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5 Practices for a Healthier Life... Guaranteed!
Written by Paul Conzemius on Aug 20th 2017
There is no real secret to better health, there may be a few breakthroughs or paradigm shifts in the health and wellness industry but by in large people know what needs to be done. We just struggle in the doing.
  
As I ponder this I also know that I am looking at my own task list for the day and struggling with where to start. Looking at so many tasks ahead we can become paralyzed, thinking that if we don’t do everything why do anything. 
The only way we ever get anything done is to categorize and break things down so they can be tackled one by one. As the saying goes, there is only one way to eat an elephant. One bite at a time.  

So here is an easy place to start!  6 tips to better health.  There may be a myriad of other things you can do but if you just start with these six things you will be well on your way.  

   #1 Start a morning routine.  

Setting the tone is extremely important for anything you do. Think of it like rolling a boulder, generating that initial momentum requires a lot more effort than maintaining it.  

The same principle applies to your day. Start rolling that boulder and you will see that the rest of the day often falls in line. 
Here are a few ideas;
 
      -Stretch 
      -Yoga 
      -Prayer and meditation 
      -Reading 
      -Cooking mindfully 

I want to stress the mindful piece. How you do these things is more important than what you do! 
 
   #2 Start a nightly routine. 

Bookend your day with two routines by starting a nightly routine. This will help you decompress, relax, sleep more soundly, and properly closeout your day.  
Make sure whatever you choose to do it is relaxing and helps you unwind. In particular I would be wary of screens. Studies show that the blue light emitted by screens inhibit the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls your sleep/wake cycle. If you like to read on an e-reader do so with the color inverted and set it to night mode, emitting warm and less stimulating light.  

Here are a few ideas: 
      -Gentle stretching 
      -Reading 
      -Meditation and prayer 
      -Reflecting on the day 
      -Knitting

I even find some chores like laundry to be therapeutic at times. It gives me an outlet for nervous energy without being stimulating. Bonus points for doing chores AND unwinding at the same time! 

   #3 Walk and talk 

Whether you are completely sedentary or an elite athlete, chances are you do not walk enough. Chances are you also make phone calls. Whether for work, keeping in touch with the family, or making weekend plans with friends. Getting up from my desk and pacing is a great way to get my blood flowing, release tension, and even improves focus.  

Walking doesn’t have to be limited to phone time either. Instead of asking someone to grab a coffee, ask them to take a walk with you. It’s simple, rewarding, and won’t cost you time or money. 
 
   #4 Eat food that looks like food 

Michael Pollan may say it the best when he instructs his readers to eat food, mostly plants, and not too much. This instruction encompasses most health crazes out there and while every individual is different I think Pollan might have hit the nail on the head when it comes to what the standard American should be eating.  

I have always described it like this. The closer your food looks to how it did when it was plucked from the tree, taken from the ground, or slaughtered, the better off you will be. Using this rule helps you get further away from processed foods and closer to eating whole foods.   Following this rule has me eating salmon and asparagus with rice more often than pasta or a burger with fries.  

It is fine to make exceptions here and there, just remember that the total sum of what you are doing is reflected in how you look and feel what matters! 
 
   #5 Find a re-centering habit. 

You know the old adage that you should count to ten when you get angry? Well they were on to something. Finding a mantra establishing a habit to get you back to a calm state of mind and re center yourself is an incredible tool for self control and for harnessing your true potential. 
 
One deep, chest filling breath followed by a long exhale is often enough to get me recalibrated in a hurry so I can focus and make quick reliable decisions.  

Here are a few other ideas 

     - Find a mantra 
     - Count to ten
     - Looking out a window 
     - Counting your breath 

I also find a quick stretch or movement gets me out of my head and brings my awareness back to the present.  

This is not just for when you are angry, I am doing it when I find myself stuck on one thing more often than not. 


We have barely scratched the surface of these topics and there are many more to cover. If you enjoyed this then check out our blog and sign up for our newsletter here
 
If you or someone you know is trying to loose weight, check out our weight loss program, Weight Loss Evolved, where you can experience a physician designed and clinically validated weight loss program.  
 
 

About Author: Paul Conzemius

Paul Conzemius is the Director of Evolvyst. He has traveled the world to over 30 countries and has trained professionals in many of these destinations. With a degree in leadership and intercultural communication and a passion for health and lifestyle he dedicates his time and energy to improving the human condition in whatever capacity he finds himself in. 
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