RK Tip of the Week|Do gooder alert!

Posted on April 7, 2010


 Did you know the average distance a woman and child walk to get water in 2nd & 3rd world countries is almost 4 miles? I didn’t, and it makes me even more baffled when someone says they “forget” to drink water during their day. To me, that’s like saying, “I forgot my pants today.” It’s as important, as accessible, and should be as obvious, and yet, we live in a country where we have such easy access to water…and gatorade, and frappaccino, and pop that we seem to have special challenges in making sure we’re hydrated with good old life-giving water.

Normally, I’d take you down the rabbit hole with me about calories in beverages making us fat – but today, we’re off-shooting a little differently thanks to a recent reality check I had about how blessed our life actually is as Americans – health care reform bill arguments aside for a moment. Because of the latitude & longitude of our birth, we live in a place where we have access to more things than most people in this world would ever dream of. Take water for instance…

Water is a basic human right (and requirement!), and yet nearly one billion people on this planet don’t have access to it.  Every day, thousands of women and children die due to lack of adequate drinking water. These cases result in 1.5 million annual deaths, mostly among children under the age of five. In areas like Haiti, Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, & Latin America, women and children are forced to walk 6 km (3.7 miles) each day to secure water that is likely unsuitable for drinking.

We are either persons who think at some point about doing something that betters this world or we are persons who will do something that saves us $ on our personal bottom line. Hopefully, those two motivations cross over & we’re interested in doing both. Well, I have an answer for whichever type of person you are. Real Knowledge Tip of the Week is always about getting better – and today I want to share with you something that can help you accomplish both of these drives.

Dow is putting on a series of world-wide run/walks & live entertainment events on April 18, 2010 to bring attention to & raise money for the global water crisis. Don’t think it’s a crisis? In developing countries, unsafe water causes 80 percent of all illness and disease, and kills more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. Children are especially vulnerable to these consequences. Of the 42,000 deaths that occur each week from unsafe water, 90 percent are children under the age of five. Dow is also providing valuable information about how we can do something to help someone else in this world have a glass of water to drink.

The Dow Live Earth Run for Water will raise the profile of this issue, educate people about its challenges and bring resources and solutions to the nearly one billion people around the world who lack access to clean, safe drinking water. And you’ll get to jam out with great musicians, learn about how to conserve your own water (see, saving $ already!) and how you can help provide clean water to impoverished people (saving the world, go you!). In Chicago, the event will be at 10am starting from Montrose Harbor, and there’s the option to walk or run the 3.7 miles. Also, 10% of all registration fees from the race will go to the Global Water Challenge, and then on to the people who need it most. You can register for the run/walk at www.liveearth.org/run,  as well as make a donation to the initiative – but as your trainer, I’m recommending you get outside and get your cardio in for a good cause on Sunday April 18, 2010. If you don’t live in Chicago, head to the Live Earth website & find a run/walk near you! They’re going on all around the world, chances are there is one going on near your hometown!

Want to learn how you can improve your own water usage right away? Click on the pic below for a really cool tool to see just how much water you use in your daily life. I was shocked (and pleased!) to learn that using the dishwasher is actually more water-conscious than washing dishes by hand, which I was doing regularly. No more sexy blue dish gloves for Kate! Check it out, and see just how many gallons of water you use each week, and how you can start improving that number. Saved water means saved money, and we like that.

A fitness goal starts with changing one unhealthy habit for a healthy one, & similarly, lots of small changes will add up to a big impact in the efforts to make this world a better one to leave our grandkids. How can you argue with that noble goal?