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Many people use the argument that they're too busy to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and in all honesty, I'm a bit sick of hearing the excuses.
"But I do am busy,"
you may say.
This is something I hear all too often, and usually from people that have taken it upon themselves to have a certain career type, or birth a child, or adopt a pet without total consideration for the outcome of their decisions. What I truly don't understand is how one can take on all sorts of responsibilities and then allow them to supersede one's own requirements for health and well-being.
Simply put, there should not be a 'too busy' if one puts themselves first.
Why should someone put themselves first? Well, because each individual is the foundation of their own life - if the foundation is not solid, then everything above will come toppling down. If someone has taken too many responsibilities, and neglected their own health and wellness, they're missing the most important (foundation) responsibility entirely.
A healthy lifestyle goes beyond just maintaining a healthy diet and activity levels, but also includes managing stress, sleep, and even the amount of information you consume each day. In this modern age of technological devices left, right, and center, that final point regarding information consumption will be something I heavily focus on in this article.
A healthy lifestyle is one of balance, meaning maintaining necessary self care while also accomplishing daily tasks which need to get don
e - work, taking care of children, pets, and all other items which may popup throughout the typical day. Self care simply means putting your health and wellness first - mentally and physically, and thinking about the short as well as long term impacts on your daily decisions.
So here, I will cover 13 straight forward healthy lifestyle tips. You don't even need to implement all of the suggestions, but if you can start with just a few, you'll be on the right track to a healthy lifestyle.
1. Create a Schedule
This is where it all starts.
One of the best ways to stay organized and maintain a healthy lifestyle is to create a schedule and use lists as much as possible to ensure you stay on top of important tasks. Your schedule will dictate how you go about completing each task throughout the day, and where you can slot-in your healthy lifestyle activities.
2. Maintain Healthy Sleep Habits
Studies show that the majority of recovery and repair is done during sleep time.((National Sleep Foundation: What Happens When You Sleep?
)) This isn't just recovery of your body's muscles, but recovery and repair of the brain! With that in mind (no pun intended), it should be at the forefront of importance to get adequate sleep every night.
If you don't get proper sleep, your body and brain will not be able to function at its full capacity - which means your decision making process will be compromised.
Focus on high quality deep sleep
and remaining within REM Sleep cycles
(not awaking sporadically throughout the night). Some supplements can help with improved sleep, which I will discuss a bit further below.
3. Drink Lots of Quality Water
This is something that cannot be overlooked since 60% of the human adult body is water.((H.H. Mitchell, Journal of Biological Chemistry 158: The Water in You: Water and the Human Body
)) The brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are watery: 31%.
Simply put, you run on water and without this very important fuel, you will not be able to operate effectively and you may even start to develop illness.
The quality of your water is also quite important - and I suggest looking at natural spring water as your primary source of nourishment. Keep in mind if you use Reverse Osmosis that removes the largest spectrum of contaminants of any water treatment process. It does remove the minerals, which you will then need to make-up for with supplementation.
4. Incorporate Intermittent Fasting
I've written articles about the benefits of Intermittent Fasting ("IF"), and discussed on popular youtube videos. IF has undeniable benefits and much research is starting to come to the surface to support this.
You can learn more about IF here:
5. Exercise Daily
There's varying degrees of exercise, and I'm not suggesting to deadlift or squat heavy daily. What I suggest is light steady-stay cardio daily at a bare minimum - which means a low pace walk for minimum of 20 minutes per day. You can split this up into two 10min walks, but keep in mind this is the bare minimum!
I encourage you to challenge yourself and set a firm goal such as losing X-amount of body weight, or lifting Y-amount of weight during a workout.
We need goals to stay on track, and I suggest also aligning to others on social media that are supporting your journey - here's where I plug my Instagram to help others achieve their healthy lifestyle goals:
I also suggest downloading fitness apps
that will help track your progress.
6. Maintain Healthy Eating Habits
You'll notice how I didn't use the word 'diet' here, because this has truly become a fad in itself - the concept of going on and off diets.
The healthy lifestyle approach is to establish a sustainable healthy eating regime. I've been suggesting the use of meal tracking apps such as MyFitnessPal
for years, as it holds one accountable and tracks progress.
A healthy eating habit is one of balance and maintaining proper macro nutrient and micro nutrient intake. Calories are also quite important, and using apps to track them will help. It's safe to say healthy eating entails consuming foods across the full color spectrum, and ensuring enough high quality protein is being consumed.
7. Maintain a Healthy Gut
Many consider the gut as the second brain. Much communication occurs between the human gut, and the human brain. One could argue that much of the decision making process begins in the gut, and if it's an unhealthy gut you can be sure the decisions will also be quite unhealthy.
