I often get asked about how I stay healthy and what changes I recommend for people to make to improve their own wellbeing. It’s actually really simple for me – it comes down to five daily habits that I believe keep me looking and feeling young. Before I list them out please remember that I’m not a qualified medical practitioner and different things work for different people, however I think we can all agree that these five daily tasks make sense and can easily be incorporated into most people’s lifestyles.
1) EAT PALEO – Diet is of course a huge part of how you look and feel. I focus on free-range and grass fed meats, fish and seafood, lots of vegetables, some fruit, berries, nuts & seeds, a little natural sweeteners like honey or dried fruit. I include a little healthy, unsweetened, full fat dairy as I have no sensitivities and I especially like yogurt and products from goat’s and sheep’s milk. I avoid grains, gluten, legumes, soy, processed sugar and hydrogenated/industrial seed and soy-based oils such as canola, soybean, vegetable and sunflower. I ‘try’ to keep alcohol to a minimum and stick to red and white wine or clear white spirits.
2) HAVE A LAUGH – they say laughter is the best medicine and they’re right. Research and studies reveal that laugher helps to improve one’s immunity against diseases. It’s probably because laughter is a powerful stress reliever providing us with positive energy and happy chemicals. I like surrounding myself with people that make me laugh and I like to laugh at myself, which is also a good habit to get into. I often look up jokes or funny cats or watch something ridiculous on YouTube to get a good dose of laughter. I highly recommend going to stand-up comedy or you can even try self-induced laughter by practicing laughter yoga.
3) BREAK A SWEAT – spend some time each day moving your body until you break a sweat. Jog, run, dance, swim, do yoga or pilates, surf, hike, rock climb or whatever you like to do for 20-30 minutes each day or more. You don’t even have to get into your gym gear, just get up and start moving around. Exercise keeps you young, fit and happy – that’s a fact!
4) GET ENOUGH SLEEP – I try to get 8 hours of sleep each night. Most of us don’t get enough sleep either by not sleeping well or not sleeping long enough. Lack of sleep messes with our cortisol levels and can cause sugar cravings, poor concentration, decreased energy and weight gain. I know we all live in different circumstances and go through different stages in our lives where even an hour of sleep is precious but if possible, make your shut-eye time a priority as it affects more than you know.
5) GET MY OMEGA-3 – each day I have some food containing Omega-3 fatty acids (oily fish like sardines, salmon and mackerel, flaxseed) or I take a supplement of fish oil or cod liver oil. Omega-3 fatty acids help to reduce systemic inflammation, which can otherwise lead towards lowered immunity and contribute in the development of many diseases and illnesses. I also try to reduce my Omega-6 consumption by eating more grass fed meat and avoiding seed oils that have a very high amount of Omega-6s.
Of course there is much more to health and wellbeing than these five habits but for me it’s a good start. I try to tick off each of these ‘goals’ daily, and when I do, I feel really good about myself and my wellbeing.
Which got me thinking… What if I could track my daily habits together with other people? We would be on the same journey to improved health and wellbeing and by following each other’s progress we would be even more motivated to tick off our daily goals. I decided to find a system that would help me and others track our daily goals together as well as provide a forum for community support and positive reinforcement, which are essential for success.
Enter Lift – a productivity app which allows you to check in daily to track your goals. Whether you’re trying to read for 20 minutes each day or quit smoking, using Lift is a great way to track your progress. The best thing is that you can do it as part of a group. For anyone who wants to try incorporating some or all of my five healthy habits, you can join my own group on Lift called Healthy Habits. Here is what you have to do to join:
1) Register an account with Lift (simpler then creating a Facebook account)
2) Find my group Healthy Habits and click Join this group.
3) Use the website or download the app (I think it’s for iPhones only at this stage but check) to check in daily to tick off the five habits. If you don’t complete one of the tasks, you simply leave it unticked. The more ticks you have a row, the better you will feel. Trust me!
You can also leave tips and comments and prop each other for support. The key is being honest with yourself and with the group and if you forget to check in on the day, just come back whenever you have time and check in for the past missed days. It’s very easy and effective!
So remember 5 habits: eat paleo, sleep well, break a sweat, get a daily dose of Omega-3 and have a laugh every day.
Who’s with me? Join here!