“Getting healthy” can mean a lot of different things, but there are some basic categories that I think you should focus on. These are what I believe are the 5 healthy habits everyone should have.
These areas come from Reed David of Functional Diagnostic Nutrition. I think they are a great overview to help you focus on various areas of health…of course there are ways to dig much deeper, but these are a great place if you’re just getting started and if you think about it, each of these areas accounts for about 20% of your overall health.
Diet – Eat REAL Food
This means what you eat. My recommendations are pretty much in line with Michael Pollen quote ” Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” I’d like to add the word REAL to this quote though and make it “eat real food.” If you focus on eating real food and cut out processed foods, high fructose corn syrup, sugar and sugar substitiutes, you will find health.
Rest – Sleep 7-8 Hours/Night
Your body and mind cannot repair and process all the information it has taken in without this rest time. Many people try to “hack” this area and in my opinion this one area can thwart all of your progress in the other areas. Turn off the screens, create a cool, dark, quiet environment. Get in bed by 9:30pm. Read for 30 minutes, turn out the lights and be asleep by 10-10:30pm. This gives you plenty of time to get your 7-8 hours of sleep and still get the kids to school on time.
Exercise – Get Your 10k Steps a Day
Exercise is one of those things that many of my clients apologize to me for NOT doing. Yes, exercise 100% helps, but it can be something that you need to work up to and plan for for many. Let’s start with just being a little more active and getting your 10,000 steps a day. I use a Fit Bit Alta to track my steps (and my sleep). It buzzes if I have been sedentary too long too. It’s super helpful to make sure that you’re doing the bare minimum of what you need to do (crap I’m only at 4.6k right now so I need to type fast and go do some laps around the backyard).
Stress Management – Deep Breaths
Stress wreaks major havoc on our health. Our state of mind affects our bodies way more than we think. It’s important to find ways to manage your stress. Take a yoga class (or just use an app). Try meditation (there are apps for that too). Go to the beach. Take long walks with a friend. If you need help with this, watch this video. It’ll change your life https://youtu.be/3kebww8NXps
And let me say this…many of us feel we are “winding down” by having a drink at night. Please stop fooling yourself. You are upping your insulin levels (which is a fat storing hormone) and putting toxins into your body. Find a new way to de-stress please.
Supplementation – Take Your Vitamins
There are so many vitamins out there that most people don’t know what to take, so they just don’t. I recommend most people take 4 – a multivitamin, fish oil, vitamin D3 +K2 and a broad spectrum probiotic. Now there are more that can be added (and vitamin D can be subtracted if your levels are in the optimal range) depending on your current health and genetic conditions, but these are the ones I recommend people start with.
I hope these 5 healthy habits are a good jumping off point for you. Focus on getting these in line and then start digging deeper into your health.
What healthy habits do you have?