It’s 2022, we live in a world where we have never been so obsessed with health and fitness, yet, this is the unhealthiest in history humanity has ever been. Heart disease, diabetes, cancer rates, autoimmune disease, etc are forever on the rise. People are becoming more and more sick year after year, and it is a well-known fact that these diseases can and are caused by stress and lifestyle choices.
So, if the lifestyle is one of the main causes that are making us worse, we must analyse our lifestyle.
Your lifestyle is best broken down into our daily habits and behaviours.
Habits - ‘the practices that we do every day unconsciously’. Learnt behaviour patterns that are moulded into our subconscious mind, that are so automatic that we barely even know we are doing it. Things like scrolling through Instagram, automatically putting the kettle on as soon as we wake up to have a cup of coffee, brushing your teeth, driving to work, etc, are all examples of what we do unconsciously and scarily enough how we spend up to 95% of our day…in complete autopilot.
We must first identify the habit that isn’t impacting your health positively. Examples can be, binge eating, not exercising, smoking, staying up late, watching too much Netflix, etc. Then, we must have the desire to want to change and become better.
Not surprisingly, the only way we can create new habits and behavioural patterns is to become more conscious. We can develop better lifestyle choices by being more aware of our actions.
Building better habits that impact the way you feel, look and perform is absolutely essential to excel and thrive. Here is a list of things you should incorporate into your current lifestyle to help drastically improve your health and overall wellbeing:
Weight training and/or bodyweight training have been shown to improve things such as strength, muscle mass, bone density, performance, self-confidence, improved posture, decreased risk of injury, mobility, weight management and many more benefits. Add in 3-5 days of resistance exercise into your weekly routine, focusing on full-body compound movements whilst working through a full range of movements and you sure will be grateful after a few months of consistency with the results you achieve.
FOCUS ON SLEEP QUALITY
Sleep is one of the most essential factors in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. We are constantly in fight or flight mode throughout our day, therefore, it is critical to balance our autonomic nervous system by getting equally as much rest. Some benefits of quality sleep include; improved mood, cognitive ability, boosts the immune system, productivity, increased performance, reduced inflammation, improved gut health, better memory, alertness and many more benefits. Aiming for 8 hours of sleep per night has been shown to be the most optimal, and having a set bedtime and wake-up time is also very important.
INCREASE YOUR PROTEIN INTAKE
The majority of the population undereat protein. Increasing protein intake will impact your health positively. We should aim to eat around 1lbs of protein to each lb of lean bodyweight mass. This will help you be more satiated, curb hunger, lessen binge eating, help build lean muscle tissue, improve metabolic health, increase performance, recover better, etc. I recommend tracking your protein intake daily and making a conscious effort to reach those protein goals…you will thrive.
This one may seem a little bit woo-woo and hippie but I can assure you that your mental and physical health will benefit massively from doing so. Throughout your day prioritise at least 5 minutes of deep and slow nasal breathing a few times per day. It will improve your mood, reduce anxiety, be present in the current moment, reset your mind and give you a better sense of purpose. This is definitely something that needs to be practised daily to see the benefits over time but is an absolute game-changing habit to include. Embrace your spiritual side and reap the rewards.
This seems incredibly simple but walking more can change your life. Imagine how sedentary we are compared to our ancestors. They moved because they didn’t have Uber, trains, or buses and didn’t spend 8 hours a day sitting down in front of a computer. They moved to survive. The human body isn’t designed to sit down and watch Netflix we must move. Walking has multiple benefits such as improved thinking, increased energy expenditure, improved mood, better posture, etc. Aim for at least 10,000 steps per day and track them.
In order to make change for the better, we must consciously make a decision to do so, and be even more conscious to create a streak of days, weeks, and months of consistent improvement. I would recommend focusing on one habit at a time whilst trying to enjoy the process of becoming a better version of yourself.