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

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.

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 December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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