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5 Super Unconventional Health Choices That Will Help You Get Results

5 Super Unconventional Health Choices That Will Help You Get Results

We’ve all heard the typical workout and diet tips intended to help you get healthy. You know, work out more often, eat less food, and maintain a positive mindset – the usual.

But before you start jotting down the specifics of what you want to do better or what you intend to accomplish regarding your health and fitness, maybe it’s time to shake things up a bit and do away with the typical methods.

What am I talking about?

How about listing more general yet all-encompassing health-related commitments?

To make your health resolutions more interesting and more motivating, twist them in such a way that you’ll be sure to remember your responsibility to better health.

If you need some ideas, here are some unconventional health choices that you can make today to get better results.

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Quit the Gym

You may be thinking, “Quit the gym? Really?”

Yes, really. But before you jump to any conclusions, do consider whether that 12-month membership you’ve paid and signed on for is giving you the health benefits you desire.

Are you really getting the most out of your gym membership?

Are you really an avid gym-goer who enjoys doing those workouts?

Because if you don’t enjoy gym workouts, then it’s much better to quit the gym altogether and find a more interesting type of workout (and there are lots these days!) that will excite you and encourage you to work out more often. Instead of running on the treadmill or getting lost while trying to figure out how to operate those weight machines, try working out with a more interesting activity, such as cycling classes or stretching at home, or try something more holistic like yoga or Pilates.

Given the range and variety of workout classes and routines available in this day and age, you’re bound to find one—or a couple—that’ll be a better use of your money than a gym membership!

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Eat More

When you think about getting fit or losing weight, you usually think about eating less of this and eating less of that. “Weight loss” has that negative ring to it, so people generally have unhappy feelings towards getting fit.

But what if we turn that around and encourage ourselves to eat more—more of the good stuff, that is?

It’s easier to motivate yourself to do a positive act than a negative one—it’s all about perspective, really. So, instead of thinking about all the restrictions and limitations you have to put on yourself to lose weight or improve your fitness, just turn those thoughts around and think about the healthy, delicious foods that you want to eat more of.

If you keep reinforcing these positive thoughts, thinking of healthy food in a positive way will eventually become a habit. You’ll barely even realize that you’re eating less of the bad stuff, like junk food, sodas, processed foods, and foods that are high in sugar and salt content.

If you include this as one of your health resolutions, you’d better be specific about the right kinds of food that you intend to eat more of. That way, you’ll be more aware and mindful the next time you open your refrigerator in search of something to eat.

Stop What You’re Doing

Being busy is not something to be proud of—being fulfilled is. If you’re busy, yet you still end up feeling unhappy, depressed, and downtrodden in life, then it’s about time to make some major changes in your daily routine.

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Instead of continuing to press on without dealing with underlying problems and emotions that you may have been ignoring and repressing, perhaps you should consider stopping for a moment and taking a step back.

You may not know it, but what you think is something that’s helping you move forward (maybe a busy career or hectic lifestyle) can sometimes actually be holding you back—and that can severely affect your physical, emotional, and mental health.

Stop what you’re doing, take a step back, and assess. And while you’re at it, consider doing meditation, which can really help you get more in sync with yourself. Yoga has been well-received and is known as an effective means of working out, and the benefits of meditation are well-known.

Maybe it’s time you start taking things slowly but surely. Get yourself back on track with the aim of being more centered and fulfilled as opposed to busy and haggard.

Fight Back

Right now is the perfect time for you to fight back.

It’s time you fight back and take control of your life, instead of just being a victim of circumstances and letting things flow even when it results in your health taking a backseat.

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Think you don’t have time to work out? You’re not alone, but many have found ways to work around their time constraints, and so can you. You may have been handed a set of bad cards, but you can take charge from this point forward to make things better for yourself. Start with finding time to exercise.

Just do away with your excuses, because no matter what, you can be healthy and stay fit even if you are juggling a full-time career and personal life. Organize your life in such a way that making healthier choices will benefit you and not defeat you.

Get Loud

Since you’ve already adopted a healthy mindset, why not spread the love and pay it forward by encouraging others to do the same?

You may have discovered an effective and fun kind of workout, so why not bring a friend with you so they can try it out as well? If you’ve started your habit of eating more healthy food, why not cook and prepare some for guests instead of ordering in fast food?

Live within the context of a community.

Get loud with your good intentions, and people will certainly respond and even thank you for it once they see and feel the benefits of living a healthier lifestyle themselves. Of course, all of those good vibes may return to you a hundredfold, seeing that you’ve triggered a positive change in people’s lives. All because you’ve decided once and for all to start making changes within yourself.

These are just a few quirky decisions you can make, but there certainly could be more. The key is to find ways to be sure that you are fully able to commit to a change. This way, you can lead a much healthier lifestyle than ever before.

