We don’t realise how even small simple things add up to BIG RESULTS! We mindlessly do certain things, but turning them around can have a profound impact on our health. As you make these small changes you will find yourself falling down the rabbit hole of health and fitness. Once you start working on your health, there is no telling where it might lead you.
Every great journey begins with the first step. No pressure 😛 but lets get started and see where it takes us:
5 Things You Can Do For Your Health TODAY:
Say NO to Added Sugar
From the sugar you add to your tea /coffee to the sugar loaded juices and sodas you consume. Stop. Sugar is like an addiction, the more you have the more you crave the next day. Detox from it today.
Take up the 5 Day Sugar Detox Challenge here, and start anew.
After your detox, you will yourself choose to skip sugar or atleast drastically reduce it in your diet. Having sugar once in a while is ok but do not make it a part of your everyday life. Recently a close friend told me that following my rantings about sugar earlier this year, they reduced its consumption so much that they haven’t bought sugar in months! Even the leftover sugar sits in its jar being ignored. Love it!
Say NO to Mindless Snacking
A plate of biscuits is passed around in your office meeting. You have two. Later the same day someone in office is celebrating their birthday and you have a slice of cake and some wafers and also a glass of Pepsi.
Its the weekend, you are watching TV and feeling bored. Dinner is still hours away, so you get something to munch on. Without realising you have gone through most of your pantry.
Stop! It will take discipline and planning but this is the worst kind of calories you are loading into your body. You don’t NEED food at that time, it is just there and so you have it. There are a few things you can do:
- Say no to crap food outside of your meal times. Consciously say ‘Thank you, but no thank you’.
- If you feel hungry between meal times, have your snacks ready at hand. Almonds, walnuts, glass of milk, yogurt, or even a slice of cheese is better than the nutrient-poor food otherwise on offer.
- Emotional snacking is another form of mindless eating. You need to recognise when and why you are doing it. I used to do this in college. I had an almost obsessive compulsion to munch whenever I would sit down to read. It was crazy and I would go through whatever I could get my hands on – from biscuits to namkeens to even cornflakes. I stopped when I realised my jeans were taking longer and longer to pull on :/
Have 2-3 Proper Meals
For most people, a full meal in their stomach and another one just an hour or two away, discourages them from snacking. Make sure you eat your meals at all costs and do not skip them because you have already had too much by way of snacks.
Home cooked meals are more wholesome and healthy than whatever you are filling up on in mindless snacking.
Get 6-8 hours of Sleep
Switch off your phone and TV an hour before bed time (ok, atleast 30 minutes!). The light from these screens keeps your brain active and the melatonin, released by your body at night which prepares your body for sleep, is disrupted. I have found the best way to fall asleep is to follow your breathing. It is almost like meditating.
Close your eyes and take your awareness to your nostrils. Feel the air come in and go out. Do not try to control or force your breathe, just feel it go in and out of your body. You will find your mind wandering away to other thoughts, when you realise that, just bring it back to the tip of your nose. You will doze off in no time. This is different from meditation where you should ideally sit upright and keep your closed eyes focused on the point between your eyebrows. When you don’t do that, you feel sleepy.
Next time when sleep eludes you, try it. 🙂
You will accelerate your health benefits if you also include some exercise as part of your plan. Your metabolism will improve, your mood and energy levels will lift and more importantly your hormonal system will start balancing itself out. Hormonal balance is critical when it comes to health – it controls your digestion, your energy levels, your emotions, your sexual well being, your immunity, your stress levels. In short, everything.
You NEED to spend 15-20 minutes every day where you are actively moving your body. EVERYDAY. Not 3 or 4 or 5 times a week. Every single day.
Go for a walk. Play a sport. Join the gym. Do this challenge. Whatever you do, actively engage those muscles every day.
The best way you can do this is to either take up a challenge or set yourself a goal. One of my goals this year is to do 20 pull-ups. I have made a plan and I work on it every day in the gym. 3 weeks back when I resolved to do this, it seemed overwhelming, but now I think it is doable 🙂
Coming Soon: Training Guide to Lifting like a Badass