Are you the healthiest version of you?
Let's be honest, there are a number of ways to incorporate healthy habits into your daily routines. Linked Fit has compiled a list of their top 10 health habits. Think of these habits or category of habits as part of an umbrella effect. We need these larger broad spectrum categories to guide smaller subcategory habits. Each one of these 10 habits or categories can be explored and expanded upon to fit the goals and needs of any individual. These 10 categories are the building blocks. You will benefit from each and every one of them and when combined, the pieces start to fit better together. You are your own forever journey By incorporating these simple habits into your routine can help you along your forever journey. These are just some of the broader categories, each one will open up with further depth. At the end of the day, our goal to link your potential and help you become the best version of you!
Water is LIFE! Our bodies are made up of about 60% water! Water acts as a means of transportation of nutrients, it acts as a solvent in our bodies, aids in chemical reactions gives cushion to the joints, and helps to regulate our body temperature. So, needless to say, water is pretty important to our survival! We lose water through a variety of ways and that water needs to be replenished. A good place is to start is to drink half of your body weight in ounces per day as a minimum. Example: If you weight 150 pounds, you would consume 75 ounces of water per day. Getting more specific water intake can be upwards to 128 (16 cups) ounces for men and 88 ounces (12 cups) for women. We can drink water directly or by eating water-rich foods. One of our favorite goals to encourage people to drink more water is by starting your day with a glass of water. Keep a glass of water at your bedside and as soon as you get up drink the glass of water. Continue to rehydrate throughout the day to minimize the chances of dehydration.
Fuel your body for success! Food provides an array of nutrients the body needs to sustain life and optimal health. Without proper nourishment, our body misses out on key macro and micronutrients. Aim to consume whole foods when possible, this includes fruits, vegetables, meats, etc.. Whole foods are nutrient-dense, meaning they provide our body with a good amount of nutrients and energy. Before heading to the grocery store, make a list. Put a list together of all the food you are looking to fill your kitchen with. You'll want to keep these nutrient-dense foods available for easy grab and go. If you can see it you will eat it. Practice making meals in advance to take the guessing game out of your nutrition. When eating, slow the pace down and stop when you are about 80% full. At the same time, do not fear food! Embrace food, it's okay to indulge. Remember, there is no perfect meal plan out there, find what works for you!
This section is geared toward the act of weight training. This can involve a variety of training means, strength, metabolic, endurance, etc. What's important is that you find a style that you like and move. Inactive adults may experience a 3% to 8% loss of muscle mass per decade, along with extra fat accumulation. This can lead to declines in overall health and increased risk of injury. We need to keep the body strong! Not only are there a variety of training methods, but there are also a variety of benefits that tag along with training! Training is linked to improving mood, improved self-esteem, improved body composition, improved health parameters like blood pressure, and aids in the control of type 2 diabetes. Remember, these are just a handful of the many benefits. You can take up a group fitness class or train solo at home or head to your local gym. You don't need a lot of equipment to get the job down. A little goes a long way! Start out slow, master the basics, and keep moving!
Working in conjunction with weight training we need to also incorporate conditioning into our training sessions. Consider this to be your cardiovascular health. Yes, training and conditioning go hand and hand but we do want to break them up into individual components. Adding conditioning or cardiovascular training into your routine is a great way to improve heart health and decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease. This could involve a simple walk around town, hopping on a conditioning machine, or even joining a cardio aerobic class! A simple tool to use is setting an alarm. If you work a sedentary job, set an alarm to remind yourself to get up a move. Practice parking your car further from building and talking the stair instead of the elevator. Add workout days that are specifically geared towards conditioning, even if it's for 5 minutes.
