You already know that exercise is good for your body. But did you know it can also boost your mood, improve your sleep, and help you deal with depression, anxiety, stress, and more? What are the mental health benefits of exercise? Exercise is not just about aerobic capacity and muscle size. Sure, exercise can improve your physical health and your physique, trim your waistline, improve your sex life, and even add years to your life. But that’s not what motivates most people to stay active. People who exercise regularly tend to do so because it gives them an enormous sense of well-being. They feel more energetic throughout the day, sleep better at night, have sharper memories, and feel more relaxed and positive about themselves and their lives. And it’s also powerful medicine for many common mental health challenges. Regular exercise can have a profoundly positive impact on depression, anxiety, and ADHD. It also relieves stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better, and boosts your overall mood. And you don’t have to be a fitness fanatic to reap the benefits. Research indicates that modest amounts of exercise can make a real difference. No matter your age or fitness level, you can learn to use exercise as a powerful tool to deal with mental health problems, improve your energy and outlook, and get more out of life. Exercise and depression Studies show that exercise can treat mild to moderate depression as effectively as antidepressant medication—but without the side effects, of course. As one example, a recent study done by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that running for 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour reduces the risk of major depression by 26%. In addition to relieving depression symptoms, research also shows that maintaining an exercise schedule can prevent you from relapsing. Exercise is a powerful depression fighter for several reasons. Most importantly, it promotes all kinds of changes in the brain, including neural growth, reduced inflammation, and new activity patterns that promote feelings of calm and well-being. It also releases endorphins, powerful chemicals in your brain that energize your spirits and make you feel good. Finally, exercise can also serve as a distraction, allowing you to find some quiet time to break out of the cycle of negative thoughts that feed depression. Exercise and anxiety Exercise is a natural and effective anti-anxiety treatment. It relieves tension and stress, […]

We’re not saying anything you didn’t already know if we argue that water is essential for life. The media are always describing how scientists and engineers the world over are looking for water on other planets in order to confirm whether there may be life beyond Earth. Water in figures Let’s start with ourselves: the human body is 70% water, and we use water every single day of our lives. We need an average of between 50 to 100 litres of water per day, considering 50 litres an intermediate amount and 100 litres optimal access per person per day. Although water is the most abundant resource on the planet, only 3% is fresh water, of which just 1% is available for drinking. This means 1% of drinking water for a world population of 7.4 billion (as at December 2016); where 663 million people have no access to drinking water and it is estimated that the global demand for water will increase by 50% by 2030.  It is therefore not surprising that we all turn the spotlight on this vital resource which affects the whole of the world population. We do so by disseminating information on the water crisis and how it affects the population; as well as by implementing engineering projects. To learn more about water, about the projects that NGOs are carrying out, or about water management and treatment, innovation and the future of this precious resource from experts on the issue, there are numerous blogs and media around the world focusing on water. Make sure you read them! The nine water blogs you should follow WaterAid WaterAid is an international organisation which aims to transform the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable people through improving access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene. In their blog you can read articles and editorials regarding their policies and practices and the projects they carry out. They cover different issues, from water projects in rural areas of Asia or Africa, to advocating on the rights of transgender students to go to the toilet. Iagua This is a Spanish language publication on water management. Its aim is to provide information and promote debate amongst those concerned about the issue of water. Their website keeps you up to date on news, events, courses and even employment opportunities in relation to water. Their blog invites comments from experts in the field, and publishes numerous stories by a large variety of experts from both Spain and Latin America.

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The quality of water that we drink, wash our hair and body with, as well as that we use to clean fruits and veggies, has a huge effect on our health. Nowadays, to make sure that the water we use is clean, treatment facilities add chlorine to it, which can be damaging as it may contain harmful bacteria and chemicals that have a negative effect on our health and wellbeing. Tap water passes through water treatment facilities, however, it can get easily contaminated the moment it leaves the treatment facilities. Therefore, the best way to make sure that the water you consume is clean and hasn’t been contaminated is by installing a water filtration system. In this article, we will provide you with the major benefits of having a water filtration system in your house. Safe to Drink Installing a water filtration system will ensure that the water you drink is clean, free of contaminants, and safe to drink compared to those coming from water treatment plants without going through a home filtration system. There are many types of contaminants that can be found in water coming straight from these treatment facilities, including chlorine, lead, and fluoride. However, you can avoid the consumption of all these toxins by installing a water filtration system in your house. That way, you and your loved ones will get your daily supply of drinking water without any health risks. Healthy Skin Substances that can be found in water, like chlorine and metals, can make skin conditions get worse. Moreover, children are more prone to aggravated skin conditions due to washing with water coming straight from treatment plants. For this reason, you need to make sure that you choose the right filtration system to ensure that your house is well provided with clean and pure water. The team at recommends that you seek the help of certified experts to assess the water in your house and help you get rid of all impurities and toxins it contains. An easy way you can validate that they are certified is by checking their website. That way, you will ensure that anyone in the house who has eczema or any other skin condition will not suffer from more damage to their skin. Cutting Costs Your plumbing system can get damaged by heavy metals and minerals that are found in unfiltered water. However, installing a water filtration system in your

