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7 Secrets of Healthy People

7 Secrets of Healthy People

Healthy people do not just wake up one day to a fit body and clear mind. Real health involves a commitment to a healthy lifestyle, and for many people this means making some changes in their physical and mental approach to everyday life. Here are seven top ways healthy people get that way and stay that way.

1. They Make Sure to Get Good Quality Sleep

Sleep is a cornerstone of mental and physical well being. The time spent sleeping is not as idle as it might seem. During a good night’s rest, the body can direct its energy towards healing and repairing the system. It releases growth hormones to help repair wounds and create new cells, and there is even evidence that a good night’s rest can help keep your weight in check because of hunger-regulating hormones. In addition, the brain uses this time to recuperate and to store important information.

To start getting better rest, create a quieter, more comfortable sleeping area. Set a time for winding down at least an hour before your bedtime. Avoid bright lights and, especially, computer monitors or lights from other electronic devices. Many people find meditation or gentle yoga routines to be helpful for relaxing the body and calming the mind before bed.

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2. They Eat a Great Diet

There are many different opinions on what counts as the healthiest diets, but healthy people nearly always focus on eating a lot of vegetables, avoiding artificial preservatives and limiting processed foods and sugar. Eating clean helps your body get the nutrients it needs without the potentially toxic additives.

The excuse many people have for eating junk food is that healthy meals take too long to prepare. If your days are chaotic and you feel you don’t have the time to indulge in healthy eating, consider signing up for healthy delivered meals at home or office. Healthy meal delivery is more than just a convenience. It can keep you on track and help you avoid the temptation of skipping meals or eating fast food.

3. They Learn and Practice Stress Management

Unchecked stress takes a rapid and measurable toll on the body. Cortisol, adrenalin and other stress hormones are beneficial during emergencies because they help a person fight or flee from danger. However, these hormones are destructive to the body over time, such as during periods of chronic stress.

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Stress cannot always be avoided, and so healthy people learn ways to manage their stress. Relaxation exercises, breathing techniques, journaling and talking with loved ones are a few techniques you can use.

4. They Maintain a Balanced Outlook

Negativity can seem pervasive in the world at times. Healthy people ensure they focus on positive things as much as, or at least more than, the negative. In this way, they can maintain a healthy mental balance and avoid becoming consumed by the sadness and despair in the world.

One way to incorporate this into your life is to seek out positive news stories or contribute positively to the world by helping others in some way.

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5. They Nurture Relationships

It is okay to be alone, and it is important to take time out when you need to. However, healthy people also nurture relationships with others.

Healthy social interaction has been shown to boost mood and quality of life. Find ways to spend more quality time with other people and you will see a difference.

6. They Take Time Out

Everyone needs time to recharge. A healthy person takes this time with the understanding that it is a necessity and not a luxury.

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By taking a break and spending time self-nurturing, you will have the energy and desire to show the world your best self.

7. They Use Exercise to Care for the Body

For the healthy person, exercise isn’t necessarily more enjoyable than it is for others. However, they know that the benefits of sticking with an exercise routine far outweigh the consequences of a sedentary life. The body is made for movement, and without some exercise, deterioration is inevitable.

Switching to a healthy lifestyle can feel challenging because you’ll experience a lot of daily changes. Take small steps in the beginning and it will be easier not to feel overwhelmed and give up. Remember that anything new is a challenge in the beginning, but you can do it.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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