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7 Ways to Unleash Your Inner Superhero (and Get Insanely Healthy)

7 Ways to Unleash Your Inner Superhero (and Get Insanely Healthy)
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    We all want to be healthy, not just because we want to look good in the mirror —  it’s because we want to feel good too. When we hit our golden years, we want to still be taking on roles in our own “personal action movie”, not rolling along in a scooter while other people stand in for the life we wish we had.

    So let’s take a look at 7 great ways to unleash your own inner superhero and get insanely healthy at the same time:

    1. Eat right

    Using food as fuel and getting enough water makes everything easier. You’ll move better, feel better, and have more energy — the essentials of good health.

    A diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and healthy fats will keep you in fighting form, creating a lean and mean look that can power you through the toughest of days, while giving you the strength to take on any of life’s challenges. While some like to dive all-in, the best approach might be to start small and build the healthy habit. Try to not drink caloric beverages for a week. Only water, green tea, and black coffee. Once you’ve got the hang of that then think about moving on to your next healthy habit — like 30 minutes of exercise daily.

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    2. Get moving

    Those who wake up in the morning feeling sluggish and grab a cup of coffee and a donut might have the energy to get to work, but once at their desk, it drops. By afternoon, it’s time for a nap. The only trouble is that for most of us nap-time ended in kindergarten.

    Trade the donut for a  two mile run, a brisk walk around the block with the dog, or a morning swim and you’ll be fired up for the rest of the day. You’ll be inspired to make the right food choices and to continue that good feeling all day long. Set your phone to buzz you every 50 minutes. When that occurs, knock out 10 push-ups and walk the stairs at the office.

    3. Take charge of stress

    Too much stress opens the door for heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure. Take it down a notch with relaxing activities that soothe the soul, like a walk or a few minutes of meditation.

    4. Get enough sleep

    Experts recommend eight hours for a reason. Those who don’t get enough sleep are inclined to eat more and gain weight, perpetuating the cycle of low energy and a sluggish, slow spirit.

    Be sure to hit the hay at a reasonable time, even on weekends. Do you really need to stay out drinking until 2am? Why not turn in early and get up at 8 a.m. and start drinking something that’ll help you get going: good ol’ H2O.

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    Let your mind refuel and you can power through every day with super-human strength.

    5. Find your joy

    Many people worldwide suffer from depression, in degrees ranging from a general feeling of sadness to debilitating depression that prevents them from getting out of bed.

    Good food and exercise are great ways to combat mild forms of depression. But also try finding things that bring a sense of joy. Whether it’s music, a favorite activity like painting or communing with nature, these are essential to be truly joyous in spirit.

    Surround yourself with love and erase negativity from your space. That includes negative people (keep contact with Debbie Downer or Bad News Brad limited) and negative space (get the clutter out and give your rooms a fresh new look).

    Also, laughing really is good medicine. Its benefits include relieving stress, easing pain, boosting the immune system and releasing mood-boosting endorphins. That’s why Bob Newhart and Don Rickles are still telling jokes, decades after they started in the comedy business.

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    If you are still having trouble, think of it like this:

    • What are you good at?
    • What do you know?
    • What are you passionate about?
    Fill your life and others with those three things and you’ll be a pretty happy camper.

    6. Learn something new every day

    Take advantage of the mind-body connection and challenge yourself to use both on your way to better health.

    Read the latest bestseller (either fiction or non-fiction). Visit a museum to see what kinds of art you might like. Check out a historic site to learn more about your surroundings.

    By feeling more invested in your world, you’ll be more inspired to play a bigger role in it yourself.

    7. See the end game — and commit to the right plays now

    If you want to get healthy, keep in mind the reasons why it matters.

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    Do you want to look great and feel great so you can land the partner of your dreams? Do you want to be able to keep up with your kids now…and grandkids later? Do you want to spend your retirement traveling the world, and need the energy?

    All these things are so much harder without a healthy lifestyle. So by focusing on future needs, it will be harder to neglect them now.

    Now that you know how to unleash your inner superhero, what are you waiting for? It’s time to take flight.

    (Photo credit: Superbusinesswoman Flying via Shutterstock)

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    Justin Miller

    Healthy Lifestyle Architect, a Fitness and Nutrition Coach

    How to Dramatically Change Your Life in Just One Week The Habits of the Highly Healthy How to Discover Who You Are And Then How To Behave Like It The Beginners Guide To Slacklining A New Way to Create a Bucket List

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    Last Updated on July 21, 2021

    The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

    The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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    No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

    Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

    Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

    A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

    Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

    In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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    From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

    A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

    For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

    This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

    The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

    That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

    Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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    The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

    Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

    But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

    The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

    The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

    A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

    For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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    But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

    If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

    For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

    These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

    For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

    How to Make a Reminder Works for You

    Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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    Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

    Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

    My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

    Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

    I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

    More on Building Habits

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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    Reference

    [1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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