January 4th, 2021, I have not written a check yet, so the change of year has yet to sink in.
In Rochester, MN, Home of the Mayo Clinic, Med City, we call it. We still have a lot of work to do to improve our health and fitness.
You have decided to focus on your health, or maybe you have been focused for some time. Many of you don’t know where to start, or if you are on the journey already, perhaps you need a reset or a new focus.
This post should help you do that.
Here are five easy things you can do to make meaningful lifestyle changes. Look at it as a kickstart, not a challenge. You are beginning a journey, not a contest.
Lifestyle Change #1: Healthier Food Choices
Oh! Food the first one! Come on, man… Yep sorry. This isn’t as difficult as you think. I am not asking you to stop eating the things you love, just asking you to move slowly towards eating better. Switch out a bag of chips for a more real food option. The more whole foods you eat, the less you will want that bag of chips.
Your first step is to get to 80% real foods. Four out of five things you eat should be non-processed foods. You will notice your cravings for the crap decreases. Your body needs nutrient-rich food to function at peak capacity.
Lifestyle Change #2: More Water
Drinking more water is the next one. Pretty easy. Tons of tools to help you with this one, special water bottles, apps, and even challenges. A glass of water upon waking and after each meal does the trick for most. How much water should you drink really depends on you as an individual. Are you a heavy sweater? Did you work out today? Do you live in a warm climate? Do you work outside? The key to this change is simply to drink more. For some that may just be one glass of water.
- Improve your focus
- Boost your energy levels
- Keep cravings at bay
- Manage your food intake better
If you need an amount to shoot for, start with half your body weight in ounces. So if you weigh 200lbs, your goal would be 100oz of water.
Lifestyle Change #3: Increased Physical Activity
Move more! Third on the list, but it could also be first. Movement is a drug, and it improves so many things that it is hard to keep this section short.
Increasing your activity can:
- Fight off cravings
- Improve your concentration, decision-making, and visual learning
- Manage your weight better
- Improve your heart health
- Avoid the muscular imbalances and chronic aches caused by sitting all-day
Of course, I do own a couple of gyms. So if you are looking to do a little more, reach out, and I can help you get started. The goal here is for you to move more than you are now. That is the first step.
Of course, if you’re looking to take your fitness to the next level, you’ll need to follow a more structured training plan that’s designed to help you get the specific results you’re looking for. But just moving more every day is definitely a significant first step.
Lifestyle Change #4: Get More Sleep
Sleep! The great reset. If you genuinely want to see all the things improve in your life, master your sleep. Sleep hygiene is one of the most life-changing things that you can work on.
Whole books are written on this topic, and if you find yourself skimming over this change; it is probably the one you need the most.
The benefits of sleep:
- improves your skin
- Less hunger and cravings
- decreases fat gain
- Heart health
- Stabilizes blood sugars
- improves cognition
- speeds muscle recovery
Lifestyle Change #5: Meditation
Stress reduction is key to a lot of things in life. Meditation can help. I wrote about this last month: Medication, oops I mean Meditation!
Chronic stress is responsible for a variety of issues: heart disease, depression, hair loss, high blood pressure, anxiety, and weight gain.
Cortisol is released when you are stressed. If you are pumping out Cortisol non-stop, you will not do well. Meditation can help.
The goal of meditation is to adapt and control how you respond to things. How you react to anything dictates your stress levels. You can not eliminate stress from your life. Stop trying.
Five things you can start to work on today!
None of the things I talked about today require massive drastic change. The most useful thing you can do today is to plan your week. Write down what you are going to do this week and when. Pick one of these topics and focus on them for 10 mins a day. 50 mins of work this week can change your life.
Ready to get started on your lifestyle changes? Let us know. We are here to help.