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Do You Make This One Common Mistake When it Comes to Your Health?

Do You Make This One Common Mistake When it Comes to Your Health?

Answer the following question truthfully: Are you in control of your health? Or do you let it control you?

For most folks, it’s the latter. If you fall into that category, it’s okay, because I’ll show you how to take control of your health starting with just 15 minutes of your time a day.

A Population Out of Control

The stats indicate many people struggle to control their health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • More than 1 out of every 3 adults in the United States is obese.
  • More than 2 out of every 3 adults in the United States is either overweight or obese.
  • Over 17 percent of kids ages 2-19 are obese.
  • Medical costs associated with obesity are around $147 billion per year.
  • Medical costs for people who are obese are $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.

Obesity is triggered by a number of factors, such as your genetics, socioeconomic issues, age, medical issues, etc. But guess what the number one cause of obesity is?

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Lifestyle factors.

This means what you eat, how much you exercise, whether or not you smoke, how much you sleep, etc. You probably knew this already. The reason I bring it up to you again is to prove a point: if you’re struggling with your weight and are unhappy with your current state of health, you can make a change.

Here’s how.

How to Take Control of Your Health

First, you have to want to change, so sit down and really think about the reasons why you want to get healthier. Maybe you’re sick of feeling embarrassed every time you go out to eat, or you want to look better in a bathing suit, or you want to increase your chances of being around longer so you can watch your kids grow up. Whatever your reasons are, write them down. This will serve as motivation down the road when you get a little off track (which you inevitably will). Once you decide you’re ready, talk to your doctor. When you make changes to your health, especially major ones, you need to get the green light from a healthcare professional.

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Next, map out your health goals. And by “map out”, I mean write them down. Be specific. Don’t say, “I want to lose weight.” Say, “I want to lose 10 pounds by August 1st.”

Sounds easy enough, right? So the next step is to take the goals you wrote down and place them in every spot where you spend a lot of time. This means in your bedroom, your family room, your office at work, in your car… you get the drift. The idea is to ensure that your goals are always on your mind. This helps you stick with them and stay motivated.

Commit to spending at least 15 minutes each day on healthy behaviors for the first week or two, and track those behaviors each day. These “healthy behaviors” will be highly individualized, but here are some ideas to get you thinking in the right mindset.

10 Ways to Take Control of Your Health in 15 Minutes or Less

1. Keep a food diary outlining your daily calorie counts.

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2. Spend 15 minutes walking or biking.

3. Cook a healthy dinner for yourself or your family.

4. Take a 15-minute walk on your lunch break at work.

5. Make a healthy smoothie for breakfast in the morning.

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6. Pack a salad for lunch instead of going out to eat.

7. Spend 15 minutes doing yoga or stretching.

8. Eat 5-7 servings of vegetables.

9. Take your dog for a quick walk.

10. Try to go a day without drinking any soda, juice, or other sugary drinks.

Taking Control for the Long-term

Once you spend a week or two commiting to at least 15 minutes a day, increase that number to 30 minutes a day, and continue to track your progress. According to research it takes 66 days to form a healthy habit, so if you continue these healthy behaviors every day for 8 weeks or so, you’ll be much more likely to experience long term success so you can take control of your health once and for all.

More by this author

Scott Christ

Scott Christ is a writer, entrepreneur, and founder of Pure Food Company.

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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