I am always looking for new ideas and concepts to help keep me focused and on target.
If it’s a book or article on self-improvement, organizing, success, healthy lifestyle, etc. I am all over it.
Actually, I am a sucker for it and that is why I wanted to share this.
Summer usually ignites my “get back into shape and stay healthy” craze.
When I came across these tips, I was all over it. Some of them are “duh” type ideas, but even those I find myself lacking in “practicing”. I “know” what’s right and how to do things, it just doesn’t mean I actually deliver.
So I thought I would pass along to you as well. Hope you enjoy!
10 HEALTHY HABITS TO START TODAY
Bend over the proper way
According to an old saying, the body is a temple. So, no matter what shape you may be in, your body requires no less than 100% respect and care. This is particularly true of the back, the oft-injured anchor of the body. To prevent injury and ensure that your back is mobile and ready for action, always practice proper lifting technique: Bend your knees, keep your back straight and lift with your legs.
Stretch in the morning and at night
Staying physically fit, healthy and injury-free relies heavily on our physical flexibility. As many of us sit behind desks for most of our waking life, our muscles stay stiff and contracted, greatly increasing the chance of injury during unplanned physical activity. To ensure that your body functions as a well-oiled man machine, stretch every morning and night (after a reasonable warm-up, of course) or at least undertake some light physical activity that tests your full range of motion.
Breathe from your stomach, rather than your chest
Most men and women don’t breathe properly. Many of us breathe from our chest, taking short, rapid breaths. We should, however, be breathing from the diaphragm, an area between the stomach and chest. Breathing in this way takes less effort, maximizes oxygen intake and relaxes both body and mind. Simply changing our breathing pattern can have a drastic impact on physical performance and anxiety levels. So research diaphragmatic breathing to learn how.
Eat a healthy breakfast
You’ve probably heard it before, but breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Not only does eating a healthy breakfast kick-start your metabolism, but studies suggest that it also improves both physical and mental well-being. To keep yourself fully fueled and at your physical best, eat a light breakfast that includes carbs, protein and a little bit of healthy fat. An egg-white spinach omelet with sliced avocado and some whole-grain toast will do the trick!
Substitute healthy snacks for junk food
If you’re a three-meal-per-day person, chances are that your energy levels take a dive between meals. By refueling with healthy snack foods, instead of traditional junk food, you’ll keep your energy levels high without sacrificing your health. Traditional junk foods tend to be high in sugars and fat. When consumed, these foods will give an immediate boost of energy, followed by a big energy drop. Eating healthy snacks, on the other hand, can help to ensure that your energy stays level throughout the day.
Eat smaller meals, more frequently
Most of us stick to a three-meal-a-day or four-meal-a-day regime (probably because tradition tells us to). While there’s generally nothing wrong with that, more and more experts are suggesting that it’s time we up the number of meals we eat per day to five or six. Although the optimal number of meals remains unclear, planning meals properly and limiting portion size will at least prevent overeating (and it’s overeating that tends to have the greatest impact on overall physical fitness).
Carry a bottle of water with you
It may not be the most stylish fashion accessory, but a bottle of water sure can come in handy. Despite the fact that no one really knows how much water we need to drink, the reality is that our bodies are composed primarily of water. We need water to lubricate our joints and maintain our muscles. Even mild dehydration can greatly reduce physical performance and will predispose muscles to injury. By carrying a water bottle with you, you’ll never go thirsty again.
Get enough sleep
Today’s working individual is busy, we get that. If physical fitness is a concern, though (and it should be), today’s working class should not sacrifice sleep for work. Research strongly supports the need for a good sleep, but we probably don’t really need to remind you of that. Every man, woman and child knows the difference between a good night of sleep and a poor one. Get on a schedule, remove distractions and plan your day well. Get a good sleep.
Exercise at least 3-4 times a week
All the healthy habits in the world won’t help your overall fitness if you sit on the couch all day. To be a healthy person, get up and get active. But how much exercise is enough? Most major health organizations suggest at least 30 minutes of regular, moderate-intensity physical activity on most days to prevent cardiovascular diseases and to maintain fitness. This, of course, comes with the footnote that more exercise is always better.
Walk to work
Walk to the office, ride your bike or at least take the stairs. You get the idea. It’s naive to think that people everywhere have the time, patience and commitment to exercise frequently enough to maximize physical fitness. The solution then is to improvise. Whether it’s reciting a presentation while on the treadmill or watching your favorite show while doing sit-ups, find a creative way to fit physical activity into your day. It’s the one healthy habit that will forever ensure that you’re always primed, ready and raring to go regardless of what physical challenge is put in front of you.