By Sean Wells
With the recent pandemic and fitness facilities being deemed a non-essential business, it is important for everyone to understand how to become healthier on their own. Below are 5 steps to becoming healthier that you can do pretty much anywhere.
The first thing that most people screw up in regards to their health is not sleeping enough. Sleep is one of the most important things you can do. We have written about sleep before (Sleep and why) and here(Go to bed!) Getting 8 hours of sleep a night or even “unplugging” for 8 hours a night will make significant changes in your health.
2. Regular Exercise
Everyone needs to exercise regularly. Humans as a species were made to move and move regularly. This means daily exercise, that can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people but what I have found that works is at least 30(read: the bare minimum) minutes each day every day, no matter what.
How I would suggest breaking that up –
Monday: 30 minutes of lower body focused training.
Tuesday: 30 minutes of upper body focused training
Wednesday: 30 minutes of walking, jogging, bike ride, etc.
Thursday: 30 minutes of lower body focused training
Friday: 30 minutes of upper body training
Saturday: 30 minutes of either intervals or walking
Sunday: 30 minutes of some type of stretching. Doesn’t have to be yoga, could be anything that ties body positioning to a relaxed mind.
The total amount of exercise is 3 hours and 30 minutes a week of exercise – completing this will make huge changes in your body.
3. Be Outside, in the Sun
Get more sunlight, for those that live in relatively sunny areas, such as Bend go outside and get 30 minutes a day. If you are implementing the 30 minutes of exercise a day – do the exercise outside and maximize your time.
For those who aren’t in sunny climates supplement with Vitamin D. Take advantage of any natural sunlight you can get and then supplement.
4. Eliminate Junk Food
What is junk food? Well to start; soda, candy, packaged cookies, etc etc etc. Why will this help? To start you will reduce your sugar intake and also help yourself not pack on any extra weight. Also these foods give you “empty” calories, they hurt your natural body processes. I always suggest people try to eliminate the “extra” calories by reducing what they are consuming with sugary or sugar replacement drinks. Avoid drinking calories at all costs. Junk food as a treat once a month won’t kill you, but realize that if it isn’t helping you reach your goals then it’s actually hurting you – no neutral ground on this subject.
5. Educate Yourself
Finally, the best thing you can do to become healthier and the 5th of the 5 steps in becoming healthier is read more books about health. Why? These books allow you to learn about your body. They allow you to make better, more informed decisions, and in turn healthier choices. Below are some of my favorite health books broken up by topic.
The Naked Warrior: Master the Secrets of the super-Strong–Using Bodyweight Exercises Only – by Pavel Tsatsouline
Becoming a Supple Leopard 2nd Edition: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance – by Kelly Starrett
Convict Conditioning: How to Bust Free of All Weakness-Using the Lost Secrets of Supreme Survival Strength – By Paul Wade
Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win (New Edition) – By Jocko Willink and Lief Babin
Compound Effect – Darren Hardy
The Hard Thing about Hard Things – by Ben Horowitz
Most people want to become healthier but can’t focus on the first step and make a plan to get started. Really, the first step is concentrate on something you are already doing and build on that success, maybe you sleep 8 hours a night, which is great! Build on that success and start focusing on your nutrition. OR maybe you exercise regularly but need help with nutrition. No matter what step you are currently taking focus on one success and reach towards the next. Building on each step will get you closer to implementing the 5 steps to becoming healthier.
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