8 Ways to Live Healthier Now

8 Ways to Live Healthier Now April 10, 2013

As a blog that seeks to educate, motivate, and inspire you to manage your money wisely, it’s only natural to discuss issues related to finance here. Money, however, is merely a tool to be used to accomplish your life goals.

And in order to accomplish your life goals, two other things you’ll need are energy and good health. In other words, without energy and good health, you won’t be able to enjoy your money.

So if you’d like to live a healthier life, here are eight ways to improve the health of your body, your mind, and your home as well. I learned them from the book, You: Staying Young: The Owner’s Manual for Extending Your Warranty by Michael Roizen and Mehmet Oz.

1. Exercise your body.

We all know that physical exercise is an important part of staying healthy. But for some reason, most people keep making resolutions to lose weight (when they should be making resolutions to exercise).

To try to stick to your resolution, find unconventional ways to fit exercise into your schedule. For instance, if your workplace has a gym, try going during your lunch hour. Or take a walk with your coworkers during your break times.

2. Get enough rest.

Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep every night. If you have difficulty falling asleep, avoid consuming caffeine for at least three hours before bed. Then try this routine about fifteen minutes before bedtime:

  • Finish up all your tasks, whether it’s washing the dishes, completing a report for work, or reading a book.
  • Make a list of what you need to do tomorrow, so you can avoid worrying about forgetting it when you fall asleep.
  • Do your before-bed hygiene routine, including flossing and brushing your teeth.
  • Spend a few minutes doing some deep breathing exercises to calm down.

3. Deep breathing.

Carve out time every day to breath deeply. As mentioned above, before bed is a good time. But you can do this whenever you’re trying to manage stress.

To do this, take a deep breath in slowly — it should take about five seconds to inhale. As you inhale, use your diaphragm to pull air into your chest, and push out your stomach so that your belly button moves away from you. Then exhale slowly for five seconds, pulling your belly button into your body to get all the air out.

4. Limit or get rid of unhealthy foods.

I don’t want to discourage you from enjoying food. But if you don’t want to completely get rid of unhealthy foods, limit foods that contain any of the following as the first five ingredients on the label:

  • Palm or coconut oil. These are two of the few highly saturated vegetable fats.
  • Corn or soybean oil. These contain excessive levels of omega-6 fatty acids relative to omega-3 fatty acids, which may increase the probability of a number of diseases and depression.
  • Simple sugars ending in -ose, such as sucrose, glucose, maltose, and fructose.
  • Any non-whole grains, like bleached or enriched flour.

5. Try a calorie-restricted diet for awhile.

The goal here is to alter your body’s settings to eat healthier foods in more sensible amounts. To do this, eat about three-fourths the amount of food you normally eat each day, using healthier options than what you’re used to eating.

You can do this by eyeballing the amount, or literally filling up your plate as usual, then taking away one-quarter of the meal and saving it for tomorrow.

After you do this a few times a week for a month or two, it’s likely that you’ll have trained your body to need less food than you’ve been used to eating. That’s because many of us actually indulge in toxic eating.

In other words, we eat because we’re bored, angry, sad, lonely, or depressed — anything other than actually being hungry. We also eat because we’re nutritionally starved, even though our bodies are consuming lots of calories. But it’s all about disrupting old habits by replacing them with better alternatives.

6. Automate your eating.

Find three or so healthy meals (breakfasts, lunches, dinners, or snacks) that you like and eat one of them every day. When you can automate your eating behavior with good choices, you’ll have mastered one of the crucial steps to fueling your body with ingredients that’ll keep you healthy and strong.

7. Take a break day away from media.

Try this once a month. Turn off the TV. Don’t read the newspaper. Don’t surf the web. Use the computer only as needed for work or important tasks.

Take the time you saved to read a good book to engage your mind. Get some exercise, or plan an outing to spend quality time with your family. At the end of the year, you may be surprised by how much you’ve accomplished that you can feel great about.

8. Detox your home.

  • When reheating food, don’t microwave plastic — you’ll get small amounts of it into your food. Instead, cover food with ceramic, glass, or a paper towel.
  • Leave your shoes at the door. Aside from making your floor and carpets dirty, you can track in toxins such as lawn-care pesticides, which can get trapped in your carpet.
  • Use nontoxic products that are based in alcohol, peroxide, and bicarbonate to clean your home. Simple baking soda is great for cleaning sinks and tubs. Vinegar in a pump spray bottle works well for cleaning windows and mirrors.
  • Ditch the moth balls. They contain naphthalene or p-dichlorobenzene, which are fancy words for compounds that are way too strong for killing insects. Use cedar chips instead.
  • Use deodorant instead of antiperspirant. Sweating is normal, but blocking the pores is not.

By making these changes in your life, you’ll feel a lot better, and be in a great position to enjoy the money that you’re working so hard for.

What are some other tips you can think of to start living healthier now? Leave a comment!

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