Health Hacks 5-10-17
Make your bed each morning. It is a great way to kick start the day with a simple, 1 – 2 minute positive habit. It also creates a sense of feng shui that can carry over in the form of positive energy throughout the day. This action seems so simple – it is – yet it’s powerful. I started doing this about 2 years ago and experienced a very positive impact. Try it for a week, it will become a ritual thereafter.
As summer approaches, temperatures are on the rise which puts a premium on staying hydrated. Drink more water in general, but in particular consume water: 1) first thing when you get up in the morning, 2) before each meal, 3) during your workout. Drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day is important. If you do that already great, if not make a conscious effort to drink more water at the above stated times. It is one of the easiest, least expensive ways to help you lose fat and increase overall health.
Try an exercise called “21s”. With weight lifting, having a full range of motion is important for increased flexibility, muscle growth and injury prevention. In order to ‘confuse’ the muscles, however, you sometimes want to intentionally do an exercise less than full range of motion. Using barbell curls as an example (for biceps), when doing “21s” do the first 7 reps just from the starting (bottom) position to the middle position (just in front of your belly button). When you have completed these 7, immediately do 7 reps from the middle to top position (bar touching your chest). For the last 7 reps, do the full range of motion. To add an extra element of challenge, for the final few reps of the last couple sets (e.g. if you are doing 4 sets of 10, for sets 3 and 4, reps 8/9/10), drop the bar slowly (negatives) on the last few full reps.
Whatever you do regularly – spin on the bike, run, row, swim, play tennis, elliptical, etc. – do something different this week. Ideas include: go longer (add a few minutes), do it outside (if you run on a treadmill, go run in a park, etc), up the intensity (put the equipment on a higher level/find someone who is better/faster than you and do it with them), do something entirely different (pick one of the above that you currently don’t do and do that), or easiest and most effective of them all, perform your usual routine using intervals instead of steady state. E.g. after a warm up, do 30 seconds hard, 30 seconds easy. Do this whatever number of times gets you to how long you normally do that cardio. The principle is simple: your body adapts to whatever you ask it to do, so do something different to realize positive change.
Read the book, On the Shortness of Life by Seneca.