How are you doing in taking care of your health? Are you making progress? Are you achieving your fitness goals? It’s time to take a health check-up.
The interesting thing about health and fitness is that generally we already know what we should be doing. The question is ARE you doing what you should be doing. That is the goal of this health check up. Below are a series of questions. Simply read through them and answer YES or NO. If you are saying YES to all the questions, then you are doing great. Pat yourself on the back and celebrate. If not, and this likely will be most of you, use this as a chance to refocus and set goals.
Likely, most of you will say NO to several of these goals. If that is the case for you, don’t beat yourself up. Also, don’t try to do everything at once. Instead pick one of the things you said NO to and make a focused effort to improve that one area. The power of focusing on one thing to improve will work for you as you develop a habit.
Time to get started with your check up:
Question #1 – Do you get regular and consistent exercise?
I told you these things will be obvious. But how many of you already said no to this question? Regular and consistent effort is the most valuable thing you can do for your health. Exercise will help to protect you from many diseases, will give you more energy on an ongoing basis, and will help you work towards a proper body weight.
You don’t have to over do it. Thirty to forty minutes on three or four occasions each week will make a huge difference. Simple activity such as walking or biking can be all it takes to make a significant difference. Look for ways to keep your heart rate up with some form of cardiovascular exercise. The health differences will be well worth the effort.
Question #2 – Do you take a quality multi-vitamin/mineral supplement?
Very few people get an optimal level of minerals and vitamins from their food. There are several reasons for this. The first reason is that very few people eat enough fruits and vegetables. In an age of fast food and frozen meals it is easy to miss getting what you need from these categories. Secondly, our food does not have the nutrition it once did. That is why even people who eat well do not get what they need. The minerals in food come from the soil, and soil quality has decreased substantially over the last century. More and more, farmers are forced to rely on fertilizer to grow crops. That, combined with the lack of nutrients in the fields, means the food is not getting the minerals from the soil. Because of these factors, the Journal of the American Medical Association recommends that every adult take a multi-vitamin.
You may understand that you need a supplement, but with so many brands on the market it is difficult to know what to take. Most mineral supplements have a very low absorption rate. That means only a small amount of what you take in gets used by the body. Further, researches have recently discovered that in most of these supplements have a problem. The minerals break down and destroy the antioxidants from the vitamins. There are good products available, just take a time to research your options. (Personally I use this product: CBS NEWS CLIP VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8qsmcJ1HrY I can help you get them wholesale if you email me at dannygamache [at] gmail [dot] com.)
Question #3: Do you eat enough ‘greens’?
The food guide pyramid recommends three to five servings of vegetables a day. Within that category, green vegetables are the most packed with minerals and nutrients that can make a big difference in your long-term and short-term health. Because of these benefits, greens should be your primary source of vegetables. Even if you are taking a great multi-vitamin you need to make sure you get enough green vegetables. Green vegetables give you a greater health return than anything else you can eat. (more information)
Question #4: Do you take time to stretch?
Beyond basic exercise, stretching is an extremely valuable health habit. It’s amazing the difference that I feel when I take time to stretch regularly. Stretching can increase your energy level, improve your flexibility, and reduce tension. Everyone should stretch daily. You can do simple stretches as a break in your work day or when you watching television or listening to a podcast after a busy day at work. (more information)
Question #5: Do you get enough sleep?
Don’t skimp on your sleep. In a fast-paced life it’s easy to get in the habit of sleeping less and less. And while your body may be able to handle this for a period of time, in the long-run it hurts you every time you cheat yourself on sleep. The amount of sleep that everyone needs is different. Most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep a night, although there is no magic number. Most people sleep less than they need to for optimal health. The amount and quality of your sleep has been connected to many diseases including obesity, diabetes, hypertension and depression. (more information)
Question #6: Do you drink enough water?
Drinking enough water is another well known health tip that is easy to miss out on. Drinking water can help you have more energy, lose weight, and works to flush your body of toxin. There are number of different formulas that help you know how much water you should be drinking. One easy option is to follow the 8 X 8 rule. This rule states that you should have 8 glasses of water each day that are 8 ounces each. Based on this, how are you doing? (more information)
Question #7: Do you get enough Fiber?
Recently, more and more people have come to understand the benefits of getting enough fiber in your diet. Fiber is most well known for helping with digestive health, and while this is true, there are many more reasons that you should be getting enough fiber. Fiber also helps with weight loss, and has been shown to help prevent heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and kidney stones. (note: one of the reasons green vegetables are important is because they are high in fiber) (more information)
Question #8: Is your weight within a healthy range?
If you are overweight your risk of diseases increases substantially. As such, for many this question should be your first focus area to improve. Thankfully, many of the other things on this list will help you develop a healthy lifestyle that promotes weight loss. For many, dropping their body weight by 10% could be the most important thing they can do for their long-term health.
Remember, losing weight is not about dieting. Rather it’s about your complete lifestyle: eating the right foods, and exercising. It’s about creating habits. One effective habit that helps people manage their weight is to eat smaller meals more frequently. Eating a small meal every two to three hours will help to increase your metabolism and improve your health.
How did you do on the checkup? Did you pass with flying colors? If not, what do you need to work on? Start with one area to improve and build a habit around that area. Your body will thank you.
The Success Professor – Danny Gamache
Follow me on Twitter: @Successprof
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