Now Is the Time to Reset Your Health
Even though we are living in the most abundant time in human history, chronic disease is at all-time high. The incidence of obesity, diabetes cardiovascular disease, depression, and anxiety are all reaching epidemic proportions.
And to top it all off, we are now facing a coronavirus pandemic.
But, in my honest option, this does not have to be a bad thing. In fact, you should be thinking of it as a wakeup call.
Now is the perfect time to take your health into your own hands and make some change – and here’s how to reset your health.
Health and Longevity
There is an innate link between your health behaviors, and your lifespan. Here, let me make this as clear as possible.
Those who actively pursue a healthy lifestyle live longer than those who do not.
This means that those people who eat well, supplement correctly, and undertake regular exercise are less likely to experience physical and mental disease, disability, and age related declines in function, than those who do not (Larsson, 2017)
And I am going to clearly outline how you can do the same.
Diet and health
When it comes to boosting health, your diet should be your first point of call – but why is this the case?
First and foremost, eating too much (and too often) has been shown to have a seriously negative effect on your life expectancy.
Eating in this manner (what we would consider a ‘calorie surplus’) leads to weight gain. Over time, this can lead to increased inflammation and a heightened risk of cardiovascular and metabolic disease.
Secondly, too little nutrients can impair your cellular function and cell health. This can seriously increase your likelihood age-related diseases and age-related declines in mental and physical capacity.
These same nutrients also help your immune system function effectively.
So, what can you do about it?
Best healthy diet tips
If you want to optimize your diet to enhance your health, then these should be your first point of call:
- Avoid highly processed carbohydrates and junk food: these foods are hyper-palatable, making them extremely easy to overeat. They also super calorie dense, creating the perfect recipe for an energy surplus and weight gain. Avoid them to ensure weight control.
- Eat a source of protein with every meal: protein is filling and contains an abundance of nutrients that are integral to health. By eating a serve of protein at every meal, you set your body up for success.
- Eat five serves of vegetables every day: vegetables are full to the brim with important vitamins and minerals. Eat more of them to boot health and ensure a strong immune system.
- Drink more water: water is integral to the health and function of your entire body. Try and drink 2-3 liters daily.
- Limit your alcohol intake: research has shown that consuming more than 2 drinks per day can increase your risk of disease and all cause mortality – so limit yourself to 2 per day.
Related Article: Can Any Amount of Alcohol Be Part of a Clean Lifestyle?
Exercise and Health
Now let’s move onto exercise (Gremeaux, 2012).
Getting older comes with a loss of aerobic fitness, muscular strength, muscular endurance, and lung capacity, as well as declines in neuromuscular control, balance, and coordination.
Over time these lead to an increased risk of disease and illness, and an inability to function effectively on a daily basis.
In short, it can lead to serious declines in health.
It should come as no surprise that regular physical activity is associated with a 30% reduction in ‘all-cause mortality’ (AKA death…), completely irrespective of your age, gender, and ethnicity.
Best Exercise Tips for Health
When it comes to optimizing your health through exercise, you want to implement exercises that focus in both your cardiovascular and muscular systems. This means using a combination of aerobic and weight training to enhance your fitness in its entirety (Pedersen, 2019).
With this in mind, the best tips are:
- Aim for 250 minutes of aerobic exercise per week: while 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise can prevent heart disease and diabetes, increasing it to 250 minutes has been shown to prevent numerous cancers, sarcopenia, obesity, and osteoporosis.
- Perform 2-3 full body strength training sessions per week: this will help increase muscle mass and bone density, prevent diabetes, and increase function (which is essential to promoting independence for your entire life)
While this may seem like a lot, it is important to note that the aerobic exercise can be broken up however you want. So, if you were to start incorporating something a walk on your lunch break and a bike ride to work, you would be more than halfway there.
Sleep and Health
Many people realize that sleep is important – but to be honest, I don’t think they appreciate just how important it is (Medic, 2017).
A single night of poor sleep can cause disruptions in physical and cognitive function, emotional wellbeing, and even certain aspects of physical health – and this is only the tip of the iceberg.
People who suffer from chronic poor sleep are more likely to experience mental illness, heart disease, diabetes, weight gain, declines in cognitive function, and cancer. They also appear to develop poor cognitive functioning, while seeing reductions in their immune system health, quality of life, and emotional wellbeing.
In short, sleep impacts every aspect of your health – so you want to stay on top of it.
