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7 Ways to Declutter Your Personal Health

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For most of us, our health is cluttered. Not necessarily cluttered by stuff, mind you, but cluttered with information. Too many new diets, new must-have supplements, or new workout plans. Too many opinions on how much water to drink, which must-have supplements to take, and how much sleep you need.

Enough. Caring for your health starts with the basics we all know well: eat nutritious food, break a sweat every day, get enough sleep, and take time to meditate. But, if you’re asking for tips to follow, this is where I would start:

1. Get rid of the diet books

You don’t need them! Think about it: how many times have you seen or heard about a new cure-all diet plan, rushed out, bought the book, skimmed the first 40 pages, and then shelved it?

Now, how often do you think back, and say to yourself, “I really need to follow that XYZ plan…it makes so much sense!”?

You’re cluttering your mind with information that, frankly, is only made to sell books. Yes, there’s tons of research being done on various methods and strategies of eating. But that’s all they are: strategies. No one system is going to work for everyone, and unless you’re a doctor, dietician, or nutritionist, you’re not in a position to do the experiments yourself! Mass-market diet advice is designed to sell copies to as many people as possible, not solve problems for individuals.

It’s okay to read a blog post explaining what keto or paleo or vegan is. But beyond that, are you really going to change your lifestyle every time a new book comes out?

2. Get rid of the supplements

You don’t need them! Yes, I recommend supplements to my clients. But they are (ready for this?) Supplements.

The research tells us that most people in North America are deficient in some or all of the micronutrients. But the people in those studies are also deficient in plain old healthy food. Supplements make up for deficiencies in nutrition, which may result from a poor diet, a medical issue, or extreme training. Outside of that, if you’re a relatively healthy adult who eats well and gets regular exercise, you probably don’t need much or anything for supplementation.

A multivitamin may help, but anything you’re not deficient in will just get peed out anyway. So, don’t waste your money. Start with food, and have your doctor or nutritionist review your blood panel for gaps or symptoms. Then tweak only what you need.

And don’t obsess over “cure-all” herbs either. While they can be nice to add support, no illness was ever caused by a lack of ashwagandha in the diet.

“To keep the body in good health is a duty…otherwise we shall not be able to keep the mind strong and clear.” – Buddha

3. Simplify your food

You’re really overthinking your food. Somewhere along the way, we got to thinking that we need to be constantly entertained by our food. Do you sit there, scratching your head wondering what to make for dinner because you had chicken and broccoli last night? So what?! Eat it again if that’s what you have on hand.

Research shows that even though we have this notion that constant and ever changing variety is necessary in our routine meals, most people default to the same four or five go-to meals every day anyway. It’s in our nature. 

We evolved eating what was available when it was available. But too much variety, and the self-imposed pressure of constantly changing things up, actually leads to increased stress and anxiety. What if you choose the wrong thing? Is kale healthier than spinach? What if it’s not what you really wanted? Will you be disappointed?

Don’t stress over cluttered piles of cookbooks and an overstuffed pantry. You know what’s healthy and what’s not. When you’re not working on a specific goal, formulate four or five consistent go-to meals so you don’t have to stress about having the ingredients on hand. Then on the weekend have some fun with something new.

4. Simplify your training

What’s best: cardio or strength training? Walking? HIIT? Yoga?

Stop it. Unless you’re training for a specific goal or sport, my 5-4-3-2-1 recommendations are very easy to follow:

  • 5 times a week (minimum), internal and breath work. That means meditating, at least 10 minutes a day.
  • 4 times a week (minimum), mobility and internal work. That means yoga, taiji, qigong, or some other stretching routine (this CAN double with breath work).
  • 3 times a week, resistance training. That means weights, bands, bodyweight, whatever.
  • 2 times a week, cardio training. Whatever you like doing, or whatever your trainer prescribes. I like burst training because it’s usually 15 minutes or less and metabolically active.
  • 1 day a week (minimum), playing. That is, go for a hike, zipline, go to the park with the kids, swimming, or skiing. Make it fun and outside of the house.

These are minimum guidelines just for healthy and active living. If you’re behind in any of these areas, or you’re not sure how to fit them all into a busy schedule let me know.

5. Simplify your water

Argh!! Water drives me crazy!! No, you’re not constantly dehydrated. Remember, the vast majority of these nutrition and health studies came out in the 80s and 90s, and were based on a very different health paradigm than we’re living now.

In truth, new research tells us that yes, you do get water from your tea, coffee, juice, fruits, vegetables, protein shakes, etc. And yes, you do probably get enough during the day that keeping a little timer to make sure you get your 72 glasses every day is maybe just giving it a little too much brain space.

On average, aim to finish a glass of water over the course of every two hours. The rule of thumb is that if you’re peeing 5 to 6 times a day, you’re plenty hydrated. Stop tracking it.

