Some of you may already do all 5 but there is always room for improvement. It is important to build a healthy groundwork and stay consistent. As Tony Robbins has said: “It's not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It's what we do consistently.”
1. Cut Out the White Stuff
Limit or cut out completely foods with white flour such as white breads, pastas, cakes and cookies. These foods have no nutritious value and a high glycemic index affecting blood sugar and insulin levels. Both of which can lead to obesity and diabetes. Good alternatives are whole grain bread which provides fiber and other essential nutrients. Just because bread looks brown does not mean it is good for you. Look at the ingredients and make sure that the first ingredient is a whole grain like whole wheat or whole oats.
2. Take the Stairs
If feasible walk or bike to work or school. If not, park farther away from entrances. Take the stairs instead of an elevator or escalator. Walking a mile burns approximately 100 calories and Cycling a mile in 15 minutes or less burns approximately 89 calories for a 160lb person. Adding these activities on to your day will help you stay fit and prevent heart disease. For some who may use the excuse that cycling in city streets could be dangerous to your health a study from 2010 in Environmental Health Perspectives concluded that on average, the estimated health benefits of cycling (decreased overall air pollution emissions, decreased greenhouse gas emissions, and increased levels of physical activity) were substantially larger than the risks (traffic accident or higher exposure to air pollution) relative to car driving for individuals shifting their mode of transportation. Holland and Denmark have been leading the way in terms of cycling as a common mode of transportation: Bicycle Culture.
3. Decrease the Amount of Time You Sit at Your Desk
If you have a desk job, are a student sitting in class and studying all day or just find yourself sitting a lot make sure to get up every 20 minutes. Take a walk around the office or building. Get outside for a few minutes and walk around the block. According to several health experts; sitting for long periods of time is associated with over 34 chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease, cancer, depression and back pain. If you are unable to leave your workspace stand up for 5 minutes and stretch or do some calf raises, squats or lunges. Your fellow employees won't mind and maybe they will join in! Tell them to read my blog if they question you.
4. Daily Meditation
Take anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes per day to meditate. Sit in a dark or dimly lit area that is fairly free from disturbances and outside noise. Close your eyes and clear your thoughts of worry and stress. You may listen to relaxing music or try an app for your phone or computer that will help guide you through meditation. One particular app is called Buddhify. Buddhify contains over 80 custom guided audio mediations. Relax Melodies is an app with many capabilities including guided mediation and different sounds of nature and beats to help you chill out!
5. Eat Your Veggies
I have discussed the importance of eating green vegetables in my previous posts checkout the latest on the benefits of green vegetables and juicing. Studies have shown that consuming fruits and vegetables, particularly green leafy vegetables and vitamin C, can help protect you against heart disease. I recommend eating certified organic veggies for maximum disease fighting potential. Vegetables also have antioxidants which help protect against oxidative stress and diseases like cancer. Look for vegetables that are green, yellow or orange like collard greens, spinach, carrots and bell peppers. Vegetables with these colors are fantastic sources of beta-carotene, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin B-complex, vitamin-C, vitamin-A, and vitamin K.