by Michelle Cederberg, Health and Productivity Expert
My ‘Non-Negotiable 3’ Health Practices For Living An Energetic Life
Do you overwhelm yourself with the idea that good health is too complicated and takes too much time? Yes, we have a lot of choices thrown at us every day to improve health and longevity but don’t overthink it.
When life gets busy and the schedule doesn’t seem to have room for more than small steps, take them. My three ‘non-negotiable’ health practices – the ones I will ensure get daily focus – are essentially things you need to be doing every day anyways, so why not simply make the decision to do each of them a little better?
The first is exercise. I know we don’t have to do this one every day but since it’s the key way your body will stay healthy and is capable of energizing you through the day why on earth would you skip it?
Well, I know the answer to that … we skip it because we don’t have the time, energy or motivation to fit in fitness. But your energy and motivation won’t change unless you find the time, so start with small steps.
Your fitness goal is to consistently do more than what is normal for you, so if you’re currently not exercising then as a starting point, a daily 10-minute walk will make a world of difference to your health. If you follow the rule to consistently do more than what is normal for you, then 10 minutes of movement will become 12, then 15 minutes, or maybe you’ll walk up hills or add in stairs.
You get the idea. MOVE.
The second is to eat a bit better every day. I love food so I’ll be the last person to tell you to stop eating (or drinking) everything you love, but I will tell you that moderation and education will go a long way to increasing your energy and decreasing your waistline.
Every day choose to consume less sugar, fat and flour – processed foods have a lot of these. Choose more fruits, vegetables and healthy, fresh foods instead.
Decrease your portion sizes just a bit. Skip the vending machine as a food source (there’s nothing healthy in there).
Pack healthy snacks for the day. Drink water instead of soda or fruit juices.
If you eat healthier throughout the day you make room for enjoyment of some of your favorite foods minus the guilt. Learn a bit about the foods you’re feeding your body.
Educate yourself on the demerits that processed foods give you and the many merits of eating fresh and lean. That’s energizing.
The last of my ‘non-negotiable 3’ is to get better sleep. Prioritize it.
It’s during sleep that your body repairs itself from the stresses of the day. Sleep makes you healthier, stronger and more energized yet it’s something that busy people ‘fit in’ when they have the time.
Make the time. If more hours aren’t possible then make sure the hours you’re getting are restful. Develop a pre-sleep routine that will help you doze off more quickly.
Fatty or high-protein foods before bed may keep you awake as your body works harder to digest them. Too much TV, internet or video games will keep your brain stimulated longer so cut those out before bed too.
Read or take a bath. Stretch or meditate. Sip a cup of (non-caffeinated) tea.
Wind down at least 30 minutes earlier, or better yet, skip the sofa and TV altogether and choose to go to bed earlier.
Part 2 of the sleep experiment is to make sure you’ve optimized your sleep environment. You’ll sleep a lot better if your room is cool (18C or so), dark, and clean. Find a pillow that is comfy and suits your sleep style, and if possible make sure your bed provides you the right type of support.
So there it is: Move a bit more, eat a bit healthier, optimize your rest and recovery and you’ll gain better Energy Now!
(published July 28, 2012)
Michelle Cederberg is a Certified Speaking Professional, Co-Active Life Coach, Health Expert and Author. With a Masters in Kinesiology, a BA in Psychology, and a specialization in Health and Exercise Psychology, Michelle combines mind, body, and practicality to inspire change! She speaks with humour and passion, and encourages her audiences to put their own health and well being back on their priority lists with a small steps approach that leaves them believing they can. These energy tips are excerpted from her new book, Energy Now! Small Steps to an Energetic Life. Learn more at www.worklifeenergy.com.