It seems like there is a new health trend every week these days – a new superfood was discovered or a new way to work out your abs. The truth is that there is no “one size fits all” approach. Despite our bio-individuality, there are some scientifically proven ways to increase overall quality of life without breaking the bank, turning your world upside down, or diving too deeply into the confusing world of health fads.
- Eat the Rainbow:
Eating well is one of the most important things you can do for your overall-wellbeing. A great way to ensure you are consuming a multitude of nutritional goodness is to include foods of all different colors in your diet. Red fruits and vegetables are colored by a natural plant pigment called lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant that can help reduce the risk of cancer and keep our heart healthy. Purple and blue fruits and vegetables are colored by a plant pigment called anthocyanin, which has antioxidant properties that protect cells from damage and help reduce the risk of cancer, stroke, and heart disease. Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables contain carotenoids, like betacarotene which is converted into vitamin A and helps maintain healthy mucous membranes and healthy eyes. Green fruits and vegetables contain a range of phytochemicals including carotenoids, indoles, and saponins, all of which have anti-cancer properties. Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and broccoli are also excellent sources of folate. Brown and white fruits and vegetables contain a range of health-promoting phytochemicals such as allicin (found in garlic) which has antiviral and antibacterial properties. Bananas and potatoes are also a great source of potassium.
- H.I.I.T. (High-Intensity Interval Training):
One study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology revealed that decreasing workout time, but increasing the intensity of each exercise, yielded positive results when compared to longer periods of workout. This method is called high-intensity interval training (H.I.I.T.). A single weekly session of HIIT is proven to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. HIIT is so effective for weight loss – HIIT workouts tend to burn anywhere from 6 to 15 percent more calories compared to other workouts. HIIT causes structural and chemical alterations to the DNA molecules within your muscles, and this leads to the genetic reprogramming of muscle for strength.
For most people, 24 hours without electronics and personal gadgets would be a tough burden to bear! It is impractical to not have access to these things on a daily basis, however, limiting your use of electronics, especially at night, is very beneficial for your overall health. The light-emitting devices promotes wakefulness. Therefore, by using electronics and television so close to bedtime, it confuses the brain and increases wakefulness. Try to stop using electronics at least one hour before going to bed and you will most likely have a more restful sleep.
- Get into Nature:
Getting into and experiencing nature can be instrumental in improving your overall wellbeing. Mental fatigue can be combated by immersing oneself in the great outdoors. Grounding is ancient practice that involves placing your bare feet firmly on the earth (grass, dirt, sand etc.), walking, and absorbing Earth’s natural electrical energy. Grounding improves mental clarity, balancing, calmness, blood flow, and lowers stress.
The human body is comprised of about 65% water, which we require for many significant processes, including blood circulation, metabolism, regulation of body temperature, and waste removal/detoxification. The quality of water we drink is just as important as your daily quantity. Chlorine and fluoride, which are commonly found in many public water supplies, have been linked to increases rates of cancer. Installing a high-quality water filter is a good idea to ensure you are drinking quality water.
- Ice Baths and Cold Showers:
It is believed that ice baths and cold showers can have very positive effects on your health, including alertness, deep breathing, improved circulation, and decreased levels of stress. Start by enjoying your regular warm shower, then turn it to cold water for the last minute before you get out. You’ll notice the effect on your breathing and mental state immediately.
- The Science of Smiling:
Wise men and women through all ages have claimed that the simple act of smiling can transform you and the world around you. Smiles are contagious and they make us appear more attractive to others. Some studies have linked smiling to increase lifespan – another great reason to smile daily!