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Water is essential to life, and its benefits are as deep as an ocean. Here's how you can get the most out of water - including everything from knowing how much you should drink (it's more than you think!) to experiencing water's relaxing sounds and the surprising benefits of bathing and aquatic exercise.

In the summertime there are even more reasons to drink plenty of water. Avoid dehydration and other heat-related disorders by drinking ample amounts, especially if you're active - exercising, working outside in the garden, or playing with the grandkids. Shoot for consuming 8 to 12 cups of water each day. If your summer plans include airplane travel, bring plenty of bottled water on board to keep hydrated.

And one more little reminder: Even if you don't feel thirsty, you might be dehydrated. One way to remind yourself: Fill a 2-liter bottle, and try to finish it before the day's done.

Swim like a fish

Exercising in the water provides a natural resistance that's greater than air. So even a casual, comforting swim is a healthy activity. Try an aerobics routine in your pool. Stay in the shallow end, and walk or move your arms. Feel the water's gentle, natural resistance. You could develop more vigorous upper and lower body routines, and turn your pool into a giant exercise machine. You'll reap the rewards of a thorough workout with less impact on your joints than free weights, running, or walking. Swimming and water aerobics are an ideal way for someone who's been less active to get exercise. Consider joining a gym or organization with trained instructors to keep you motivated and exercising safely.

Listen to soothing sounds

Often the meditative sounds of a rippling pond, country stream, waterfall, or a city fountain can have a calming effect. The sound and feel of a nice warm shower or bath can have as much emotional benefit as it does hygienic. Even hearing a gentle rainfall may help relieve stress, which is essential to a healthy body, mind, and spirit.

Because your body is 75% water, doesn't it make sense that you spend as much time around it as possible? Take some time today to taste, feel, and hear water's rewards.

Image Credits: KieferPix/

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