5 underrated health and fitness habits that cost you only a little awareness and effort
Getting back to the basics
We live in a digital age, and with this brings a certain level of attention to the flashy and new commercialized health technology that continuously comes out.
It becomes easier to spend our time getting lost in data, and trying to keep up with all the new gadgets our friends have.
But here’s the thing:
You don’t need to spend money to enhance your health and well-being.
There are habits you can practice and capitalize on in practically every moment. And when you focus on these underrated skills, you’ll notice many more areas of your life begin to improve.
And you just might find that this improvement of your foundational habits leads to a better adoption of technology later on.
This is because ultimately, the information the technology shares with you only improves when you actually work at improving your habits.
Yeh, go figure.
You gotta change to change.
Slowing down and savouring your food seems like some advice that your grandmother or parents would’ve yelled at you as you inhaled a meal that they spent hours so graciously preparing.
It’s got great carry-over in how satisfied we are when we eat, helping to control our total calorie intake throughout the day, teaching us which foods make us feel better/worse, improving digestion, and helping us become more calm and present.
As someone who naively ignores the advice of my girlfriend telling me to slow down when I eat, I can tell you first hand that this is a challenging habit for some to adopt. But even with my own clients, it’s one of the most foundational skills I try to teach. It has such a positive ripple effect into so many other areas of your life.
No matter where you go, you can always slow down and eat mindfully.
Get to bed early
It seems that no topic has been getting as much attention as sleep these days. Wearables such as WHOOP and Oura Ring1 are becoming much more prominent, and with sales leaders such as Brandon Fluharty promoting the benefits of health over hustle, the circle of influence grows larger in a space that really needs it.
If you want to boost your immune system, build muscle, improve hormonal health, regulate emotions better, enhance your cognition and creativity, then look no further than sleep.
We’re wired to do this habit for about a third of our lives, yet we seem to pride ourselves on how little sleep we need in order to thrive. When in fact, the subset of the population that this is actually true for is so small, it’s not even worth mentioning.
You need to prioritize your sleep. It’s the foundation for which everything else in your life can flourish.
Drink more water
You know staying hydrated is important for your health, mood, and performance
But you just can’t seem to stick to it.
Try one of these tips out:
leave a bottle full of water beside your bed so when you wake up you know to drink it
add different flavour enhancers to make it more appealing. Lemons, limes, cucumber slices, and mint are all great options to make a refreshing beverage!
keep water in a space you frequent often - say the washroom. Every time you do your business, fill the glass and drink
have some water with each meal
drink some water when thirsty, plus a little bit more
get a one litre bottle and fill it with water. Drink throughout the day. Your goal is to drink 2 of them.
Also, be sure to keep in mind that eating more fruits and vegetables increases hydration level too!
Walk outside often
HIIT training is all the rage these days, meanwhile one of the single best forms of activity for all of us is walking. If you’re into this whole “longevity” movement, consider that most of these populations spend a lot of time moving around at low to moderate intensities. You know, like walking.
Make your walking more purposeful by finding ways to do yard-work, listen to a podcast, walk to meet a friend at a coffee shop (this pandemic will end, damnit), walk your dog, or do more meditative walks and just, well, walk.
Dr. Rhonda Patrick had highlighted a study on walking in nature on her Instagram account awhile back:
“A controlled experiment found that people who spent 90 minutes walking in nature experienced decreased rumination and negative feelings. They also had decreased activity in a brain region associated with maladaptive thought and behavioural withdrawal compared to people that walked for 90 minutes in an urban area.
Rumination refers to the mind dwelling on negative thoughts. Not only is rumination associated with depression, but it has also been linked to accelerated telomere shortening and premature aging.”
Connect with loved ones
Social connectedness is such a crucial aspect of our overall health. I wanted to find some studies to quote here but let’s be real: We don’t need more research to prove what we intuitively know.
You want to go insane? Find a way to socially isolate yourself completely.
Maybe you’re already feeling some of these effects from the pandemic.
I know I am.
When we don’t feel loved, understood, or have that sense of community, we can fall into depression, states of anxiousness, worry, and overwhelm.
Reach out to people more often. Find those that leave you with more energy after a conversation than when you came in with. Avoid “energy” vampires and those that spend time gossiping about others.
Jumpt on a FaceTime call, pick up the phone, shoot someone a text and tell them how much you love them, write a generous note and mail it to someone (Who writes notes still? Wait, did you say mail?)
There’s a lot of underrated habits out there and this is by no means an exhaustive list. But in a world of get shredded quick programs, biohackers, and one fad diet based off a bullshit news headline from a poorly cited study after another (phew, that took the wind out of me to type), it’s time to take the reigns of fundamental habits that are actually within your control, and are sustainable n’ simple.
Yes, simple. But not easy. Everything takes practice.
Pick one thing you know you can improve.
Practice it for two to four weeks.
Add on another.
Transform your life.
What are you going to work at today?
p.s. This is the best article I’ve read on nutrition in the last month. If you’re a coach, read it. If you’re a health and fitness enthusiast, read it.
p.p.s. I wrote this while listening to my newly made CreateFlow playlist. Give it a listen while you work! No lyrics, just vibes.
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