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We’re all aware of an ideal way of being, yet many of us are not entirely sure of how to go about this “way of being.” We know that some people just seem to “get it.”
Most of us have been out and about and noticed a person that seems to be stronger and healthier than those around us. Maybe you’re that person….
For those that want to work at becoming stronger and happier, there are specific habits you need to consider.
13 habits of those with truly strong health:
1. Set Goals
If you truly want to remain strong and healthy or are just getting started on a healthier lifestyle, the first thing that you want to do is set goals.
Don’t just set goals, hold yourself accountable and take action steps towards these goals.
At all times you should be working towards something. Goals are perfect for all aspects of life and by setting and achieving your goals you’ll always be improving yourself and inspiring those around you – directly or indirectly.
2. Be Active
The body responds positively to physical activity, which impacts your musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory and endocrine systems.
Finding something to do that keeps you active is important. If you don’t find an interest when you are young, there’s a better chance you’ll be bored out of your mind, which can lead to depression in your later years (like during retirement).
Consider gardening, running, golf, the gym, yoga, or really anything that gets you out and about.
3. Eat Clean
Nutrition is extremely important for a healthy lifestyle. Stick with unprocessed, whole foods that have been local grown and are preferably organic.
The roots of crops grown organically are healthier and grow deeper, which allows them to absorb nutrients more efficiently.
4. Do Yoga Weekly
This is something many people neglect. But it’s important to take the time to truly focus on your flexibility during your training. This will help your ability to move and decrease joint pain overall.
Yoga helps reduce stress, lower blood pressure and improve heart function.
I’ve found that yoga works great to improve health, heal aches and pains, and keep sickness at bay. The best part is, nearly anybody can do it!
5. High Intensity Workouts
Make every workout count! Each time you work out make sure you maintain a high level of intensity throughout the entire process.
High intensity exercise is crucial and completely taken for granted these days. Sure, walking is a great form of exercise but what if I told you that in 30 minutes a week you could lose weight, gain muscle and experience the cardiovascular capacity of an athlete?
I’m talking about high intensity interval training aka HIIT.
6. Live For A Purpose
Ever more people today have the means to live, but no meaning to live for. Viktor E. Frankl
When we have something important and enlivening to work towards, we’re more engaged and fulfilled by life’s pursuits. What is it that you love to do or feel great doing?
Discovering or acknowledging our true values helps us to find a sense of purpose. This sense of purpose helps us attain “direction” and more intentional living.
This also helps us resonate with the notion of something greater than ourselves and ultimately leads to enhanced psychological well-being.
7. Breathe Consciously
Our breath occupies a very distinct place in life. It’s probably the most familiar manifestation of the pulse of life.
When you take a deep breath, relax and expand your diaphragm, your vagus system is stimulated – you instantly turn on the parasympathetic nervous system, your cortisol levels are reduced, and you help heal your brain.
Activating the vagus nerve can stimulate stem cells to produce new cells and repair and rebuild your body. Conscious breathing has an ability to bring us into the present, which is a state of being aware of, and paying attention to, this moment.
The more present we are, the more we allow ourselves to experience the flow of life. And while the perception of the experience of our present-moment varies from moment to moment, for me it’s usually all about a focused mind and sense of oneness with my body and surroundings…
8. Remain Present
This may seem weird, but it’s something that works. Remaining present is a key element of happiness and happiness is a key element of great health.
The easiest and most efficient way to remain present is to appreciate each new moment in your life as being significant or unique.
Being present is imperative in both the personal and professional areas of our lives. In order to achieve and maintain a truly healthy state, we need to focus on the only moment we’ll ever have – right now.
9. Choose To Be Positive
Sometimes it can be difficult to always think of the glass as being half full.
The thing is, if you adjust your core beliefs to understand that you’re ALWAYS right where you’re supposed to be, it’s much easier to appreciate “low points” as being challenges set specifically before you to grow as person in a certain aspect of your life.
Keeping a positive mindset is extremely important for maintaining a strong and healthy lifestyle. There are very few negative people who are truly healthy.
10. Pee Clear
Strong and healthy people are well hydrated. It’s not so much about how much water you drink, but more about when you drink it. Make sure you are drinking water before you’re thirsty.
As little as a 1-2% decrease in overall water saturation can cause a significant drop in cognitive ability. Additionally, dehydration is the number 1 cause of afternoon fatigue.
A good rule of thumb, is to make sure your urine is always clear. Making water your drink of choice is by far the most effective and easy way to maintain proper hydration.
11. Get Plenty of Sunshine
Sunlight is the best and only natural source of vitamin D. Unlike supplementary or dietary vitamin D3, when you get your D from sunshine your body only takes what it needs.
There are 30,000 genes in your body and vitamin D has been shown to influence over 2,000 of them. Vitamin D aka the sunshine hormone is also involved in regulating the immune system and cells where it may even help prevent cancer.
12. Get Quality Sleep
Everything from hormones, muscle growth, metabolism, digestion, immune system function and the quieting of the mind all perform best in our sleep. If you still feel groggy upon waking or feel like you need a nap during the day, you’re probably not sleeping enough.
Sleep is a huge part of our overall health and no amount of healthy food or exercise can counteract the lousy effects of poor sleeping habits. Sleep deprivation is linked to a number of health issues, including short-term memory loss, emotional problems, weight gain, diabetes, increased risk of heart disease and cancer.
Sleep needs are highly individual, and tend to vary depending on your current state of health, age and stress levels.
Some tips that I follow to help me fall asleep and stay asleep are:
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day (typically 11pm- 8am).
- Sleep in complete darkness; make sure to black out your windows. This great article by Dr. Mercola talks about it here http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/01/02/sleep-in-darkness.aspx
- Sleep in complete silence.
- Reduce blue light in the evening (install f.lux app, dim your lights, burn beeswax candles, turn off electronics).
- Get an adequate amount of sleep each night. Sleeping less than 7 hours per night can double the chance of coming down with an infection (deep sleep increases your body’s production of natural killer cells).
- Wake up to sunlight. I use a wake up to light alarm clock, at 7:30 it begins brightening up the room until 8am when bird noises begin.
- Eat two kiwi fruit before bed. Studies show that eating two kiwi fruit every day will improve the quality of one’s sleep by 40% and help you fall asleep 35% quicker.
13. Ground Yourself
The concept is known as earthing or grounding, which is literally walking barefoot on soil, grass or sand (any natural surface); grounding your body to the Earth.
Earthing (walking barefoot) is more than a counter-culture trend; it’s a scientifically researched practice with a number of remarkable health advantages, such as increased antioxidants, reduced inflammation, and improved sleep.
When you’re grounded, there’s a transfer of free electrons from the Earth into your body. And these free electrons are probably the most potent antioxidants known to man.
Any free radicals they encounter in your tissues will immediately be neutralized. This occurs because electrons are negative, while free radicals are positive, so they cancel each other out.
A vast majority of health problems are reversible and preventable with appropriate lifestyle choices. These are 13 lifestyle habits I believe make the biggest difference in your health, leading to mental, physical and emotional strength.
Health by choice, not by chance.