Make it count, make it stick, make it unconventional.

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Sara Jane Adkins

Blogger at Natural Healthy Living

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

Creating your productivity ritual — a routine that helps you to maintain a peak level of energy can get you the best out of your days.

Part of creating your productivity routine involves removing activities that drain you (what I call “kryptonites”), and that includes your bad habits.

Like it or not, bad habits are bad for you — mentally, physically, emotionally and even socially in some cases. While some bad habits are harder to quit than others, it doesn’t change the fact that you need to get rid of them. Here are 13 bad habits to quit right away:

1. Stress Eating

I used to be a serious stress eater. I would eat whenever I felt unhappy, stressed, disappointed, anxious, or even… happy! My eating had nothing to do with being hungry, and everything to do with using food to fill my emotional voids.

While eating would comfort me, this feeling was momentary and would disappear right after I was done eating. Instead, what I had left would be the same emotional void that triggered me to eat in the first place (be it unhappiness or stress), a 2,000 excess calorie intake over what I should have eaten for the day, and anger at myself for having stress ate.

I’ve since overcome stress eating. I have healthy eating habits and a healthy relationship with food today where I no longer use food as a tool to fill my emotions.

If you are a stress eater, don’t fret — here’s how to manage your stress better:

How to Manage Stress (A Step-by-Step Guide to Turn Stress Into Success)

2. Nail Biting

Not only is nail biting unhygienic, it is also socially repelling, leads to dental problems like malocclusion of the anterior teeth,[1] potentially cause stomach problems,[2] and lead to severely deformed fingernails in the long run.

People who bite their nails tend to have shorter nails than the average person; their nail plates also experience scarring and may eventually become absent.[3]

Understand what triggers your nail biting behavior and replace it with another neutral to positive habit. Make habits to break habits.

For example, if you bite your nails when you are stressed, go for a walk or listen to music instead the next time you feel stressed.

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3. Hanging out with Naysayers

We all know these people — people who play devil’s advocate to every idea you have and every goal you want to pursue. We are already our greatest self-critics, so it doesn’t help when there’s someone beside us, ever ready to pounce on what we say and tear it down.

Hang out less with these naysayers and spend more time with supportive people who share constructive feedback instead. You will be much happier this way.

Learn how to get rid of naysayers with these 10 Ways to Ignore the Naysayers and Achieve Your Dreams.

4. Being with People Who Don’t Appreciate You

Haven’t all of us been in this situation before? Trying to please people who don’t appreciate us? Bending over backwards to be there for people when they are never there for us?

While we give without expectations of return, we need to draw a line with people who don’t value us because these people damage our souls.

Stop spending time with people who don’t appreciate you, and spend more time with people who do instead.

Unsure who you should get rid of? Learn about it here: 5 Kinds of Toxic People That You Need to Get Rid of Now

5. Smoking

Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death globally.[4]

In just the United States alone, about 500,000 deaths are attributed to smoking-related diseases annually. A recent study estimated that as much as one-third of China’s male population will have significantly shortened life-spans due to smoking! Gender-wise, male and female smokers lose an average of 13.2 and 14.5 years of life respectively — that’s over a decade of life right there.[5]

Not only that, smoking causes pre-mature skin aging (i.e. wrinkles), yellowing of teeth, bad breath, and worse of all — jeopardy of the health of people around you, including your loved ones. Studies have shown that non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke are at risk to many of the health problems associated with direct smoking.[6]

Smoking risks

    6. Excessive Drinking

    All of us know that drinking too much alcohol is bad for us, but do you know how bad it really is?

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    According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, drinking too much — be it on a single occasion or over time — can seriously damage your health:[7]

    • Brain problems: Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, making it harder to think clearly and move with coordination.
    • Heart diseases: Cardiomyopathy – Stretching and drooping of heart muscle, Arrhythmias – Irregular heart beat, stroke, high blood pressure
    • Liver diseases: Steatosis or fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis
    • Pancreas problems: Pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.
    • Different types of cancer: Mouth, esophagus, throat, liver, breast

    If you drink a lot, perhaps cutting it out right away will be tough. Cut down the number of glasses you drink each time, followed by the number of times you drink a week.

    If need be, seek help from an AA group — you aren’t alone in this. Change starts from today.

    7. Eating Junk Food (Including Diet Soda)

    Junk food — they are everywhere in our society today. From McDonald’s, to KFC, to Burger King, to 24-hour takeouts, junk food such as fries, highly processed burgers and sodas has become a staple in our society today.

    If you think, “Hey, but junk food is tasty!”, think again:

    A study by Paul Johnson and Paul Kenny suggests that junk food consumption alters brain activity in a way similar to addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin.[8]

    “After many weeks with unlimited access to junk food, the pleasure centers of rat brains became desensitized, requiring more food for pleasure.”

