Want To Be Your Best In 2019? Here's What To Focus On...
With so much health information at our fingertips these days that it's easy to get overwhelmed and just give up. Most of what you see when it comes to improving your health is likely diet related. One day something is a superfood and then next it's the worst possible thing you can eat. A huge problem is that too much of what's out there is either completely inaccurate, or often spun in a way to sell a product that really isn't worth the time, money or effort for the (lack) of results you're going to get. While diet is very important, if you want to finally start seeing REAL improvements in your health in 2019 here are my top 3 things you need to work on FIRST before stressing out about what you're eating.
#3 - Sleep. Getting enough sleep cannot be understated. Most people do not recognize the extreme importance of sleep. Your body needs between 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Research has shown that getting less than or more than that consistenly will lead to poor health and disease over time. Sleep is the time when our brain is literally "cleaned" of the stresses it takes on from the previous day. It's the time our body is refreshed in order to function at our best the next day. While there is some evidence that a very small portion of the population is genetically capable of staying relatively healthy with less sleep, the odds are that you are not part of that population so it's important to prioritize your schedule to get the right amount of sleep if you want a longer, healthier life.
#2 - Mindset. Yes, "how" you think and what you consistently think about matters big time for your health. This probably should be ranked as the most important part of gaining good health because it really is going to determine everything you do in your life. It may be the most difficult part of improving your health to train and something that most people don't really pay attention to on a day to day basis. It's not just about thinking positively all the time. A healthy mindset is something that needs to be learned and practiced over a long period of time. Every single thought we have creates a cascade of chemical reactions in our body that plays a role in determining which genes are expressed from our DNA and which ones are supressed. This means that depending upon how we think on a daily basis we are either upregulating or suppressing genes for good health or poor health. It's the science of epigenetics and it's pretty fascinating stuff! I promise you that if you haven't heard about it yet you will very soon. There is a lot to learn about having a healthy mindset so in case I lost you on the science terms here are my current top 5 favorite people that I'd recommend to follow to learn more about how to think to reach your full potential:
1. Tom Bilyea - Founded Quest Nutrition and now runs Impact Theory - a company dedicated to teaching people about reaching their full potential.
2. Gary Vaynerchuck - He tells you exactly what you need to do in order to be happy and successful in life. You'll get no BS from him and he speaks the often difficult to hear truth but if you take it as a learning tool you'll be on your way to a great mindset on life.
3. Joe Dispensza - Neuroscientist/Chiropractor who is a world renowned expert on spontaneous healing of chronic disease and the science of epigenetics. He teaches people how to learn to truly take control of their thoughts and has seen unreal tranformations and healing of things most people think of as uncurable.
4. Tony Robbins - Everyone has heard of him but maybe never actually listened to his teachings. THE #1 expert on human psychology.
5. Ed Mylett - MaxOut with Ed Mylett. Very inspiring and motivates you to work on becoming your best.
All of these people have a huge Youtube presence, meaning it's free to listen and watch tons of content and it's definitely worth your time to look into. The best way I've found to learn about a healthy mindset is to stream their content to my earbuds while working out on a very consistent basis. You'll not only be inspired to get way more out of your workout, you'll train your brain at the same time! And speaking of workouts....
The #1 thing you can do for your health...
Exercise. Plain and simple. There's no easy way around this one. It can be difficult to start because it takes time and effort and can make you sore and people hate it and whatever other excuse you can come up with...but you have to realize that your life is worth it because not only is it guarenteed to give you results if you put in an honest effort, you literally ONLY get one body and you are the ONLY person who can do it for you. Find something that keeps you going. The BEST exercise you can do for your health is resistance training of some sort. That means you need to be using your muscles to push or pull against resistance - even if it your own body weight. Research shows that not only is resistence training the best way to lose weight, it's also the best way to keep the weight off long-term and the best way to keep your bones strong as well. ***Muscle strength is the only health marker that independently correlates with your mortality as you age. That means that doctors can look at muscle strength alone and know which of their patients will likely live the longest. There is no other measurement that can by itself give us that kind of indication of health. Exercise is also important because every part of our body NEEDS movement to function optimally. Specifically, our joints have to be able to move freely. This is actually why I named my clinic "Full Motion Chiropractic"! A joint with full motion is a healthy joint. Joints can lose their full motion and become "fixated" or "stuck" which can lead to nerve irritation that causes things like neck or back pain, or even headaches. Injuries, poor posture, sitting too long at a desk or doing repetitive activies are all things that can lead to this. Seeing a chiropractic physician on a regular basis keeps your joints mobile, thereby preventing pain and helping your nervous system operate at it's highest level.
Of course when it comes to health the one thing a lot of people primarily focus on is diet. It's typically what stresses people out the most when trying to lose weight. While diet plays a very important role in our health, it's often emphasized so much that it can become an unsustainable and unhealthy focal point. Our bodies are surprisingly capable of pulling out many of the nutrients it needs from even some of the worst foods you can imagine. If you are trying even a little bit to get some fruits and veggies in each day and not eating a ton of sugar or highly processed foods you will likely at least be at the baseline of what you need nutritionally. However, to reach your full health potential you will need to have some focus on what you eat. Unless you are a body builder, professional athlete or working to be in a physique contest, eating relatively healthy will likley suffice. The info on eating healthy is literally everywere but if you want to know the best diet then just Google "Mediterranean Diet" and follow that pretty closely and you'll be good!
Want to feel the best you've ever felt in 2019? Learn how to think correctly with a proper mindset for continual success, sleep 7-9 hours per night and get (or stay) active with resistance training exercises as many days per week as you can. The blueprint is there. The time is now.