There is no time to get healthy
By: Ben S. Fogel
Here is a quick list of the things you CAN do if you don’t have the “time” to get healthy.
Time can be a big obstacle when you are looking to start a new exercise, diet, or “fill-in-the-blank” routine. That is why we came up with this pretty exhaustive list of things you can do to improve your health and well-being to get 1% better than yesterday. Many of these things are meant to take the least amount of time and effort, and bring you the biggest return in your life.
We understand that a lot of programs, fitness routines, diets, etc can be super overwhelming. Sometimes just starting with the first 2-3 minutes of a new habit is a great start.
Want to run a marathon? Start by placing your running gear at your bedside the night before, and in the morning you are planning to run just tie those sneakers up.
Want to start a new workout routine? Drive to the gym, check in and do one set of an exercise, then leave.
Want to start to write more? Write one sentence. That’s it.
All of these less than 2 minute habits don’t seem like much, but they help you “cast the vote” for the person that you want to become. Think of what would happen after a few weeks of just putting your running shoes on first thing in the morning. The next step would naturally be to go outside for a run.
Once you master the 2 minute habit of getting started, here are some ideas of things you CAN do to enhance your health for the long run. I love this quote:
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today.”
When you walk outside for 20-30 minutes at a comfortable pace your NK (Natural Killer) cells and your T-Cell response increases. In other words, your immune system gets a natural boost and this one habit has shown people to have less sick days and respiratory illness over the winter. Many studies support this, and this is an immediate thing that occurs inside our bodies.
Could you imagine if this was a “pill?!” Just think of how many people would want to buy it! Want to protect yourself from getting sick? Invest in 20 minutes a day of walking outside.
Here is another little known fact with walking. As little as 10 minutes of walking after eating has been shown to keep your glucose levels down. Furthermore, you can regulate your blood glucose levels and potentially go from a pre-diabetic state to a healthy state just by walking for 10 minutes after you eat.
Here is an important piece to point out, this is regardless of what you eat! We are not even saying to change what you eat. Being “Prediabetic” and having higher than normal blood sugar levels is a comorbidity. Imagine, by doing this one simple thing 10-30 minutes a day and how much it can transform your health.
Did you know that Vitamin D levels impact a whole lot more in your life than you ever thought. Immune system function, muscular recovery, mood, and sleep are just a few areas that are impacted by Vitamin D levels in your body. It has been found that Vitamin D deficiency was found in greater amounts of COVID-19 patients that were hospitalized.
Did you know, as little as 10 minutes of sunlight on your skin is close to the equivalent of 10,000 IU of Vitamin D? In winter, this is why it is so important to supplement with Vitamin D on the days when you can’t get outside.
Did you know, you can change your gut biome in as little as 4 days! In a study, a fast food diet of burger and fries was compared to a Mediterranean diet for 4 days. There were 4 days in between each diet. The fast food diet showed an increase in the bad bacteria in the gut and the mediterranean diet showed an increase in the good bacteria. This was after merely 4 days in this study. Imagine what a month could do. What do you think would happen if you added a few more fruits, vegetables, olive oil and quality protein to your diet, and you ditched the drive thru?
Sleep is a BIG deal. A good night’s sleep drives a healthier immune system. It enhances recovery. Your biomarkers that fight infection are improved. Your inflammation goes down when you sleep well, and will increase when you sleep poorly. The response to a vaccine is improved after a good night’s sleep.
A lot of what we know on how to attain a good night’s sleep drives from understanding the circadian rhythm of our bodies. Here are the easiest guidelines:
Let your eyes see the sun in the morning. It basically is the physiological wake up signal. Light on the retina. (Now, I understand this is much harder in winter months and with the daylight savings, but it is a good reminder).
Eat something upon waking. There is a reason why we call it breakfast. We are breaking that 8-12 hour fast from sleeping and not eating from the day prior.
Have some movement in your day (Remember that walk we talked about above?).
Stop drinking caffeine by noon.
Cut out your phone and blue light 2 hours before bed. Blue light stops the melatonin hormone. You may claim you say you can fall asleep with your cell phone in your hand, but your sleep is still disrupted, which means you will have a tendency to have more “wake” cycles. Just remember, your sleep was disturbed.
Go to bed at the same time (Yes, even on the weekends!).
Breath (Mindful Breathing/Meditation)
Breathing deeply, even for just 3 minutes, has huge health benefits.
Here is an example of a breathing technique you can do. It is called “Box Breathing.”
Inhale through the nose, hold for 3 seconds. Exhale through the nose and hold for 3 seconds. Repeat for 2-3 minutes minutes. This will literally drive you into a parasympathetic state. Doing this will drive cortisol levels down (the primary stress hormone in the body), which means you will have less inflammatory responses to stress. Breathing is like the remote control to your nervous system. It works that quickly.
Drink water with some electrolytes
We are made up of so much water. We are electrical beings. Better hydration = Better function. Many suggest to drink ½ your bodyweight in pounds, but if that feels like way too big of a jump, just start with one extra glass of water per day.
Socialize with people
Social isolation or a perceived social threat produced more inflammation and decreased anti viral qualities. While the opposite was also true. Positive social interactions showed a decrease in inflammation, and bolstered antiviral responses.
There IS time. Today can be that day. Acute can become chronic. You can make the choice to make a change. Your body will change, whether you do something or not. You can decide how. Health can be improved today. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.
I would suggest to start with just ONE of these habits today. Use the 2 minute rule for making the new habit stick. Then, and only then you can add another one of the habits above.
Ready to learn more about how we can help you make the most of your time with all things exercise, nutrition and lifestyle?! Sign up below where we can schedule a quick 10 minute discovery call to see if we would be a good fit for you.
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