    And you wonder why you seem to crave fast food when you just had some the day before?

    While it may not be possible to remove junk food completely from our diet right away, we can reduce our junk food consumption starting today. Instead of soda, opt for a fruit juice (fresh juice, not the carbonated kind) or mineral water. Instead of fries, switch to mashed potato, a salad, or rice (many food outlets allow for this today). Instead of a fried meat patty, go for a grilled one.

    Where possible, opt for healthy food joints like salad bars and delis as opposed to fast food outlets. Every little step goes a long way.

    Here’re some healthy snacks ideas for you: 15 Healthy Snacks You Should Always Have At Home

    8. Eating Too Much Red Meat

    There has been conclusive evidence that consumption of red meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer; and suggestive evidence that it increases the risk of oesophageal cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and endometrial cancer.

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    In addition, some studies have linked consumption of large quantities of red meat with breast cancer, stomach cancer, lymphoma, bladder cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer![9]

    Personally, I’m a vegetarian so I don’t consume red meat, but for those of you who consume red meat, do watch out and limit your intake — better still, cut it out of your diet. World Cancer Research Fund recommends limiting intake of red meat to less than 300g (11 oz) cooked weight per week, “very little, if any of which to be processed.”

    Of if you’re thinking about becoming a vegetarian, check out this guide: 5 Practical Tips For Starting a Vegetarian Lifestyle

    9. Watching Too Much TV

    I stopped watching TV since eight years ago and I have never regretted it. Every once in a while I will switch on the telly to see what is on, and then I will switch it off because it’s just the same boring shtick over and over again.

    Watching TV, particularly well-written dramas, can be a good way to unwind. However, remember that TV isn’t your life.

    Spending three hours every night watching TV will not change your life for the better. Rather, using that time to reflect on your life, take stock, and take action on your goals will.

    It’s not easy to remove TV from your daily routine right away, but follow these 6 Steps To Remove TV From Your Life.

    10. Being Late

    Not only is being late being rude to others, it also means that you’re always rushing from one place to another, playing catch up in your agenda, and having to apologize to every person you meet.

    Stop being late and not being punctual, but practice being early instead. Target to arrive 15 minutes earlier before any appointment and bring along something to do in those 15 minutes (or longer if the other person turns out to be late). Then you can stop playing catch up and stay ahead in life.

    Learn more tips about how to be more punctual here: How to Be On Time Every Time

    11. Being in Bad Relationships

    Are you always dating the wrong guys/girls? Do you end up with jerks all the time? Well, you may not be able to stop yourself from meeting bad partners but you can certainly stop yourself from furthering contact with them, spending time with them, or even… entering into a relationship with them.

    I used to invest myself in this guy who was nothing but toxic for me. After a good five months of experiencing nothing but getting burned over and over again, I realized that he was a total waste of my time and I deserved better. I decided to cut him off, and it was soon after that I met my soulmate.

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    Learn about why you shouldn’t stay in a bad relationship and how to deal with it if you’re in one: Why Trying Hard to Stay in an Unhappy Relationship Is Not Love, but Fear

    12. Leaving Things to the Last Minute

    Burning the midnight oil isn’t fun — it’s exhausting.

    Those of you who got through college by burning the midnight oil would have learned this the hard way. Not only is it damaging for your body, it is also mentally draining as you’re constantly in a hyper-tense mode, feeling anxious about whether you can finish your work on time.

    Start today on a new note. Rather than react to your deadlines, be proactive about them by planning ahead, identifying what needs to be done for the week, and getting things done in advance.

    By staying ahead of your tasks, you can also use your extra time to plan ahead in your life and get more things done.

    Take a look at this guide and learn how to stop procrastinating: Procrastination – A Step-By-Step Guide to Stop Procrastinating

    13. Focusing on the Negatives

    In every situation, there are two ways you can react: zoom down to the problem areas and crib about how things aren’t the way you want, or celebrate the areas that are going well and work on making everything better.

    Many of us see the importance of doing the latter but in practice, we do the former. Why though? Criticizing and focusing on the negatives is easy but it doesn’t empower nor inspire us to be better.

    Make a change — for every negative encounter you run into, I challenge you to identify three things that are good about it. Practice doing this for one week, and by the end of the week you’ll find that your first instinct is to think positive, not negative.

    And here’re even more ways to help you stay positive: 11 Tips for Maintaining your Positive Attitude

    The Bottom Line

    So here you find the 13 most common bad habits and their consequences on your mind and body. The good news’ you can quit them all.

    Just spot out your own bad habits and take my suggestions to quit them. Then you’ll find your life a lot healthier and happier!

    Need more tips to break your bad habits? Check out these articles:

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

    Reference

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