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What do you, the trees, and a hamster have in common? Give up? You all need water. All living things must have water to survive, whether they get it from a water fountain, a rain cloud, or a little bottle attached to the side of a hamster cage. Without water, your body would stop working properly. Water makes up more than half of your body weight, and a person can’t survive for more than a few days without it. Why? Your body has lots of important jobs and it needs water to do many of them. For instance, your blood, which contains a lot of water, carries oxygen to all the cells of your body. Without oxygen, those tiny cells would die and your body would stop working. Water is also in lymph (say: limp), a fluid that is part of your immune system, which helps you fight off illness. Water helps keep your temperature normal. You need water to digest your food and get rid of waste. Water is needed for digestive juices, urine (pee), and poop. And you can bet that water is the main ingredient in perspiration, also called sweat. Besides being an important part of the fluids in your body, water is needed by each cell to work. Your body doesn’t get water only from drinking water. Any fluid you drink will contain water, but water and milk are the best choices. Lots of foods contain water too. Fruit contains quite a bit of water, which you could probably tell if you’ve ever bitten into a peach or plum and felt the juices dripping down your chin. Vegetables also contain a lot of water — think of slicing into a fat tomato or crunching into a crisp stalk of celery. How Much Is Enough? Because water is so important, you might wonder if you’re drinking enough. There is no magic amount of water that kids need to drink every day. The amount kids need depends on their age, body size, health, and activity level, plus the weather (temperature and humidity levels). Usually, kids drink something with meals and should definitely drink when they’re thirsty. But if you’re sick, or it’s warm out or you’re exercising, you’ll need more. Be sure to drink some extra water when you’re out in warm weather, especially while playing sports or exercising. When you drink is also important. If you’re going to sports practice, a game, or

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Why Should I Drink Water at All? Staying hydrated is essential to keeping your body healthy and satisfied. For starters, our body is made up of 70% water so it is a no brainer that we need to provide our body with more and more water! There are many health problems, both long and short term, that can come about from dehydration. These include: migraines, dyspepsia, hypertension, kidney stones, breast cancer, uterine cancer, sinusitis, pulmonary tuberculosis, and obesity. In fact, the Japanese population is known to be one of the slimmest cultures and they drink water immediately after waking up! So, How Can I Avoid Long Term Water Dehydration Effects? Morning: • You should drink at least 650 mL (3 cups) of water right after waking up. Build up your tolerance to drinking this much water day by day! • Avoid snacking or having breakfast for at least 45 mins after consumption. Throughout the Day: • Always drink water 30 mins before eating a meal • Try to avoid drinking water two hours after a meal (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) When Will I See Results? • If you are a patient with Diabetes or high blood pressure patients: allow 30 days • If you suffers of constipation and Gastritis: allow 10 days • If you are a TB patient: allow 90 days. But, Really. Why Should I Drink Water? Well, here are 7 reasons how drinking water immediately after waking up improves your life. 1. Increases Skin Radiance for a Flawless Complexion • By drinking water, your body is able to release toxins faster, which will therefore give your skin that glow and radiance you may buy products for. • In fact, 500 mL of water has proven to increase blood flow and make your skin glow while increasing production of new blood cells. • The shortage of water in your body can also cause premature wrinkles and deeper pores. 2. Helps Weight Loss • Besides being less hungry and decreasing cravings, by drinking water immediately after waking up, your body is releasing toxins, which begin a movement in your bowels. This process will recover and improve your digestive system. 3. Improve Metabolism • If you are dieting, you know that just by drinking water on an empty stomach, you can increase your metabolic rater by 24%! By increasing your metabolic rate, you are digesting faster and therefore improving your


