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10 Things Healthy People Do Before Going To Work Every Day

10 Things Healthy People Do Before Going To Work Every Day

Have you ever considered that doing more healthy things before you go to work each day will actually improve your day rather than hinder it? It might be time to make a change to your normal, everyday routine just to see what effect it might have on you and your surroundings. You’ll never know unless you go for it!

If you want to feel invigorated and ready to tackle the day ahead, try these simple tips for 30 days and you’ll never go back to hitting the snooze button again!

1. Get up 20 minutes earlier

This might be a struggle, especially if, like me, you find it hard to tear yourself away from your duvet when the alarm clock rings. I used to be a ‘bed hugger’ until I started working for myself. Then I realized that I worked better in the mornings than in the afternoons or evenings. Because of that I now get up at least an hour earlier than I used to and have become a lot more productive as a result.

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So how about trying it? Make that extra time in the mornings count, so you aren’t as stressed trying to fit everything in first thing. This will also help with the other tips I’ve got lined up for you!

2. Meditate and set intentions for the day

Before I do anything in the morning, I go to my quiet place and I meditate. This sets the mood for the day and is a great way of setting your intentions for how you want the day to go. It also gets you into a place of feeling calm and relaxed. If you have to drive or battle with train commuters on your way to work, you’ll deal with things in a less reactionary way after meditating. So begin your day just like other healthy people by visualizing your day ahead and making sure it’s a good one!

3. Drink hot water with lemon

If you want something to set you up for your day in a healthy way, then drinking a hydrating and nourishing hot water and lemon drink is a great choice. It’s known for activating digestion and is another positive step toward better health, so why not?

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4. Sit and watch nature

This is a great way to really get yourself in touch with your natural surroundings and appreciating all that you have at that very moment. How often do you just sit, listen and watch the birds and the environment they inhabit? We spend so much of our lives rushing from one thing to the next that we forget how lucky we are to be alive. If you can take five minutes out of your usual morning routine and observe, you’ll be amazed at what’s just outside your back door.

5. Do a bit of exercise

I’m not talking about a full on hour at the gym or a sweaty 30 minute run. It’s more like a gentle walk in nature to get you outside, relaxed and fully alert. Healthy people find this not only energizing, but know that the benefits of stimulating the brain will start the day off with a clear and clutter-free mind. Taking some exercise—even if it’s just ten minutes—is better than none. You’ll feel great and look great, so where’s the harm in that?

6. Always eat breakfast

I know that if I’ve not eaten anything for breakfast, I’m like a bear with a sore head, so I make sure I eat something every morning. Not only do I eat breakfast, I make sure it’s healthy and always includes some kind of fruit. Healthy people like to eat breakfast because it’s brain food; it’s a sure fire way to be more effective at work and it’ll make you a lot more fun to be around. If you can, try to make your breakfast something really tasty—so tasty in fact that you’ll hate to miss out on it!

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7. Make your lunch

Making your lunch before you go to work is a great way of ensuring that you make time to take that well-earned lunch break. Think about it: how many times do you work straight through your lunch, or take what seems like an age to think about what to have so that you’ve already wasted half your lunch break trying to decide. Do yourself a favor: pack all your healthy favorites beforehand so you’ve got the whole of your lunch break to enjoy them!

8. Make time to schedule your to do list

We’ve all got a mountain of stuff to do each week, let alone each day, so why not take the stress out of your day by organizing things you are definitely going to accomplish that same day. If you do this, it will take all the anxiety and stress out of making important decisions. It will ensure that you know what tasks you have to complete and it’ll remind you to do them. After all, the only person who will be letting you down is YOU! However, it’s important to be flexible as other things can crop up at the last minute, which can mean you’ve got less time than you thought. Remember to always stay calm, don’t panic, and reschedule for the next day if you have to. As long as you do that, there really is no harm.

9. Listen to uplifting and inspiring music

Forget the TV or the radio for once—the early morning news can bring you down. Instead, opt to listen to your favorite track, and get your mood lifted each morning. Music is a great way of bringing you back to the present moment, which can help you focus on the good stuff and stop any anxiety or worries about future commitments.

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10. Be grateful for all that you have each day

Take time to reflect on your life and what you already have. If you can take time to make a list of all the things you are grateful for each morning and reevaluate your life as it currently stands, it will make you appreciate all the goodness you have around you. Doing this one thing each day will make you feel fantastic and inspired. After all, being grateful is the key to happiness and abundance.

