Saturday, July 03, 2010

In the Heat of the Moment

You won't save the Gulf of Mexico, fall in love or find God if you are not drinking enough water. We are reminded that most people walk about in a state of dehydration, depriving their bodies - mostly composed of water - of a basic necessity. The result is irritability, dizziness and muscle cramps.

Unfortunately, people buy water to which refined and colored sugar has been added. This sugar is a bad hitchhiker, like those bedbugs lurking in the shirts you get at Abercrombie and Fitch.

In New York, the tap water tastes great and there is no reason to buy bottled water. The first or second question from a waiter's mouth is usually "Tap or bottled?" Unless you want overpriced bubbles in your glass, you should opt for tap.

In Fort Lauderdale, the tap water has a yellowish tinge and an odd taste by dint of treatment. It is potable but not pleasantly. I used to lug home huge plastic bottles of water from the supermarket. The logistics involved from aisle to register to car to elevator to door to fridge were more irritating than dehydration. I have replaced that business with the purchase of a Brita carafe/water filter. I change the filter once every two months. The result is crystal clear and tasty in a tasteless way. It's also economical and efficient.

All day long, I gaze at the ocean wondering why Florida is not entirely using desalinated water if not for drinking, at least for flushing. We are still a primitive people who in the address of our needs create more problems for ourselves. Another example of this is what I am guessing to be the cause of the universal backache suffered by civilized folks. I recently added some positions to my daily stretching routine that are variations of the basic squat. People do not squat enough. We avoid it because it is an unbecoming position and because our clothes are too tight and ill-designed for its execution. Plus, everyone looks slightly comique in a squat. Our bodies, however, are designed to squat. It is the natural position for defecation. Unfortunately, the design of the ubiquitous toilet bowl means that most people never squat. This is bad for the spine and the back muscles. Toilet bowls should be redesigned so that the rim occurs about a foot above the floor forcing the user into a healthy squat, perhaps with the addition of handles flanking the opening to help steady the wobblers. I suspect this one change in our culture would eliminate billions of dollars in medical treatments and related lost production. Also, if you add the squat to your daily set of exercises, you will derive an almost instantaneous improvement in mobility and strength in your lower back. This can only result in better sex which is an entire other area of popular behavior that has been screwed up by civilization.


RawForReal said...

I also love my Brita water filter, almost as much as I love my perfectly designed toilet ;-)

I also love gardening. I like watching things grow. Gardening affords me the opportunity to squat and strengthen those pesky lower back muscles. Good post, Fr. Tony.

Java said...

I grew up in Florida (Gainesville and Orlando) with tap water that tasted nasty. Back in the 60s and 70s we didn't have access to bottled water like we do today. Either that, or my mother wouldn't buy it. I knew it was healthy to drink water, but like so many other healthy things, it was unpleasant.

Now I am in South Carolina, where pleasant tasting water is one of the few benefits of living here. My mother, still in the Orlando area, now uses a
Brita filtered carafe.

dpaste said...

I've had a Brita pitcher since 2003.

Since it is rather unwieldy to put it in my shoulder bag, I buy bottled water now and again in order to ensure I am not dehydrated. I never buy the sweetened kind as I find the taste repulsive.

Squats are great for the body when done properly, but can be a traumatic source of back injury if not, so one should be very careful about recommending such things without providing proper instruction. The hips should remain over the heels at all times to ensure proper alignment.

Will said...

Sex itself is pretty god exercise, particularly with one partner who enjoys a variety of positions, or a group of FBs in good condition with differing tastes.

I can't do squats easily -- too many years up and down ladders, scaffolds and catwalks focusing theatrical lights or painting huge backdrops, but I do a kind of variation on ballet barre exercises every morning to keep the hips free and limber. It doesn't take long but works very well.

Tony Adams said...

Dear Will,
Same here: too much racquetball wrecked havoc with my lower back. Now I do a series of daily stretches (and yoga tailored to just me) to keep mobility. I will have to do these every day or become immobile.