Walk for Water

UK children help others Imagine having to walk a treacherous 6km every day just to get water to survive. That’s the situation for thousands of people, especially women and children, in the developing world. Children in a Buckinghamshire school did more than imagine: they actually walked 6k in school – and raised money to help. School children raised over £5,000 Pupils at High Ash CE School, Great Brickhill, near Milton Keynes, walked 30 laps of the school field, raising £5,480 through the sponsored event, along with a cake sale, in June. Headteacher Sara Boyce says: “Our school vision is to challenge inequality in the world as the Good Samaritan did. In taking part in this event, we have been raising awareness about the rights for all children to have access to clean water and education. It’s been a real eye-opener to the children to cover 6km, to understand how far youngsters their age in poorer countries walk each day just to get water. They also experienced how heavy that water is to carry.” The High Ash children took part in the walk in the safety of their school grounds. In the developing world, the journey is often dangerous and there is no adult supervision. Youngsters as young as four are forced to get up early and carry buckets of water so heavy they rub the hair off their heads. If they get home in time for school, they are often too exhausted to concentrate in class. TAKE PART: GLOBAL 6K WALK FOR WATER “Big impact” So, what did the High Ash children think of the challenge? Angelina said: “It was really tiring but at the end I felt really joyful, it was like a marathon but I knew it would help other children around the world get clean water so that is what kept me going.” Phoebe said: “I ran the 6K knowing that I was giving poorer children access to water. Every step was helping that little bit more, it was a small step for me but could have had a big impact on their life.” Finley said: “I felt good about myself because every step that I took I knew I would be helping someone that doesn’t have the luxury we have of access to clean water nearby.”This isn’t a walk for water, it’s more like a walk for the futures of children.” – Lorelei, pupil Walk your own Global 6K

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Every day, women and girls spend 200 million hours walking to collect water for their families. That’s 8.3 million days. More than 22,800 years. It’s hard to get your head around numbers that large, so start instead with 6K. The “K” stands for kilometer. 6K, a little more than 3.7 miles, is the average distance round trip women and children in the developing world walk for water — water that is often contaminated with life-threatening diseases. How far is 6K? 15 laps around a football field Twice the length of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. — from the Lincoln Memorial to the steps of the U.S. Capitol and back again Five times the number of steps to climb the Empire State Building You could do that, right? (Well, maybe not the climbing part; that would be hard.) You could probably walk 6K in an hour and 15 minutes. At a brisk walk, you could shave off the 15 minutes. On a flat, smooth sidewalk, most people can walk a mile in 17 to 20 minutes. If you’re a runner, you could cover the distance in half that time. Easy peasy. Walking for water in Africa But that’s not how it’s done in sub-Saharan Africa. There, people don’t have access to an improved water source. Moms and daughters walk their 6K barefoot or in rubber sandals to collect water from polluted rivers and ponds. More than 3 million children and nearly 14 million women walk more than 30 minutes to collect water. And they often make that trip more than once a day! Maybe they climb up steep hills or over rocks, slide down a steep gully, or circle around thorn trees. There may be snakes and bees or people who want to rob them — or worse — lying in wait along the way. On the way home from the water source, it’s even harder. You know what it’s like to carry a gallon of milk from the car to the kitchen counter? Try a gallon in each hand at 8.6 pounds each, and the total weight is less than half the 44 pounds an African woman carries on her head in a 20-liter jerrycan. You see, carrying water is not just difficult, it’s a lifelong pain in the neck or back that sometimes causes serious health problems. But would that 20-liter jerrycan be enough water for your family to drink, cook, bathe, and wash for a

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A Walk for Water

A walk for children, by children Planning Guide A Marathon Walk in 110+ degree heat During 9 months of the year, in stifling 110+ degree temperatures, the children of the Azawak make a marathon hike for water, inspired not by an athletic goal, but by a desperate need. They travel as many as 30 miles in a day, in oppressive heat, with little to eat. They know that if they don’t return soon with water, one of their family members might die. Walk to Change Lives To bring awareness to the challenges these children face, and to raise money to improve their lives, schools, students, and community organizations are invited to conduct “A Walk for Water”. Students ask friends, family, and local businesses to sponsor them for each mile they walk. Heroes of Compassion A Walk for Water embodies the mission of our Wells of Love program, which is to empower students as “Heroes of  Compassion”. These future leaders come together with a philanthropic spirit to make a positive impact.  Each stage of planning and engagement brings meaningful experiences that build a foundation for leadership and socially-conscious action. Steps for Organizing A Walk for Water Pick a date and tell us about your event (send an email to Holding a community event in the fall, when school begins, is a great way to bring everyone together. World Water Day in March or Earth Day in April also provide occasions where an event focusing on the scarcity of water can be highlighted.  We encourage your school to hold A Walk For Water at around the same time each year in order to raise a loud and consistent voice for the children of the Azawak.Option: Do you want online registration for your event? Become our partner and Fill out this form.  Check out the Montessori School of Mclean’s annual Walk for Water event.  Choose a venueThe walk can take place on a wooded trail, around a track, along a city bike path, in a local park, around your local neighborhood or on school grounds.Tip:  Plan ahead. Set up an organizing committee. You may need to provide portable toilets, apply for a permit, or pay a fee. Invite your communityA Walk For Water can be held as a school function just for students during the school day, or organized as a weekend family event. Schools are encouraged join together with other schools to create an even bigger event that will give students