Best Sleep Tips
Sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your body – and here is how to make sure you are getting enough of it.
You need to use some strategies to maximize sleep quality and duration – and fortunately, there are a few things that can be implemented to improve this every single night. These aren’t all that complex and have a good body of research to support them, making them all great options.
- Strive for 8 hours each night: You should be aiming for at least 8 hours per night to maximize your healthspan.
- Set a sleep routine: Try and create a routine where you go to bed the same time every night. This has been shown to help regulate your circadian rhythm, making it easier to fall asleep each night.
- No screens before bed: Electronic screens (phones, TV, etc.) emit blue light, which stimulates wakefulness and alertness, while also throwing off your circadian rhythm. Try and avoid them for about 60 minutes before bed to limit their impact.
- Limit caffeine intake in the afternoon: you know that caffeine stimulates wakefulness – so simply cease its consumption after 2pm in the afternoon.
- Keep your room cool: research has shown that cooler bedroom temperatures help you fall asleep faster, while also improving your sleep quality. Keeping it within 60-67 degrees appears to be the perfect range.
And there you have it – some simple tips that will seriously enhance your sleep quality.
Related Article: 5 Benefits of Sleeping Naked: The Scientific Facts
Supplements and health
Lastly, I wanted to touch on supplements.
The first thing I want to say here is that supplements should be your last point of call. They are exactly as their name suggests – merely a supplement to be added once all other aspects of healthy living are taken care of.
The cherry on top, if you will.
I should also note that while many supplements are advertised as being extremely effective, they do very little. However, there are a few that seem to have some significant benefit, which include:
- Green tea: three to four cups per day has been shown help prevent against heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, reduce inflammation, and improve cognitive function (Prasanth, 2019).
- Matcha tea: contains many of the active compounds found in green tea, and subsequently appears to have the same health benefits. Interestingly, it has also been shown to aid in weight management (Venables, 2008).
- Fish oil: has potent anti-inflammatory properties. With this in mind, it has been shown to improve blood cholesterol and brain health, while helping prevent cardiovascular disease and enhancing joint health (De Magalhaes, 2016).
- Creatine: is a supplement that has gained popularity via its ability to improve strength, power, and athletic performance. However, this is evidence demonstrating that it can also help prevent muscle wasting and age related declines in cognitive function – which is integral to heathy gaining (Riesberg, 2016).
- Curcumin: is the bioactive compound found in turmeric. It has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help prevent against cancer, cognitive decline, arthritis, and anxiety, making it a key consideration for anyone wanting to focus on health living (Hewlings, 2017).
As I mentioned above, while these will not do it for you, they can help improve your health even further once you have your diet, exercise, and sleep dialled in.
Related Article: The Ingredient in Kale That May Promote Longevity
Take Home Message
Given the state of the world today, now is the perfect time to reset your health and take the first steps to living a long, fruitful, and healthy life.
Using the tips outlined in this article you can focus o the four big rocks of health and change your life for the better. And if you have any health tips you would like to share with us, drop them in the comments section – we would love to hear from you.
Larsson, S. C., J. Kaluza, and Alicja Wolk. “Combined impact of healthy lifestyle factors on lifespan: two prospective cohorts.” Journal of internal medicine 282.3 (2017): 209-219.
Gremeaux, Vincent, et al. “Exercise and longevity.” Maturitas 73.4 (2012): 312-317.
Pedersen, Bente Klarlund. “Which type of exercise keeps you young?.” Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care 22.2 (2019): 167-173.
Medic, Goran, Micheline Wille, and Michiel EH Hemels. “Short-and long-term health consequences of sleep disruption.” Nature and science of sleep 9 (2017): 151.
Prasanth, Mani Iyer, et al. “A review of the role of green tea (Camellia sinensis) in antiphotoaging, stress resistance, neuroprotection, and autophagy.” Nutrients 11.2 (2019): 474.
Venables, Michelle C., et al. “Green tea extract ingestion, fat oxidation, and glucose tolerance in healthy humans.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 87.3 (2008): 778-784.
De Magalhaes, Joao Pedro, et al. “Fish oil supplements, longevity and aging.” Aging (Albany NY) 8.8 (2016): 1578.
Riesberg, Lisa A., et al. “Beyond muscles: The untapped potential of creatine.” International immunopharmacology 37 (2016): 31-42.
Hewlings, Susan J., and Douglas S. Kalman. “Curcumin: a review of its’ effects on human health.” Foods 6.10 (2017): 92.
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