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The 3 Least Things You Need To Do To Live A Healthy Life

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The 3 Least Things You Need To Do To Live A Healthy Life

There are countless things out there on the internet that tell you exactly what you must do in order to live a healthy life. Some of them are 20 (or more!) step guides on planning out your day to the minute, along with memberships to expensive gyms and crazy-sounding supplements.

Those aren’t necessary–you don’t need to implement every single tip under the sun and spend tons of money in order to be healthier. But, if you do want to live a healthy life, here are the three things that you must do.

These things aren’t revolutionary or groundbreaking. They don’t involve spending tons of money on fancy outfits, accessories, or learning the new complicated fitness craze. They’re almost exceedingly basic. That said, they’re also incredibly important.

Sleep.

Get some sleep! Stop staying up late or depriving yourself of sleep in the mornings and trying to make up for it with coffee or energy drinks.

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Sleep might be one of the most annoying things we have to do (8 hours unconscious–really?), but you have to do it. Sleeping is super important and missing out on it can have real effects on not only your productivity and happiness, but also your overall health.

According to a Harvard study:

Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates, and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite.

That’s not all. The report goes on to say:

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Sleep deprivation alters immune function, including the activity of the body’s killer cells. Keeping up with sleep may also help fight cancer.

Yikes!

While it might seem unimportant, or potentially even cumbersome, sleep is one of the things you can’t skimp out on if you’re trying to live a healthier lifestyle.

Get outside and move.

Forget the gerbil machine (a.k.a. the treadmill). Get outside, even if it’s something as simple as a 30-minute walk. Get outside, throw on a podcast or some music, and move!

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If you’re not walking, you can get by with a 7-minute workout, or something as simple and basic as interval sprint workouts up and down your neighborhood street. Whatever it is, just make sure you get up and move at some point throughout the day (preferably outside).

If the weather means you must stay indoors–be active. Join a gym, find a class you enjoy, and figure out a way to work up a sweat. If running is your thing, then go ahead and jump on the treadmill, but there are tons of other ways (CrossFit, boxing, yoga, Pilates, etc) to get your sweat on without spending hours running in place while staring at the television.

Eat real food.

This might be the biggest thing you can do to drastically improve your health in the fastest amount of time.

Try to live one week with the rule to only eat food with ingredients that you can pronounce, and see what happens.

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Find healthy recipes made with whole foods, and learn how to cook. Try to prepare your meals for the week and then eat accordingly.

This means eating out less and being deliberate about the foods you get ready at the beginning of the week, but it’s a trade-off you’re going to have to make if you want to live a more intentionally healthy lifestyle.

 

That’s it. That’s the least you have to do live a healthy lifestyle. No fancy contraptions, medications or gym memberships required. Simply sleep, move, eat real food, and I bet you’ll see a massive improvement in how you feel and act throughout your day.

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Now it’s your turn: what’s your favorite simple thing you can add to your life to live a little healthier? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Featured photo credit: Strawberry #2 (reworked)/.craig via flickr.com

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Last Updated on November 22, 2021

Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

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Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

Thanksgiving, a day of pure gluttony, football, and possible uncomfortable situations with family members that you may or may not like. Oh, yeah, and the whole “know and reflect on what it is to be thankful and grateful.”

During the holiday season many people forget what this time of year is bout and are too worried about getting the “early-bird” deals on Black Friday and making sure that they have the perfect gifts for their loved ones. I am sort of a “Grinch” when it comes to the holiday season, mostly because of that mentality by many of the poeple around me.

But instead of being grinch-like this holiday season, I decided to simplify things and get back to what this time of year is actually is about; being thankful for what I have and what I can give.

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Simplify

I’m not a “minimalist” in any real sense, but in the last few months the talks of Patrick Rhone and others have got me to rethink my stance. Can you really have too much stuff?

Absolutely.

And with all that stuff comes the burden and the weight of it on your back.

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If you feel that the things around you are out of control, maybe it’s time to simplify and be thankful and grateful for what you have and use. Here are a few things that you can do to simplify:

  • You know those gadgets in the drawer that you said you were going to sell? Well, time to get the listing on eBay and sell them. Or, send them to a place like Gazelle. Even if they are old and won’t get money, you can at least recycle them.
  • Get rid of things you don’t need. Like old books, clothes, tools, etc. Have something that’s been laying around forever with no use? Donate it to a charity or church. If you aren’t using it, someone else could be.
  • Find your productivity tools and stick with them. Use tools and gadgets that serve multiple purposes so you can simplify your tool set.

Be Mindful

You don’t have to be a master Buddhist or meditator to be mindful (although, it can definitely help). Being mindful comes down to being cognizant of the present and not keeping yourself in the past or future. It’s about living in the moment and being aware of yourself and everything around you. It’s just being.

Without getting too “California” on you, it is super important to be mindful during the holiday rush. Rather than worrying about the things that you forgot at your house on the way to relatives or thinking about the next stop in your endless holiday travels, just breath and think about what you are currently doing.

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Spend the time with your family and friends and don’t crush the moment. Try not to concentrate so hard on getting the perfect photo of the “awesome moment” of the day and actually miss the awesome moment.

Being mindful over the holidays will help you be with your families, friends, and yourself allowing you to enjoy your time.

Reflect

As the year is coming to a close (yes, it really is that close!) it’s a great time to start reflecting on what you have accomplished and what you haven’t. Within the next few weeks we will have a more throrough reflection article here at Lifehack.org, but reflecting every now and then over your holiday break is a great way to see where you have been doing well in your life and where you need to improve.

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Reflection shouldn’t be used to “get down” on yourself. Reflection should be used to take an honset inventory of what you have accomplished, how you handeled situations, and what you can do better. If you journal everyday (a daily form of reflection) it may be a good time to start going over some of the things that you have written and start to put together a year’s end journal entry. I mean, how else will you write your autobiography?

But, seriously, reflecting on yourself makes you aware of your successes and faults and helps you plan and make goals for the coming year. It makes you a better person.

So, while you are stuffing your face with bird, stuffing, and mashed taters’, remember that the holidays are much more than the superficial things. Use this holiday to become a better person.

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Featured photo credit: Libby Penner via unsplash.com

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