And taper off closer to bedtime. Overnight dehydration is a thing, but disrupting sleep to go to the bathroom is actually worse.

6. Go to sleep

You don’t have to be a member of the 5 a.m club to be successful. But you do need a good night’s sleep.

Think about when you need to get up, and calculate 8 hours back from there. That’s bedtime. If it feels “too early,” tough. You need sleep more than you need late-night talk shows (and they certainly don’t need you…they’ll be fine).

Two hours before bedtime, kill the phone. Just put it away. You don’t need it, except maybe to text a good night message to someone special. Just get some sleep.

“The first wealth is health.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

7. Simplify your morning

Following on from the previous night: in the time you have left before bed, get yourself set up for morning. Once you know your morning ritual (let me know if you need help planning one of those), you’ll know what you need laid out.

  • Get the coffee maker set up.
  • Get your pre-workout set up (if you’re using supplements…see #2).
  • Get your writing tools set up.
  • Get your top three morning tasks set up.
  • Get your workout gear set up.
  • Get your clothes for the day laid out.

When your feet hit the ground in the a.m., you shouldn’t have to delay or think about any of these steps. They’re ready to go, so you can own the morning and control your day.

How do you take care of your personal health? Any suggestions for our readers? Share them below!

Steve Baric is an ISSA Elite Trainer, Nutritionist, and Transformation Specialist, as well as a certified Master Life Coach. As the founder of the Man Under Construction Project, he helps men recover from the trauma and confusion of divorce. His annual fall fitness challenge, Your Personal Reset Button, helps busy moms and dads shed extra pounds and reset their metabolic hormones in the privacy of their own homes.

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The 3 Most Important Things I Learned About Personal Growth

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When you look back on your life, what do you want to think about? Do you plan to reminisce on all of the good things that have happened and how they shaped who you are today? Or would you rather remember all of the bad decisions, challenging experiences, and mistakes made that hurt or wasted a portion of your life?

In my opinion, I think it is important to reflect on both. While it’s important to remember the hardships we’ve been through in our lives – without them we wouldn’t be where we are now. There are 3 very specific areas that I feel have helped me grow in a personal sense more than anything else in my life so far. 

These aren’t simple lessons in a book or a lecture that you can just absorb and apply to your life. These are things that I’ve learned through experience and reflection, and I’m still learning and growing today.

1. We determine how much we’re worth by what we think about ourselves, others, and life in general.

This might seem like a pretty obvious lesson in life but it’s actually one of the most important because we can determine our own worth by how we think about ourselves and the world around us. If you’re looking for success in any kind of business or social setting (dating), then I’ll tell you right now that it doesn’t matter if you have 10 billion dollars or not – people are still going to judge you based on your thoughts and beliefs alone.

What determines our value isn’t necessarily what we do with our lives (which is often based on luck) but whether or not we believe that ‘our work’ is worthy or not in some sort of grand scheme or universe. We may not always be able to control what happens in our lives, but we can always control how we value ourselves and others.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou

2. You don’t have to change your habits or personality just because someone else doesn’t like it – their opinions are THEIRS alone.

This is another one of those lessons that people tend to pick up on a little bit late in life, but if anything that makes its importance even worse! Basically, there’s going to come a time when you’re going to meet someone who has certain expectations of you as a person…but these expectations might not be realistic due to their motivations and personal beliefs. For example, sometimes parents might expect you to be a lawyer or doctor because that’s what they believe is best for their child.

However, this isn’t the case for everyone and so maybe your passion lies in music or writing novels. In this example, if you were also pressured into becoming a doctor – then there would obviously be some kind of conflict going on within yourself as a person. You should never have to give up something that you want to do just because someone else doesn’t like it! The reason why we’re put onto this Earth is to make our own choices and go after our OWN dreams instead of letting others determine what we can and cannot do with our lives .

3. You can’t change your life until you accept that you need to make a change.

When I was younger, I thought that this lesson would be pretty obvious – but as I got older, it really made me appreciate the fact that there are always different ways of perceiving our lives. For example, if someone wants to become rich and famous one day – their mind might simply overshadow any other possibility in their head because they feel like this is what they NEED to do right now.

However, this isn’t always true within our own lives because we think about things too literally instead of having an open mind. If you want to achieve success in any kind of business or social setting (dating) then you should be willing to try out different things instead of staying in your comfort zone. If you want something, then it’s up to YOU to actually go after it – nobody else is going to give it to you!

The three lessons above are some of the main things I want to pass on to everyone because they’ve come at an important time in my life where I need to start thinking about others instead of only myself. It’s great if we can learn to love ourselves first before anything else, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect everyone around you even though they might be your friends and family members!

If you enjoyed this article on the 3 most important things I learned about personal growth, then please share it with your friends and family! Also, check out my other articles on success & motivation as well as life lessons that could help people who are struggling with their life right now on lifengoal.com. Thanks for reading!

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