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  • Writer's pictureChuck Johns

A Journey Towards a Healthy You Starts with One Step

Let’s Make 2019 A Year Towards a Healthier You

A new year has come upon us.

Our mandatory new year’s resolution is set!

Are we ready to take the challenge of the new year!?!

Yes! We Are!!!

Getting and staying fit has really taken off! It has become more popular in the last several years. This 2019, let’s put experience being healthy instead of just aspiring for it. So, are you with me on this? I hope you are because I have a lot of great tips and hacks for you to achieve a healthier you. Some of which I think you already know.

So, let’s get started!

First of all, it is all in the mind. The old adage is correct. Health starts not with your physical capability but with your “will” to be healthy. When people say laughter is the best medicine, there is scientific truth to that.

DID YOU KNOW: Laughing activates the release of the neurotransmitter serotonin, the same brain chemical affected by the most common types of antidepressants, SSRIs.

Laughing Towards Health

According to Forbes here are some scientific truths to why laughing is good for the health:

1. Laughter is a potent endorphin releaser. A recent study shows that laughter releases endorphins to the brain - via opioid receptors which induces euphoria.

2. Laughter contagiously forms social bonds. Laughter is contagious. When someone starts laughing, others will also laugh. This is proven and tested.Try it with your friends.

Laughter fosters brain connectivity. There are different kinds of laughter. A research found differences in how we perceive a joyous laugh, a taunting laugh or a tickling laugh. All this amounts to rigorous brain-region connectivity.

3. Laughter is central to relationships. Laughter forms relationships between male and female. Women like men who have a sense of humor. It’s a top quality men must have to attract female. Men on the other hand like women who laugh a their jokes.

4. Laughter has an effect similar to antidepressants. Laughing helps release serotonin which is a brain chemical that helps with antidepressants, SSRIs.

5. Laughter protects your heart. Laughter has an anti-inflammatory effect. A hearty laughter can help prevent heart disease.

To know more about the effects of laughter, you might want to check out this quick easy read on how laughing helps not just our state of mind but our physical well being.

Well, that’s a fairly easy task for 2019. Just Laugh!

Now Let’s Get Physical!

How about 10,000 steps a day to stay healthy.

TRIVIA: Manpo-Kei. Not many know this, but the whole 10,000 steps idea came from the practice of using Japanese pedometers in the 1960s. The term “manpo-kei” means “10,000 steps meter”.

This is a neat little trivia bit because otherwise, it’s often a source of confusion where the nice round (and pretty steep) number of 10,000 comes from. Of course, over time, the number has become a solid goal backed up by up by research, which has shown that if partnered up with healthy lifestyle choices it can help reduce the likelihood of various chronic illnesses, including metabolic syndromes, heart disease, and diabetes. All this sounds like a great deal in exchange for essentially walking a lot. But does it need to be a solid 10k? Give Up Now? No Way! We might feel a bit guilty about not meeting that target, and some have even been known to give up if they can’t make that particular number — some even before trying it, already thinking their little attempts won’t make a difference. The good news is that while the numbers we need to do before we see results are still significant, they’re far from impossible to do. (If you think about it, you actually go through a heck of a lot of steps a day, and 10,000 is probably not very far away from what you’re currently doing). So all these second-guessing moments where we talk ourselves out of giving it a shot don’t need to be how we end up at all! The even better news is that 10,000 isn’t a hard and fast number, although it is a perfect one. The American Center for Disease and Control doesn’t outright specify 10,000 as the magic number, but it does note that 150 minutes of activity a week (that comes to about 30 minutes a day) is quite helpful. As per research, adults trying to meet that target have been known to reach a count of 7,500 steps a day, which is already a great start. Some even hold that you CAN do 10,000 steps without leaving the house! Check this video out! As such, 10,000 could already be seen as an even higher level of activity rather than a minimum. Going above and beyond that range brings in even more benefits: a recent study in Scotland notes that postal workers walking 15,000 steps a day were shown to have much fewer heart disease risk factors. Not a bad deal. In any event, the main thing is to get moving. HOW TO GET MOVING

First, get yourself a pedometer.

It doesn’t have to be a fancy watch, as old-school pedometers do a perfectly good job at keeping track of your steps. The important thing is to have a counter, as beyond the actual task of counting the steps the pedometer will help you stay interested in the movement. When you can actually see what you’ve already accomplished and got a feel for how close to the goal that is, it’s a valuable mind-conditioning thing. Motivation is an easy thing to get going. Do simple things to build up those steps.

Going to work, the grocery store or the mall? Park at the end of the lot and walk the rest of the way. That’s additional steps going there, and additional steps going back. Merely taking the scenic route is also sure to add steps by definition. Then while actually at work, take a short break — 5 to 10 minutes won’t go amiss — every hour to break up your sedentary block of time and give your body some physical activity to break that inertia. These steps will already add a reasonable degree of physical activity to your previous tally. Build up the steps incrementally.

You don’t have to hit 10,000 right off the bat. First, getting the pedometer will give you an idea of how close or far you are to that goal (or the more manageable 7,500). Once you have a concrete idea of where you are, you can then make the necessary tweaks. The whole idea of the steps is to set a goal to get you moving. You can start by getting yourself into the 3,000 to 4,000 step range, which is already notable in terms of increase for someone living a sedentary lifestyle. You can increase from there. Remember… Take it slow and pace yourself. You don’t want to injure yourself by shooting for too much too soon. Physician Michael Roizen puts it best when he says “the goal is to do four more steps today than you did yesterday.” This is an excellent way to ground the idea of increased physical activity, keeping it realistic and reasonable enough to help avoid overtaxing yourself and putting yourself in harm’s way.

Lastly, Let's Hack Your Way Towards Health This 2019

Did you know that you can hack everything now? Including your health! That’s right, including your health! BONUS!!!

Here are 3 life hacks which can help you become healthier.

1. Relax.

It can be difficult to talk yourself into disengaging, especially if you think that reading your Twitter feed before bed can help put you to sleep. The fact is that it doesn’t– the artificial light generated by your screen triggers your brain, specifically the part of the brain that regulates sleep. Go old school and pick up a book or magazine (don’t watch TV either — same problem) to settle your mind without jarring your body clock.

2. Meditate for five minutes before bed. It is much easier to do when you give your electronics a rest before going to sleep, for sure. Drop the stigma against meditation and give it a shot — stress is one of the leading factors preventing people from getting to sleep at night, so it’s not so farfetched. Give yourself five minutes with no electronics, keeping very still, and focusing on your breathing. If this is the last five minutes before falling asleep, that’s good too.

3. Drink a glass of water with every snack. Not just every meal, every snack. We snack a lot during the day, admit it – Image result for water and snacks but we don’t always keep hydrated alongside it. While we often know we need to drink water while we eat a proper meal, we often forego it when we have a quick bite – but this small change will make a huge difference.

Start the year right and be healthy.



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