The key to maintaining a clean bill of health is to make sure we cover the 3 essentials to a healthy life; and I’m sure you know by the title of the blog that these areas are Eating, Sleeping & Exercising. I’m certain you know why these areas are important however we’ll briefly touch on these points as we move further along in the article and provide some tips for you to follow as well. One thing is for sure; if you have these 3 key areas covered then there is nothing you can’t accomplish and no obstacle will be too high for you to climb. So let’s begin.
I’m sure you heard the phrase “you are what you eat” and this is absolutely true. If you eat garbage (i.e. fast food/processed food) then you feel like garbage. Eating is the best way to control our energy levels and moods, which is vitally important while we’re climbing the ladder to success. Just for the record, you don’t have to eat like a bird to eat healthy; the key here is eating natural foods, at more frequent times and in smaller portions. The main focus being to eliminate processed foods and minimize bad carbs. An example of a good meal would consist of something along the lines of steak/chicken/fish + spinach/broccoli/Kale + small portion of baked or boiled potatoes/sweet potatoes/brown rice. Any mix of these meals will do just fine however ideally your protein and veggies will make up the majority of your diet. For breakfast I would recommend something along the lines of eggs, spinach and lentils (or fruit for carbohydrates). You also want to make sure you are snacking in between meals therefore you can either pack small meals throughout your day or buy snacks such as granola bars or fruit between meals in order to hold you over. I would even recommend taking a shake with you to work; however if that’s too much work for you I completely understand. But an ideal shake could consist of ingredients like flax seed (oil or powder), fruit (bananas, blueberries), almond milk and perhaps even spirulina (rich in protein & boosts immune systems). The main idea is that you don’t want to allow yourself to get hungry, which is the reason why you eat small meals and snack in between meals. If you don’t, your body will store food as fat. You will also notice that by reducing the amount of bad carbs you take in, you will no longer feel that after lunch crash that we so often experience. This might sound overwhelming to you at first but trust me it’s much easier than you think, the trick is to focus on the in between snacks, smaller meals throughout the day and to eat heavy on the veggies and protein while light on the bad carbs. The only time I would suggest to carb up is right before a strenuous workout, as you will need the energy. So don’t make it hard on yourself, enjoy your meals but just choose wisely what fuel you put in your body. This will have a tremendous effect on your output, productivity and energy levels.
Jeff Bezos, the Founder of Amazon, is well known for having to get an unconditional 8 hours of sleep, it is an absolute must for the tech mogul. He isn’t the only one either, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg is also known for having to get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep as well. The reason sleep is so important for them is that without the 8 hours of rest each night, they are unable to perform to their full potential the following day and suffer from lack of alertness and inability to process information well. For those that think they are able to produce more by working 16-hour days and getting 4 hours of sleep, they have another thing coming. Studies show that lack of sleep results in unproductiveness and the inability to perform with clarity and perform at your full capacity. In fact, overworking and getting less sleep is counterproductive and will result in less productivity & less output. The moral to this story? Get your sleep! The consequences can cost you greatly. Below are some tips to getting a good night’s sleep.
TIPS FOR A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP
Some tips that has helped me get a good night sleep include shutting everything down an hour before I want to go to sleep, reading in the dark an hour before I want to be asleep and having ambient noise playing in the background. When I say shut everything down this means turning off the TV, Radio, Internet, lights, etc. This is important because it sends a signal to the brain that it is time to start shutting down. Too often people watch TV until they realize they’ve stayed up too late, that’s when they shut off the TV and instantly go to bed. The result? They stay up tossing and turning all night because they can’t shut their brain off. Well of course you can’t shut your brain off, it’s still processing the video, sounds and lights from the TV you were just watching. So the key here is to schedule the time you want to be asleep by and turn everything off an hour before bed so it signals to your brain that it is time to get ready for bed.
My next suggestion is that after you shut everything off, read a book. If you have an iPad, Kindle or Nook then that’s great to use as it allows you to read in the dark. These eBook readers have backlights that allow you to read well in the dark and with everything shut off, your brain knows it’s time to get some shuteye. You’ll be surprised how deep of a sleep you get from reading a book an hour before bed (while in the dark). I’ve been doing this for years now and my sleep has never been better.
The last suggestion is that I personally use the “Sleep Pillow” app on my iPhone or use Pandora and play a Meditation station at a very low level in the background. I find that the ambient noise helps me fall asleep faster as the sound of rain, thunder or rain drowns out the noise that would otherwise wake me up.
Recently I read a story and watched a video about a 77-year old female bodybuilder by the name of Ernestine Shepherd. This was a fascinating story as Ernestine wasn’t a competitive bodybuilder her whole life; she actually began her training at the young age of 56. The reason this is important is because what she accomplished has redefined our thoughts on the aging process and our thoughts on exercising. We tend to think that the older we get, the more fat we gain and the less muscle we lose and although this is true in a sense, people like Ernestine show how we can reverse or halt the aging process. Exercise, as many are aware, is extremely important for a better general wellbeing, improved brain functionality and increased memory. All of these benefits are important while climbing the ladder to success as the further along the ladder we climb, the more responsibility we tend to handle. However outside of the positive results we just mentioned, there are other benefits to exercise that will serve you well. These benefits include weight control, osteoporosis prevention, increased sex drive, increased immune system to fight off illnesses and improved daily sleep. People that exercise more frequently also tend to look younger and are more social-able as well. You’ll be surprised at how many 60 year olds I come across who look like they are still in their 30’s-40’s.
Another added benefit is that will also notice that your creativity increases after a good exercise session. I personally find that I write my best content after a good workout and post workout is when my creative juices flow the most. Whereas when I am sitting behind a desk all day trying to write content, I often get stuck. Exercise is simply a MUST while climbing the ladder to success but it doesn’t have to be an elaborate workout plan; simply walking, jogging, bike riding or a quick weight training session can provide you with the boost you need to get you going and allow you to benefit from everything we just mentioned. The secret here is to get just started and to stick with a regular exercise regiment, as you progress you can then increase your intensity level but don’t get bogged down with the “how” to get started and instead just focus on getting started period.
If you focus on these 3 key areas central in your daily life, you will be sure to achieve everything you set out before you and have the energy, the improved brain functionality, the creativity and alertness you need to perform at a high level. There is nothing you can’t achieve when you’ve had a tune up and your system is in check. Just take care of your body and your body will take care of you.
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