So which of these 10 tips are you going to try for the next 30 days?

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Last Updated on June 15, 2018

What Really Works: How to Relieve Lower Back Pain Effectively

What Really Works: How to Relieve Lower Back Pain Effectively

Eight out of ten adults experience lower back pain once in their lifetime. I am one of those people and I’m definitely not looking forward to my participation award. I know how it feels like to step out of bed and barely being able to put on your socks. Having lower back pain sucks. But 9 out of 10 patients that suffer from lower back pain don’t even know the primary cause of it.

Video Summary

Back Pain? Blame Our Evolution

Once upon a time in our fairly recent past, our ancestors felt the urgency to stand up and leave our quadruped neighbors behind. Habitual bipedalism, fancy word for regularly walking on two legs, came with a lot of advantages. With two rear limbs instead of four, we were able to more efficiently use our hands and create tools with them.

Sadly, life on two legs also brought along its disadvantages. Our spine had four supporting pillars previously, but now it only got two. The back is therefore naturally one of the weak links of our human anatomy. Our spine needs constant support from its supporting muscles to minimize the load on the spine. With no muscle support (tested on dead bodies) the back can only bear loads up to 5 pounds without collapsing [reference Panjabi 1989]. With well-developed torso muscles, the spine can take loads up to 2000 pounds. That’s a 400-fold increase.

Most people that come to me with a history of a herniated disc (that’s when the discs between the vertebral bodies are fully collapsed, really severe incident), tell me the ‘story of the pencil’. The injury with the following severe pain usually gets triggered by picking up a small, everyday object. Such as a pencil. Not as you may think by trying to lift 100 pounds – no, but by a simple thing – such as a pencil.

This tells us that damage in your back adds up over time, it’s a so called cumulative trauma disorder. Meaning back pain is a result of your daily habits.

Sitting Is the New Smoking

Whenever I sit for too long, my back hurts. In fact, 54% of Americans who experience lower back pain spend the majority of their workday sitting. But isn’t sitting something that should reduce the stress of your back? No, just the opposite.

The joints between the bones of the spine are not directly linked to the blood supply. These joints instead get nourished through a process called diffusion. Diffusion works because molecules (such as oxygen, important for cells) are constantly moving and try to get as much space for themselves as they can. A key element for diffusion therefore is a pressure difference. In the image below the left room contains more moving molecules than the right, that’s why the molecules from the left are moving to the right. This way nutrition gets transformed into the joints, whereas toxins are transported out of the joints.

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Sitting puts a lot of pressure on your spinal chord. The diffusion process therefore can’t function as efficiently. Nutrition and toxins can’t be properly transported, the joints get damaged.

    Sit Properly

    If sitting can play such a huge part in the creation of your lower back pain, how do you sit properly then?

    Is it better to sit with a straight back or should you rather lay back in your chair? Can I cross my legs when I’m sitting or should I have a symmetrical position with my feet? These are questions that I hear on a daily basis. The answer might shock you – according to recent science – all of them are right. The best sitting position is an ever-changing one. An ever-changing position minimizes the pressure on certain points of your spine and spreads it on the whole part.

      Credit: StayWow

      Stand Up More

      Even better than a sitting position is a stand up position. Standing dramatically reduces the pressure on your spine. If you’re forced to work on a desk the whole day though, you have two options.

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      Take breaks every hour of about 2-3 minutes.

      Set an alarm on your phone that goes off every hour! In that time you stand up and reach to the ceiling, on your toe tips with fully extended arms. You’re inhaling during the whole process. You do this activity for 20 seconds. Afterwards you’re walking through the office for the next 2 minutes. You might grab a healthy snack or some water in that time. The exercise relieves the pressure on your spine, while the walking makes sure that the joints on your spine are properly used.

      Or get a standing desk.

      One of the best companies on the market for Standing Desks, according to my research, is Autonomous. Autonomous offers a rather cheap Standing Desk, with the ability to change the height. Which means you can start the day standing and switch to sitting if you’re tired.

      Exercise for Lower Back Pain

      Sitting is an immobile position. Your joints are made for movement and therefore need movement to function properly. If humans are moving, all moving parts: e.g. the joints, bones and muscles get strengthened. If you’re in a rested position for too long, your tissues start to deteriorate. You have to get the right amount of activity in.

