A Healthier You in 2021 (and Beyond)

healthy productivity Feb 13, 2021
Weights, fruit, measuring tape

Getting healthy is a choice.

No one is going to force you to make better choices when it comes to your health.

But understand that every choice you make, good or bad, has consequences.

Make healthy choices, and those consequences could include longer life, vibrancy, and a lower chance of dementia.

However, making unhealthy choices could result in a shortened life with pain, listlessness, and dementia.

Here are eight things you can do to become a healthier you.

CLOSE YOUR RINGS

I love my Apple Watch because it helps me stay healthy. Before I tell you how to close your rings, please understand that you don’t have to own an Apple Watch.

The Apple Watch has three rings. Here’s how Apple explains them:

  • Close your Move ring by hitting your personal goal of active calories burned. Apple Watch tracks the active calories you burn. Active calories are the ones you burn through all kinds of movement, from taking the stairs at work to playing with the kids to cleaning out the garage. Being active throughout the day is an important part of living a healthy life.
  • Close your Exercise ring by completing at least 30 minutes of activity at or above a brisk walk. The Exercise ring shows how many minutes of brisk activity you’ve completed, whether you’re just moving at a fast pace or doing a specific workout in the Workout app. All at once or a little at a time, you can earn Exercise minutes however it works for you.
  • Close your Stand ring by getting up and moving around for at least 1 minute during 12 different hours in the day. Sitting too much can contribute to health problems. That’s why Apple Watch tracks your progress toward your Stand goal and motivates you to get up throughout the day. Being less sedentary can lead to lower blood pressure, increased energy, and reduced cardiovascular disease risk.

GOAL: make it a non-negotiable to close your rings every day. No excuses. We’re talking about your health here.

For most of 2020 and as we navigate 2021, we’re spending so much time in front of our computers on seemingly endless Zoom calls.

We were not created to do this. If we were, we wouldn’t have legs…just stumps!

HYDRATE!

Think about this: adult humans are 60 percent water, and our blood is 90 percent water (Source).

If it sounds like water is important, that’s because it is.

GOAL: drink half your weight in ounces of water every day.

How much water are you drinking?

I know, I know. Water can be boring and bland tasting. But the keyword is can.

But it doesn’t have to be.

The secret is to find water that you like. Hint: I’ve found that this is more expensive water, but it’s so worth it.

One of the guests of The Mark Struczewski Podcast (I can’t remember which one, so I can’t give them credit) said it’s better to drink your water at room temperature. Apparently, it’s easier for our bodies to process.

GET ENOUGH SLEEP

Brilliant people called neuroscientists recommend you get 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night.

But there’s more: your body loves consistency.

Make it a priority to go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time every morning.

If your sleep is scattered now, it will take some time to get into the new habit (Robin Sharma writes in his bestselling book, The 5 AM Club [affiliate link], that it takes 66 days to install a new habit).

I can vouch for this. I joined the 5 am club on February 4, 2020; getting up at 5 am is now automatic.

MORE FRUITS AND VEGGIES

We live in an age of UberEats, DoorDash, and GrubHub, where food is delivered to your home.

But it would be best if you were eating fewer processed foods and more fruits and veggies. They’re packed with nutrients your body craves and needs.

For a while now, I’ve been eating an apple every morning. Like you, I’ve heard “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” But it’s actually very wise because apples break down so quickly (leave an apple out and watch it turn brown before your eyes) that eating an apple a day helps gut health.

TIME AWAY FROM DEVICES

Is your smartphone part of your body? Like a limb?

Of course, it’s not…but it can feel that way.

Am I the only one who has ever freaked out when they couldn’t find their cell phone…only to realize that they were holding it? Please don’t leave me out here hanging!

Take time to go device-free.

  • on a walk
  • watching TV
  • eating a meal
  • in the car (I’m talking to you, passengers)
  • in church (I see you!)

I’m not saying forever but go for as long as you can. I promise you everything will still be there when you come back.

Will you miss some things? Of course! But…so what?

AVOID NEGATIVITY

“Negative attitudes and feelings of helplessness and hopelessness can create chronic stress, which upsets the body’s hormone balance, depletes the brain chemicals required for happiness, and damages the immune system. Chronic stress can actually decrease our lifespan.” (Source)

Put another way: negativity sucks.

I get it. Life can be hard.

So…do all you can to embrace positivity and reject negativity.

Distance yourself from people, even family and close friends you’ve known your entire life, who are negative or are like Eeyore of Winnie the Pooh fame.

You’ll feel better emotionally, spiritually, and physically.

GROUNDING

I first heard about grounding from a guest on my podcast.

At first, I thought they were talking about what parents do to their kids when they misbehave.

Nope.

“Grounding, also called earthing, is a therapeutic technique that involves doing activities that “ground” or electrically reconnect you to the earth. This practice relies on earthing science and grounding physics to explain how electrical charges from the earth can have positive effects on your body.” (Source)

It’s so simple…and free!

Just take off your shoes and socks and walk around on the ground barefoot.

Obviously, you can’t do this in the winter or inclement weather (they actually make products you can use to ground inside, Google it), but do it outside whenever you can.

Before rubber-soled shoes being invented in 1892, we humans would ground automatically.

But the thing about rubber is that it blocks the ability to ground.

There’s a lot of controversy around grounding. Some call it a scam. But a scam usually means you were duped out of money. Walking barefoot outside on the grass or dirt is free!

Try it! What could it hurt (unless you step on a fire ant mound, of course!)

TRACK YOUR FOOD

Do you know what you're eating, or do you have a pretty good idea?

Many humans tend to keep things in their head where they weave an interesting web of stories.

Especially when it comes to food.

“I’m not eating that bad” or “I’m not eating that much” are among the stories we tell ourselves.

The truth will set you free.

Use an app like Cronometer (my favorite), My Fitness Pal, Lose It!, another app, or even a notebook!

Let’s face it: for most people, entering “30 Oreo cookies” would, I hope, cause them to pause. Of course, if you’ve already eaten them…

Track what you eat and drink. This will help you make choices that will help you eat better.

IT’S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY

You can’t control every element of your health. Some things are out of your control.

But there is a lot you can do proactively to make sure that you’re getting and staying healthy.

No more excuses.

No more blaming the food you eat.

Choose today to be healthier.

Change bad habits to ensure you live a long, healthy life.

What are you doing to get and stay healthy?

Start today.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Thank you for reading it.

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