Everywhere I look I come across articles, promotions, and methods on how we can improve our health. Things like “what we need to eat?” and “what types of exercises to carry out” or “gear to make you stronger…”. I must searching for weird things if the algorithms are spitting out annoying ads. Well to me, especially considering my mobility has been limited due to a knee injury I figure there are three things that I’ll share with you guys – three things that both you and I can do right now that will immediately allow us to reap rewards, have a positive impact on our well-being and overall health. This isn’t rocket science, but writing this out tonight also gives me the ability to reflect on my current state of things, and albeit them being a given, we often don’t execute on the those small things, hence a reminder to both myself and you, the reader.
1. Increase water intake
60% of male bodies and 55% of female bodies (roughly) are made of water. Your body depends on it to carry nutrients to cells and to flush out toxins found in organs. Getting the right amount of water every day is crucial. We hear lots of numbers when it comes to how much and when, but I go along the lines of drinking roughly 2.5 – 3 liters per day – in other words, I make sure I chug roughly 2 full 1.5-liter bottles per day – if I’m not using glass I typically use my reusable bottle.
The fact is that over the last 3 months I have been drinking a lot crap on the side. Like coke, fanta, sprite and trying a bunch of new carbonated drinks.
Ensure you divide your intake throughout the day. I always kick start my mornings with at least a half-liter of nice cold water (or 1.5 large glasses). At times I’ll squeeze in some fresh lemon juice for flavor. I make sure to have water at every meal or at least at every other meal sipping while I eat.
What that also means is that you need to avoid soda! Period. And that is a tough one. Like I mention above, most of us like a good carbonated drink at times, however, recently our household rarely bought any carbonated drinks like Coke – because my wife made sure I didn’t :-).
When we are on the go, both my wife and I have our water bottles along however we also tend to grab fresh-pressed juices, and the occasional coffee. Splitting your intake throughout the day, even those moments where you don’t feel like having a drink will seem a lot less daunting in comparison to drinking 3 liters at once.
I recently read an article, now I write this with caution, that some doctors recommend taking coffee, milk, or other drinks that consist a majority of water as alternatives as they may have low calories and they also consider that these fluids count towards your daily fluid intake.
To me, I need to do more research on that. I’ll stick with pure water at this point.
This is a given!
Logical that this would be on the list, no? Yes, but here still a few words on the matter. Exercise reduces risks for chronic diseases and improves balance and coordination along with supporting weight loss. It is recommended to exercise 150 minutes moderately per week. That is a bare minimum for movement and that is something I believe just about anyone can manage regardless of any excuses. We’re speaking of a mere 2.5 hours out of 168 hours available per week to move, moderately. Alternatively at least 1.5 hours (90 minutes) vigorously for adults per week. Again this depends on various factors but gives you an estimate. (I could write and discuss a variety of topics on this, however, this is just for simplicity in regards to the 3 things you can do now and that you need to keep in mind.)
My tip on this is to break it into short bursts. If you don’t have a lot of time in your schedule, break up your routine into 15-20 minute workouts each day and make sure you burst in those sessions. Focus and drive. You do not need to be in the gym or on the treadmill for hours at a time to reap benefits.
Also important to note – if you work in front of a screen for a majority of the time, then taking short breaks of around 30 seconds every 20 minutes and then throw in a longer 3-5 minute break every hour to stretch, move and reposition yourself. You’ll get into the habit after a while and albeit it seeming small, will benefit your health. And I am excited about this, because I am working on something I hope to be able to release soon that may help you with this.
3. Adopt a Mediterranean diet
The Mediterranean diet is a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, olive oil, nuts, and fish. I am not a huge fish fan, but have come to love Salmon and Tuna along with shrimps. There are numerous studies that show the benefit of this type of diet. As the basics are filled with antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, you can avoid various diseases, support weight loss and studies have shown improvements in cholesterol levels.
Again this goes with caution. I could say adapt a hamburger diet or a banana diet, but in a large mass – everything can have bad results. It’s a matter of common sense and knowing what and how much to eat, when. Listen to your body and make smart decisions when you open the fridge. The reason I list it as my third point is that adopting a Mediterranean diet ensures you eat a broad base of healthy foods – generally speaking.
These are three quick and easy things you can do each and every day from liquids to solids to movement. Integrating them into your daily routine and daily life may be a different challenge for you and something with which you may need help accomplishing, but I will touch on those topics at some point as well. Keep in mind though that the simple, most basic, logical things in life are often the ones we overlook the most. There are so many things we can do to improve not only the length of our life but the quality of those years and so I encourage you to crush your limits and do one of the above-mentioned things today. Commit to making a few small changes, and see how they improve your health over time.
That being said, enjoy the day and stretch out. I know I’m going to take a quick break now.