We all wish that living a healthy lifestyle were an easier endeavor. But the fact remains, our modern world is constantly challenging our will and ambition. And it does a good job breaking both if we aren’t careful. A simple trip to the mall exposes us to junk foods, alcohol and fattening foods. Gatherings, such as birthdays or work events are an inconvenient and often act of aggression when it comes to our health.
But short of avoiding your coworker’s ten year anniversary get together, you have to learn how to better negotiate the terms of the modern world. Your dedication to consistency will benefit your health a lot more than sporadic moments of hyper-motivation. You want to lose a little weight each year, not a lot of weight every week. And to do that, you need to change the way you think.
Do Daily, But Don’t Do Overwhelming
In order to lead a healthy lifestyle, you need to devote yourself to it daily. The problem is when people hear this (or read this), they feel overwhelmed because they have a distorted view of what “doing daily” really means.
It means exercise daily. It means eat healthy daily. It means take mental breaks from technology daily. But it doesn’t mean “all day,” so don’t feel overwhelmed and quit before you even begin.
Everyone has some concept that exercise requires 1 or 2 hours per day. Nothing could be further from the truth. When you wake up in the morning, even just 5 minutes of situps, pushups, or jumping jacks, can make a huge difference in your overall health profile. That’s free. It isn’t time consuming. And more importantly, it works.
For diet, carry healthy snacks such as nuts. Nuts, in my opinion, are one of the easiest and simplest solutions to combat junk food cravings. If you know its Margaret from accountings birthday, eat some plain almonds before going into the conference room to sing. This way, you will feel fuller when being tempted by cake. This will result in you either eating less cake, or no cake at all.
Technological slavery is real. And it is costing us calorie burn. Whether you work from home or work in an office, you need to get up and move. Save your work on your laptop, put your smart phone away, and take a walk. The walk will burn calories and it will also give your eyes and brain an opportunity to relax. A healthy brain is a healthy body.
The point of all of this is not to lose weight overnight, instead, it adds up over the course of a year. It assures a lifetime’s worth of health. Eating half that cake, or doing those 100 jumping jacks, mean something over the course of time. This means sustainable results. Don’t get overwhelmed!
The core component of health is sleep. If you are sleeping poorly, you aren’t doing your health any favors. Sleep allows your mind and body to recoup. There are several studies linking poor sleep to weight gain. Here is one study that details the detrimental effects of bad sleep.
If you have trouble falling asleep, you need to start by looking into what your daily behavior consist of. Are you drinking too much caffeine, or are you drinking caffeine too late in the day?
Additionally, what’s your diet like? For some people, they need carbs, often starchy carbs like potatoes or yams, before bed to help them sleep. For others, lower carb or no food at all before bed does the trick. It is a good idea to experiment in this area and see if either scenario helps.
Have you looked into Magnesium and Zinc supplements? For many, taking just 200mg of chelated Magnesium along with a small does of Zinc (make sure it has chromium in it) can really do the trick. You’d be surprised at how great these results can be! Don’t’ go nuts here, you should always check with your Doctor, but many people find this to really work well.
Increase Fiber, Superfoods
Superfoods and fiber are the key to our body’s health. Fiber helps us maintain a healthy blood sugar level. Superfoods infuse our bodies with a wealth of vitamins and minerals. Many people are deficient in important nutrients. Buy more vegetables. Eat more vegetables. If you find you don’t have time for wandering the produce section of the grocery store, try finding a good superfood supplement to help make things more convenient.
Fiber is important to gut health. A healthy gut is a healthy brain. In fact, if your gut health is poor, you might feel anxiety and depression which leads to weight gain caused from emotional eating. Here’s a really interesting in-depth look at the brain gut connection.
Increasing fiber will make you feel fuller and you will be less apt to want to snack in the afternoons.
Sign Up For a Health Event
I’m not much for running marathons, but I can say that by signing up for one, you tend to focus on your health. It gives you reason. It infuses you with a health agenda. There are lots of things to sign up for these days that will motivate you to do a little more each day to get healthy. There are lots of apps that count your steps and allow you to join groups and get competitive. In this case, technology is our friend.
In the end, your health is a long game, not a short battle. Dedication to consistency is the harbinger for improved health.