Breathing is essential to life, yet we seem to take it for granted. Breath control can be the first line of defense when dealing with stress, anxiety, decreasing heart rate, and improving overall health indicators. Throughout the day begin to practice intentional breathing or focused breathing. This can be done during a stressful situation or in a more controlled environment like yoga. We like to say "chaos breathing, leads to chaos in the body". Take a few moments to step back, close your eyes, and just breathe. Practicing before bed breathing relaxation techniques or meditations can be beneficial, even if it's for 2 minutes. The goal is to bring more oxygen into both to nourish our cells, but also allowing our body to become more parasympathetic. Diaphragmatic breathing is a common breathing technique. To start out, lay comfortably on the floor, take a big inhale through the nose filling up the belly abdominal region while keeping the chest still, slowly exhale through the mouth, extending the exhale. Perform this 3-5 times in a row to start.
Let's be honest, we live very stressful lives, both positive and negative stressors. We need to be able to recover from these day to day stressors. This includes both physical and psychological stressors from daily living and even workout sessions. It's fun to play hard but we still need to preserve our functionality and longevity of our bodies. Prioritizing recovery strategies into our lives can yield all kinds of benefits. Incorporating relaxation breathing techniques, like the diaphragmatic breathing post-training or before you go to bed brings a calmer state of being, allowing for more optimal recovery. You can also incorporate a post-training protocol which might include but not limited to foam rolling, stretching, and mobilizing. Recovery can also include proper nutrition. We need to provide our bodies with adequate nutrition to help start the recovery process from training. When training at high volumes for a significant amount of time, aim to cycle in a recovery week or even a de-load week.
In regards to sleep, we need to consider both the quantity and quality of sleep. We tend to underestimate the power of sleep. Sleep is a critical component of optimal health and wellness. It helps with body composition, hormone regulation, and body recovery. In general, the average adult needs anywhere from 7-9 hours of sleep each night. To help improve sleep start by setting a bed and wake time. Aim to maintain these times so your body starts to get into a routine. Consistency is key! Practice turning electronics off before getting into bed and avoid using them once you get in bed. Keeping a calm environment and minimizing excessive lights or noises will help improve sleep. Exercise is also a great way to promote restful sleep. Before going to bed try to practice some simple relaxation techniques like breathing. This can help bring the body to a more parasympathetic state, allowing for improved sleep.
Learn something new every day! Be the forever student and dive into evidence-based practices. Take what you've learned and applied your findings to your journeys. We are part of a forever evolving world, which we mean we need to stay up to date on the latest literature. This applies to all realms and fields. Do be careful as to who you accept information from. If you are looking to start a health and wellness journey do your research. We do this with everything else, we research good plumbers, electricians, painters, etc., so why no research your potential health and wellness coach? Not only do we encourage you to learn about your journey and other topics, but start to learn about yourself. Start to become mindful of your body, listening to your internal and external cues. Journaling can be a great way to work on mindfulness. This can be helpful when seeing what works and what doesn't work for you.
Embrace your journey! Use your surrounding to help keep you on your path, aka motivators. We have the ability to rely on both internal and external motivators. Internal motivation refers to your internal drive. What is fueling you to embark on a journey? We recommend writing done your personal "why", put it in a place that you will see every day, and when you see it say it out loud. Your personal "why" will be your strongest motivation. But, we also might need the help of our friends, family, and other groups, these are our external motivators. Surround yourself with those who will lead a helping hand when you need some extra support. Keep in mind that there will be bumps in the road but, always resort back to your motivators to keep you on track.
Explore the world and all it has to offer, even if it a mile down the road. Experience new things and new places. As we experience new things we start to become more understanding and appreciative of others and the things we have. We start to fully embrace life. Travel is a great form of stress relief and helps to improve moods. Simple things you can do to travel more are to practice mini getaways. This could be to a local park or maybe you and the family embark on a road trip. It can be as simple or grand as the times allow. Plan ahead or even be spontaneous. This a perfect form of self-care, allowing us to be present and live in the moment. It's also a great way to improve physical activity levels. Take a hike or walk around town. Enjoy the great outdoors!
Remember, we just started scratching the surfaces within each of these categories. Start small with your goals, and practice doing one thing at a time. Don't feel like you need to make a complete 360, pick one habit to practice and master that habit. Once you have mastered that habit, start incorporating the next. No need for extreme measures. Find small simple habits that you can start to incorporate into your daily living, and find the fun in it! Next thing you know you will be living the healthiest and best version of you!
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