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NEW YORK/STOCKHOLM, 29 August 2016 – UNICEF said the 200 million hours women and girls spend every day collecting water is a colossal waste of their valuable time. As World Water Week gets underway in Stockholm and experts gather to try to improve the world’s access to water, the UN children’s agency stressed that the opportunity cost of lack of access to water disproportionately falls on women. “Just imagine: 200 million hours is 8.3 million days, or over 22,800 years,” said UNICEF’s global head of water, sanitation and hygiene Sanjay Wijesekera. “It would be as if a woman started with her empty bucket in the Stone Age and didn’t arrive home with water until 2016. Think how much the world has advanced in that time. Think how much women could have achieved in that time.” “When water is not on premises and needs to be collected, it’s our women and girls who are mostly paying with their time and lost opportunities,” he added. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goal for water and sanitation, Goal 6, calls for universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water by 2030. The first step is providing everyone with a basic service within a 30-minute round trip, and the long term goal is to ensure everyone has safe water available at home. However, UN estimates are that in sub-Saharan Africa, for example, for 29 per cent of the population (37 per cent in rural areas and 14 per cent in urban areas), improved drinking water sources are 30 minutes or more away. In sub-Saharan Africa, one roundtrip to collect water is 33 minutes on average in rural areas and 25 minutes in urban areas. In Asia, the numbers are 21 minutes and 19 minutes respectively. However for particular countries the figures may be higher. A single trip takes longer than an hour in Mauritania, Somalia, Tunisia and Yemen. When water is not piped to the home the burden of fetching it falls disproportionately on women and children, especially girls. A study of 24 sub-Saharan countries revealed that when the collection time is more than 30 minutes, an estimated 3.36 million children and 13.54 million adult females were responsible for water collection. In Malawi, the UN estimates that women who collected water spent 54 minutes on average, while men spent only 6 minutes. In Guinea and the United Republic of Tanzania average collection times for women were 20

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Like the air we breathe, water is essential in our lives. But for at least 2.1 billion people, clean water is still out of reach. Did you know that disease from unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation kills more people each year than all forms of violence, including war? Did you know that one in four primary schools have no drinking water service, with students using unprotected sources or going thirsty? What about the fact that women and girls are responsible for water collection in eight out of ten households with water off-premises? The truth is access to clean water is deeply linked to poverty. And that’s why the theme of this year’s World Water Day is ‘Leave no one behind,’—building off the central promise of Sustainable Development Goal 6 to ensure the availability of water to all by 2030. According to the UN, the most marginalized people are often overlooked or face discrimination when trying to access water: women, children, refugees, indigenous people, and people with disabilities. At Oxfam, water is central to almost every aspect of our work—our humanitarian responses, our campaigns, and our long-term initiatives to help families improve their incomes, reduce their vulnerability to disasters, and defend their rights. This World Water Day we challenged people on the streets of Boston to see how far they could carry 5 gallons of water. On average, women and children in developing countries walk 3.7 miles and carry 5 gallons everyday day to bring clean water home to their families. How far do you walk for water? In Yemen, more than 2,500 people—many under the age of 5—have died from cholera as the result of poor access to clean water. Since war began in the region, Oxfam has provided humanitarian aid to more than three million people, including repairing water systems and trucking in water to help displaced people and other at-risk communities. In Syria, we have provided clean water to 2 million people and are working on solid waste management. We are providing around 185,000 gallons of chlorinated water daily in the Teknaf area, Bangladesh, as part of our response to the Rohingya crisis. And in the Democratic Republic of the Congo we have started the construction of a pipeline that will provide safe water to more than 80,000 people. For Oxfam, tackling the root causes of poverty often means addressing these water-related injustices. Water scarcity, poor water quality and inadequate

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