Five Things To Start.
Five Things To Stop.
How to get better at life – at least the health part of it.
Everyone wants to be healthy, or … healthier. Like many things in life, to achieve the desired outcome, one must start doing certain things and stop doing certain things. Here are the top five.
- Going to bed. Earlier. Simply put, get more sleep. Nearly everyone is not getting enough sleep. If you’re one of those people who are chronically sleep deprived, it’s having powerful negative consequences on your health and well-being. Sleep deprivation affects many aspects of your health, not just being tired, cranky, and not able to be 100% the person you want to be – spouse, parent, employee, leader – for example, chronic lack of sleep moves you toward functioning like a Type 2 diabetic.
- Drinking purified water. Every day. All day. This is so obvious, so cliché; but really, get your act together and make it happen. Go buy a nice ‘canteen’ – some sort of quality water ‘bottle’ that you have with you at work, in your car, everywhere you go. If you can, install a reverse osmosis system at your kitchen sink.
- Exercising at least 5 days each week. Something that causes you to pant and sweat. Every aspect of your life will improve – sleep, energy, concentration, mood, sex drive, even your poops. Find something you enjoy and is convenient – if you have to drive 45 minutes after work to get your chosen workout in, chances are it gets pushed aside on most days.
- Dedicating time for … you. One benefit of going to bed earlier, is you can now get up earlier and spend time meditating/praying (it changes your brain … for the better), writing out goals, to-do lists, gratitude lists, exercising. Doing your ‘me time’ in the morning is not necessarily better – although it definitely does help organize, prioritize, energize and otherwise ‘set the tone’ for your day.
- Eating more plants. Vegetables, like drinking water, are so cliché. But ‘old adages’ are that for a reason – they’ve withstood the test of time and have become ‘law’. This is true with ‘eat your vegetables’. Phytonutrients, fiber, antioxidants, co-enzymes – all of which plant foods contain – are so beneficial to your health. Eat salads. A lot of salads. Eat steamed vegetables. Roasted vegetables. Raw vegetables (Running out the door? Grab carrots for you and the kids to munch on).
- Eating sugar and foods that act like sugar (which are bread, pasta, pizza, cereal). This is an absolute game changer. Need convincing? Read more here. It’s not easy to do. By the way, this includes stop eating any and all artificial sweeteners.
- Eating foods with processed vegetable oils (canola, soy, corn, hydrogenated). Because these oils foreign to human physiology, they’re toxic and accumulate within cells causing a host of health problems including heart disease and cancer. This includes nearly all packaged foods. But definitely stop eating fried foods, including chips.
- Spending time on your phone. It’s not helping. Period. Yes, you can rationalize that you’re checking work email, or … whatever. The truth is, and studies are confirming, online time increases anxiety and other negative mental/emotional responses. Facebook has a feature that will notify you when you’ve spent a certain amount of time each day. For you, maybe this also pertains to your Netflix addiction. Spend time with loved ones, by yourself, walking the dog – anything with a living, breathing being will most likely bring you greater peace, reducing your stress, than being online.
- Being … judgmental, resentful, critical, complaining, unforgiving, politically angry – you get the drift. Another somewhat overused term today is ‘mindfulness’; but in reality, from a scientific angle, it has significant positive effects on your brain.
- Sitting. You’ve probably heard the saying ‘Sitting is the new smoking’. That’s a powerful thing to declare. Scientists, doctors, and researchers are all in agreement – the modern life of sitting is killing us. Literally.
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