4 Things To Do Today That Will Improve Your Health
Health is the key to happiness and success, at least that what I believe. Our health is the most valuable asset we have, and should be our #1 priority. It should be valued above all else....It may seem daunting, but being healthier isn't all that complicated. You don't need some guru on TV to tell you how. All its takes is small daily action steps, and consistancy over time. Try these 4 small steps today, and be healthier than you were yesterday!
1) Drink More Water
This one may seem obvious, but it is often overlooked by people looking to get in shape. I've sat down in numerous consultations w/ people where the conversation goes something like this...
Me: Tell me about any supplements you're taking
Gym Dude: Well I'm BCAAs, creatine, whey protein, multivitamins, and some stuff some guy in Eos told me to buy
Me: Ok...How much water do you have in a day??
Gym Dude: Well, I have about 8 oz in the morning, and 8oz with my pre-workout and....yeah thats it!
You guys get the point. Gym Dude is on a whole lotta supplements but he's neglecting something WAY more important than all those supplements. H20...What he doesn't realize is that because his water intake is so low, his body is not absorbing all the supps and nutrients he's putting into his body. So quite literally, Gym Dude has some of the most expensing pee around!
Tip: Use the app Waterlogged to track and remind you to monitor your daily water intake
2) Skip the Processed Foods
This one can be a bit more challenging. When you go to a grocery store nowadays, there is an abundance of food choices to choose from. Unfortunately, many of these choices are not always "clean", and are highly processed. I even notice this trend in a lot of so called "health products". Often times, items like protein bars will be labeled as healthy or organic, when in reality, you might as well be eating a snickers bar.
The other problem I notice is society's current infatuation with macros. The obsession of making sure food fits within those magical ratios of carbs, fats, and proteins, often blinds people into eating highly processed foods. Besides the potential long term effects of eating processed food high in chemicals and preservatives, there is actually evidence now that shows people who eat whole, natural foods burn more calories than people who eat processed foods.
Tip: Next time you're at the grocery store, read the ingredients list FIRST, then the nutrition facts. Make eating clean the priority.
3) Siting is the New Smoking
Now that headline may seem a bit hyperbolic, but its actually pretty accurate. More and more research is showing that sitting at a desk in a sedentary job leads to the early onset of chronic disease. A meta study by Harvard Medical school, showed that too much sitting is linked to heart disease, diabetes, and premature death. The bad news is that the job market is shifting further away from physical labor jobs, so there are more sedentary jobs than ever before. However the good news is, that we are starting to become aware of the problem. And if you have a sedentary job, so should you.
Besides the chronic health risks, there are other, orthopedic risks as well. Back problems, tight hamstrings, and weak core muscles are all byproducts of a sedentary job. I can usually spot a person who works at a desk the minute they walk through the door. The rounded shoulders and forward flexed T-spine are a dead giveaway. So whats the best tool to combat all this?...MOVE. Simply put you must get up and move several times throughout the day. Whether at the gym or not, movement is the key
Tip: Another use for a timer!...Set a timer at your desk that reminds you every 30 minutes to get up, walk around, and stretch.
4) Chill Out Bro!!
Who here gets stressed out sometimes?...If you rhetorically answered no, then you are either lying or some type of mysterious monk....Look we all get stressed from time to time, there is no avoiding that. Its HOW we deal with the stress that is the key. Stress not only takes its toll mentally, it also has negative effects physically as well. One of these negative effects is weight gain.
Ever heard of the term "stress eat"? Well, its an actual thing. Our bodies respond to stress by releasing cortisol, which in turn, increases our cravings for heavy, caloric foods. To combat stress, we must have mental strategies so we can properly handle stressful situations, without them negatively affecting our health. To truly perform at our best, we must have a strong body AND strong mind.
Tip: In the morning before starting your day, take deep 10 diaphragm breaths and exhale. Be mindful of your breathing and relax. This only takes 30 seconds, and will help you start your day off calm, and focused.
As you can see, none of these steps are incredibly earth shattering. They are actually really easy to implement. As much as I love protein powders and supplements, the simple things are the foundation. But sometimes, simplicity get lost in the noise. Follow these steps, build a strong foundation, and become the healthiest version of yourself!