Let’s be honest, there are no quick fixes when it comes to health. Being healthy is a life choice, so forget surgery, pills, or the latest food replacement supplement. Here are my Top 10 health tips you should start doing today for a healthier tomorrow:
1. Drink a glass of water upon waking
Drink water first thing upon waking up…I mean before you do anything else. I keep a 750 ml (25 oz) water bottle on my nightstand so that before I even get out of bed I have a lot of water in me. When you sleep, you generally are going (hopefully) 6-8 hours without any water. Imagine doing that while awake. Drinking water first thing in the morning will hydrate the skin immediately, increase your metabolism by 24% in 90 minutes, help balance your lymphatic system, and flush out toxins all without being impeded by food. Remember to drink water though out the day, too. Your body is 60% water, blood is 92% water, and your brain tissue and muscles are 75% water. Rev it all up first thing with water!
2. Don’t skip meals
This seems like a no brainer, but I’m always surprised when I hear someone say that they are skipping meals to lose weight. Your body needs a consistent schedule of eating. However many meals you consume for your daily consumption (I suggest no less than 4), get on a schedule and do not skip. You can train your body to consume all of the food you eat for energy, or you can train it to store fat. This all depends on having a balanced diet and eating appropriate amounts at scheduled intervals.
3. Eat REAL Food
Yes, this is a quick stab at all supplements and processed foods. Our bodies were designed to eat real food, not processed foods or supplements. You can achieve the greatest health by eating the right foods in the correct balance without supplements. The closer to the source you can get (meaning less processing) the better. My general rule of thumb is that if it sold in a bag, can or bottle, just don’t buy it. Going organic is even better. I have heard people argue that eating healthy and/or organic is too expensive. I challenge that statement and ask you to include into the calculations copays for doctor visits as part of your monthly grocery bill before and after you make this change. I write specifically about choosing the right foods and eating the correct amounts in my book, “Fat Burning Secrets.”
4. Set Goals
I wrote a blog post in February of this year (2015) called “Begin With The End In Mind” that talks about goal setting. Not having goals when it comes to your health is like getting in your car and driving to an unknown destination without directions or navigation. Your goals can be focused on the result like I want a resting heart rate of 54 beats per minute by December 1, or it can be focused on motivating your specific efforts like I want to work out 3 times per week every week this month.
5. Share Your Goals
Making goals and not holding yourself accountable is a waste of time. The best way to make yourself accountable is to share your goals. Tell a friend, spouse or partner who can not only help you keep yourself accountable, but who can also help motivate and inspire you.
6. Stay Mentally Active
Keep the brain active. Research tells us that continued brain stimulation over the course of years helps prevent Alzheimer’s Disease. Exercise will certainly help in keeping the brain active, but you should specifically work out the brain. I try to learn a new skill on a regular basis. Try learning a new language or how to play a musical instrument, for example. My parents, who are in their 80’s, focus daily solving crossword puzzles.
We’ve all heard and seen plenty of research on the effects of stress on our health. Meditation, especially coupled with exercise, is a great way to reduce and cope with stress in your life. If meditation seems out of reach for you, at least break up your morning and afternoon with a 15 minutes of silence and solitude. Just sit in a quiet and comfortable place and close your eyes. Listen to some soothing music and just focus on your breathing and relaxing your muscles. You will be energized and ready to go afterwards.
8. Eat Out Less
Perhaps a no brainer, but when I was going into an office everyday I was surprised to see how many people go out to grab lunch every day versus bring their own. Control what you eat by preparing your own food and eating out less. See my June 2015 post, “Preparing Meals in Advance is Key to Healthy Food Choices.”
9. Exercise Smarter
I’m all about this, as some of you may already know. Go into your exercise routine with a plan in place. You want an effective and efficient plan to get into or stay in shape. I wrote an entire book on how to do this which includes weight training, cardio and healthy food choices. See “Fat Burning Secrets“, which is available on this site or on Amazon in the Kindle store. If not my book, at least consult a personal trainer at your local gym.
10. Push Yourself
In exercising the muscles and the brain, you cannot make great strides without pushing yourself. As always, check with your physician prior to starting an exercise routine, especially if you have been sedentary for a while. Growth is always outside of your comfort zone, so push yourself just a little bit further each time. This will not only help you physically, it will also boost you psychologically as well.
If implementing all 10 of these things at once seems too hard, try a couple of them per week. You have nothing to lose, and more life to gain.
As always, I encourage you to participate in the conversation by posting a comment below and sharing this with your friends and family.
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- Why You Should Drink Water Right After You Wake Up, OrganicMedic.com
- Killer Morning Habit: Drink Water Right After You Wake Up, ALifeOfProductivity.com
- We Can Help Stay Mentally Active, Alz.org
- Definition of Alzheimers, MayoClinic.org
- Fat Burning Secrets, Richard Webb