isn't going to distribute itself when needed) The point is to distribute our water intake throughout the day. The best times will be when we wake up (since we've been sleeping for some time), before/after our meals, while we're working, and at night before we sleep.
If you're not sure how much water fills a glass, simply use a soda can as estimation. A normal soda can is 330ml or about 12 oz. If you have a large glass that can contain all the water in a can, that means you'd need 8 glasses for 2.6-2.7 liters of water fluid intake.
Some tips to help you in this goal:
Step 3: Continue this habit for the whole of 21DHL
- Carry a water bottle - You never know when you're going to get thirsty! This way you can drink wherever you are. Knowing the capacity of your bottle will also help you keep track of how much you have drank/how much more you have to drink.
- Have a big drinking mug at your desk so you only have to refill once in a while.
- Having a jar/flask of water right at your desk is really useful for the same reason as #2.
- Buy a large flask and fill it in the morning with the amount of water intake you need for the day. Drink only from the flask the whole day so you can use it as your gauge. At the end of the day, it should be empty! If not, finish it up.
- Set reminders (either in your phone or computer) on a busy day so you don't forget to drink.
After you've completed this habit, continue on for all the days of 21DHL! Add this to your 21-Day Healthy Living Plan. Mark a tick whenever you have finished drinking your required amount of fluid intake for the day. Mark a cross when you haven't. At the end of 21DHL, you'll be able to see how you fare in this area.
Day 1 of Your 21-Day Healthy Living Plan
What are your tasks listed for today? Do them with excellence and report them in your 21DHL Journal.
Also, read your group mates' 21DHL journals and cheer them along! Pick a few members' journals and make it a point to post meaningful replies there.
By the end of 21DHL, I guarantee you that you'll find powerful new friendships and bonds forming, as we've witnessed in all our previous challenges.
Update Your 21DHL Journals
Once you are done for the day, update your 21DHL Journal. You are also welcome to update your 21DHL Journal multiple times throughout the day. Post all your results for today's task and your 21-Day Healthy Living Plan directly in your journal.
If you have any questions specific to today's task, post them here.