You can maintain a healthy gut by using probiotics
such as all natural (plain) Kefir greek yogurt, or kombucha - which is a fermented, slightly alcoholic (sometimes non alcoholic), lightly effervescent, sweetened black or green tea drink commonly intended as a functional beverage for its supposed health benefits
8. Don't Overcook Meat
This one is really simple and easy to achieve. When you overcook food, and meat in particular, you are welcoming unnecessary and unwanted carcinogens.
One approach to reducing this is if you use coffee rub on your meats to reduce the amount of carcinogens in any overcooked areas.
9. Use Supplementation
I strongly believe the first line of defence is food. However, if you cannot consume all of your micro-nutrients, then supplementation is a great alternative.
Please ensure you do your research prior to purchasing any supplement, to ensure it is not just ineffective 'snake oil', and that it is proven to actually be effective.
Important vitamins to consider are D3, B6, B12, Vitamin C, Magnesium, Calcium, Protein, and others. Other popular substances are becoming widely adopted as well for their proven results such as CBD Oil,((Wellness Co: Have an Overactive Mind Before Bed?
)) and I personally have incorporated its use to improve deep/REM sleep cycles.
If you're interested in a follow up article on the best and most important supplements - please reach out and let me know!
10. Spend Time In Nature
Forest and Nature Bathing is extremely effective in treating physical health and especially mental health. Shinrin-yoku is a term that means "taking in the forest atmosphere" or "forest bathing." It was developed in Japan during the 1980s and has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine.
Researchers from the University of East Anglia, looked at data from a slew of studies((University of East Anglia: It’s official - spending time outside is good for you
)) —103 observational studies and 40 interventional studies - 290 million participants, from 20 different countries. The study data concluded that spending more time in green spaces was linked to reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol, lower heart rate, reduced risk of coronary heart disease, lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, reduced risk of type II diabetes, reduced all-cause mortality and death from heart disease.
Even more amazing data was found in women who were pregnant - more time spent in forestry was linked to reduced risk of “small size for gestational age” in the baby as well as preterm birth.
Finally among all the participants, on average, there was an increased likelihood of self-reporting one’s health as “good.”
11. Incorporate Meditation
You don't need to sit in lotus pose in silence to perform meditation. In Buddhism, there is a practice known as Meditating in Four Postures, and its aim is to simplify the concept.
Meditation can be performed in any of these four postures - Sitting, Standing, Laying Down, and Walking.((Integral Awakenings: Meditating in all Four Postures
)) The aim of meditation here is to simply remain mindful throughout the day, and you can support this by additionally performing the more commonly seen 'sitting in lotus pose' meditation which basically emphasises stillness and silence (of mind).
Here's a meditation guide for beginners: How Do You Meditate? 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners
12. Spend Time with Friends and Family
This one has become tricky in our technological age simply due to the amount of distractions. Next time you are spending time with close friends or family, put the devices down and become totally devoted to the conversation at hand - immerse yourself in it.
By spending time with friends, family, or even pets, you are supporting the human need for community and social interaction. When you immerse attention in this way, you can begin exchanging Biophotons (subtle energy)((Int J Yoga.: Biophotons as Subtle Energy Carriers
)) between other living organisms.
13. Consume Quality Content and Information
This one you'll need to stay on top of! Controlling the information you take in is super important.
I've been focusing a lot on attention hijacking, which is basically when some external stimuli distracts or takes one's attention away from the primary task at hand. Examples of attention hijacking is unexpected phone calls, or even emails, which distract from what is being worked on.
Aside from hijacking, many people actually choose to consume low quality content and information. What I'd deem low quality is mind-numbing TV programs, or news channels. What I deem high quality is consuming information that is going to lead to elevated awareness of oneself or one's situation, and inevitably aid the individual in making improvements to their lifestyle.
Quality books, audiobooks, documentaries, online courses/lectures, and podcasts are a great starting point!
The Bottom Line
Each of these suggestions will benefit you in different ways, and I've briefly detailed the benefits of each.
If you're truly interested in maintaining an optimal healthy lifestyle, you'll work towards implementing all. When you start to see the results of your actions, you'll be so excited and want to continue to improve day over day. Sooner or later, you'll be a freight train of health and helping others do the same.
If you haven't been taking your health and longevity seriously, now's the time to start! You can take small steps each day to make improvements, and over time, those will compound to huge results. Look back in a year, two years, 5 years and be blown away at how much healthier and happier you are after having executed a strategy for healthy living!