      But not too much activity. There’s a chance that going to the gym may even increase your risk of lower back pain. I know plenty of friends with chiseled bodies that suffer from pain in the spine regularly. Huge muscles do not prevent you from back pain. In your training you should focus on building up the muscles that are stabilizing your back and relieve pressure. Squats with 400 pounds don’t do the trick.

      The more weight you carry around, the more weight your spinal chord has to bear on a regular basis. That’s one of the reasons why huge, muscular guys can suffer from back pain too. One of the most important goals of your exercise regimen should therefore be weight loss.

      Here are some important tips for you to consider when starting an exercise regimen:

      Make sure you implement cardiovascular training in your workout routine.

      This will not only help you lose weight, it will also make sure that your arteries, which flow to the tissue next to your spinal discs, are free of placque and can therefore transport nutrients properly.

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      Important: If you have rather strong back pain, maybe even an herniated disc, don’t start running on a threadmill. Running is an high-impact exercise. Which means there are continuous, reocurring high pressure points on your spine. Your endurance training should therefore either be fast-paced walking or a training on the elliptical trainer for the beginning, because both have little to no stressful impact on your backbone.

      Focus on developing your whole core if you want to minimize your pain.

      There are some people that do hundreds of sit ups a day. While sit ups are a good exercise for your abdomen, it also puts pressure on your spine due to the bending movement. A sixpack workout routine is one-sided. Your abs may become overdeveloped in comparison to your back muscles. You’ve created an imbalance. A great way to train your abdominal muscles and back muscles simultaneously, is holding the plank position.

      Stretch only if you have tight muscles.

      I remember stretching every morning after I woke up. I took 10 minutes out of my day to just work on my flexibility and prevent injuries. Little did I know that I was actually promoting an injury, by doing so.

      Contrary to common belief, stretching is only partially beneficial to treating lower back pain. Stretching makes sense if tight muscles (such as the hamstrings) are forcing you to constantly bend your back. Stretching to treat pain doesn’t make sense if you’re already on a good level of flexibility. Hyper-mobility may even enforce back pain.

      If you found out that you had tight muscles that you need to stretch, try to stretch them at least three times a week. Don’t stretch your muscles right after you wake up in the morning. This is because your spinal discs soak themselves up in fluid over the nighttime. Every bending and excessive loads on your spine is much worse in that soaked-up state. Postpone your stretching regime to two-to three hours after you’ve woken up.

      Where to Start

      The key to improving your habits is awareness. Try to get aware of your back while you’re sitting down, laying down or lifting an object next time. This awareness of your body is called proprioception. For example, you have to be aware whether your back is bended or straight in this very second. Trust me, it is harder than you might think. You may need to ask a friend for the first few tries. But the change that this awareness can make in your back pain is absolutely fascinating. This consciousness of your body is one of the most important things in your recovery or prevention.

      Here are a few behavioural tactics that you need to be considering:

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      If you’re leaning forward more than 30 degrees with your upper body, support your spine with your arms.

      Ever tried to show a colleague of yours a complex issue and found yourself awkwardly leaning forward on their desk, pointing with your fingers to his paper? If that ever happens again, make sure you’re using the not-pointing arm to support yourself on the desk.

      Keep a straight back.

      Be it while exercising, stretching or standing. If you’re bending your back you’re putting stress on small areas of your spinal chord. A straight back redistributes the force to a bigger area. You’re minimizing the pressure. Remember this whenever you’re at the gym and reracking your weights, focus on having a neutral spine.

      Put symmetrical loads on your spine.

      I used to play the trumpet when I was a child. The instrument is pretty heavy. The trumpet gets transported in a big, metallic suitcase – with no wheels. Being the nature of suitcases, you only carry it with one arm, on one side of your body. This forced me to constantly lean on the other side with my upper body, while transporting the instrument from A to B. Not really the healthiest activity for your spine as you can imagine.

      If you have to carry heavy objects, carry them with both arms. Put the object in the middle of your body and keep it as close to your mass of gravity as you can. If this is not possible, try to carry the same amount on the left side than you do on the right side. This puts the stress vertically on a fully extended spine. The load is much better bearable for your spine.

      Stay Away From the Back Pain League

      Our world is getting more sedentary. We will continue to develop faster transportation, more comfortable houses and easier lives. While our technological progress definitely has its amazing benefits, it sadly has its downsides too. The danger for back pain will continue to rise on our ever-increasing motionless planet. It’s time to raise awareness.

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