Staying Hydrated

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[infobox subtitle="How Much Water Do You Really Need?" bg="blue" color="white" opacity="on" space="30" link="no link"]H2O, Baby![/infobox]

Never underestimate the power of water. It not only  keeps your body working properly, but also, it keeps your skin looking beau-ti-ful and blemish free.

We've all heard the "rules" before. Eight ounce glasses of water, eight times a day. Parents, doctors, and even television commercials embrace this mantra, but the reality is that we're all different. Our needs vary greatly by height, weight, physical activity and gender. Eight glasses might be too much or not enough for you. So, how much water do you really need?

As a rule of thumb, some doctors recommend taking your weight and dividing it by half. If you weigh 130 pounds, for example, you should be drinking 65 ounces of water. Of course, if you exercise daily or spend a great amount of time indoors or in the heat, you will need to increase your intake-- an extra liter here should suffice.

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Of course, these aren't the only factors to take in mind. When calculating your own water needs, don't forget to take these factors into consideration:

Environment What is the climate like where you live? Are you exposed to great amounts of heat?

Health Conditions Are you fighting off sickness? That awful fall cold got you down? Add extra fluids to help flush out simple illnesses from your system.

Exercise An extra liter of water is important if you exercise on a daily basis, but again, this may vary depending on your exercise routine. Is it mostly cardio? How long do you exercise?

Staying hydrated is the most important task you can perform daily. Thirst is a good indicator of your water needs (duh!), but take special note of your activities throughout the day. When something so important like your body is on the table, you can never be too careful.

What do you think? Is there a universal recommended water intake? Sound off in the comments below!

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