10 Fitness Hacks That Will Make You Healthy

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

These days it’s all about staying fit and healthy, and that’s great. Where our parents and other elders (and, sure, ourselves in our younger years) were all about living life to the fullest in a particular way, these days we’ve come up with a better, more sustainable and more useful definition of that.

That definition includes making smart choices and taking better care of ourselves, from exercise to diet.

Of course, this change also comes at the strangest possible time, at a point when the world’s pace has skyrocketed and keeps us busier than ever before. We might know all about the importance of getting to the gym, but who has the time to carve out that much time out of their week?

 

Image result for life hackFortunately, this is also the era of the life-hack, when we’ve figured out how to identify and share meaningful but straightforward ways to improve our lives.

There are many ways to “hack” our lives to make time and room for fitness, with small moves and choices that can have a far-reaching impact. We’ve also come up with new ways to share them, via social media walls like Pinterest and YouTube

  1. Switch off or set to sleep your electronics, an hour before bed.

    Image result for turn off phoneRelax about it. 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. Boil your day down to two points on an index card.

Tim Ferriss developed a simple method for decluttering your mind for the day ahead. While some of us may feel that the day ahead is overwhelming because of the number of things we need to accomplish, we can get a handle on things by listing the two most important things on an index card that we carry with us the whole day. This limits our to-do list (we’re not cutting things out, as we can cluster the other tasks around the two main ones) and keeps us from getting overwhelmed.

3. Meditate for five minutes before bed.

 

Image result for meditate in bedMuch 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.

4. Look up bodyweight circuits online, and stay fit at home.

 

Some people think that because they can’t afford a gym membership, fitness is out of their reach forever. Not true. You can find a challenging bodyweight circuit that will let you do good workouts at home — significant movements like squats, planks, leg lifts, and lunges are all within your reach, and all you need is yourself.

5. Stretch between episodes.

 

Image result for stretching while watchingYou’ll have times in your day when all you want to do is binge-watch, and it’s easier than ever to do that now. Rather than skip the commercials or skip ahead from S104 to S105, get up and walk around a bit, do a few crunches, or stretch. It all adds up, and it’s all automatically better than nothing. Don’t forget to wear your favorite cotton compression socks!

6. 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 snacksbut 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.

7. Reward exercise with low-fat chocolate milk instead of a protein shake.

 

Image result for low fat chocolate milkNot only is this easier and cheaper, but it rewards your body with proteins and carbs that will help you refuel. The sugar should be just enough to perk you up after the workout, as the body will put those carbs to use refueling the worked-out muscles.

8. Finish workouts with stretching.

 

Rather than merely hitting the showers like we often do right off the bat, we can help ourselves recover from strenuous workouts by stretching for five minutes as a cooldown. Have only half an hour in the gym? Use the last 5 minutes to stretch rather than filling the whole time with working out. If you work out art homer, there are even fewer restrictions.

9. Make a list of the next day’s tasks.

 

Related imageAs part of clearing your mind before going to sleep, you can list the most critical tasks for the next day. (If you get overwhelmed, the index card trick above is your way out). This helps you feel in control of the things that need to get done, which can have incredible motivational benefits. It’ll also prevent you from using up a lot of time figuring out what to do and where to go while on the go.

10. Keep an eye out for other life hacks.

 

Keep an open mind and you might discover some other good life hacks, like quick recipes you can put together (like a good drink of Himalayan salt and lime juice in water to start the day, which balances your body pH and gives you energy), comfortable desk or couch exercises, or other small ways to improve your body functioning that do add up.

#keepyourselfhealthy #fitnesshacks

3 TOP SECRET STEPS FOR MAINTAINING GOOD HEALTH AT ANY AGE

Health and wellness are things we often don’t think about until… it’s too late.

A large part of this is because of the old stereotypical quote that suggests that “youth is wasted on the young” — when we’re young and strong, we don’t often stop to think of the consequences of things like what we do and what we eat.

And so we go our merry way, until we’re surprised later on by the consequences of these choices. Of course, we then try to turn back the hands of time, which is much easier said than done — trying to get healthy again later in life can be quite daunting.

Daunting, but not impossible! (You should agree with me here)

Getting back into the healthy range is certainly doable at any age. Although it may be more of a challenge for some than others, it’s not irreparably beyond your reach. all it takes is some smart decision-making and a lot of commitment, which anyone can offer at any age.

STEP ONE

What are your parameters for “health”? Identifying the markers you should aspire for is an important initial step, because this is what you’ll design your goals around. For men, there are certain brackets to fit within.

Check your height, and opposite that your ideal weight is identified:

For men at the age of 35, the ideal blood pressure level is around 123/77 mmHgArt, while for men at 45 and above 127/80 is ideal. Resting pulse rate is best at 72-78 bpm (beats per minute), with exercise heart rates not exceeding 140 bpm.

IMPORTANT! Knowing whether you are overweight or underweight is the first step. If your BP is ideal or not.

STEP TWO

You guessed it: EAT HEALTHY!!!

This is something you can truly do at any age, and so it’s part of pretty much any program you’ll encounter for getting healthy. Really, if it’s a “secret”, it’s an open secret, and one everybody looking to get back in step with health should follow.

The body begins to slow down in terms of what it can realistically accomplish the older we get, and a large part of that is its ability to break food down in a healthy manner. Totally normal, but something we should plan for — and a cornerstone of that plan is having a balanced diet. There’s a reason this has been drilled into our heads since the early days of science and health classes we attended as kids — it works.

The sedentary lifestyles and low mobility we fall into as we age (around the ages of 35-45 on) result in the accumulation of fat we don’t burn, among other things like rising uric acid and blood sugar levels. As such, we should take active roles in designing our diets to control calories. The recommended ratio for dividing a full, 100% meal, is 50% carbohydrates, 30% proteins, 20% fats.  Here are some other diet notes:

  • For proteins, avoid fried meats and favor stewed, baked, or boiled meats.
  • Also for proteins, favor lean fish, which should be eaten regularly. Eat good amounts of fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help improve heart health and fight inflammation.
  • Eat lots of salads, preferably colorful ones — the colors are actually important, as this means you’re getting a variety of vegetables, each bringing something healthful and important to the table — dark-colored lettuce leaves, for instance, bring more iron and vitamin A than the lighter-colored variety. Whether in salads or other vegetable dishes, bell pepper, tomato, zucchini, green onion, cabbage, and pumpkin can bring a lot of health benefits as well.
  • Keep dairy products in your diet, but favor the low-fat varieties. Dairy gives you plenty of calcium and vitamin D and A.
  • Minimize intake of eggs to three times a week maximum.
  • Bananas, nuts, and liver can help the body weather the increased levels of stress and tension that tend to pop up at this age.
STEP THREE

Again, not much of a secret, but an idea and rule that truly works:

EXERCISE!

As noted previously, getting up there in years means the body naturally but inevitably slows down, meaning we have to take a more decisive, deliberate role in bringing it back up to speed. This is partly to fight the increased speed at which body fat accumulates and the increased rate at which we lose muscle mass, and to keep our bodies functioning effectively as we grow older.

If you are in the senior age bracket, you can check this previous article on low impact exercises.

Just to be safe, any exercise should be cleared with your physician — partly to avoid committing to something your body is not ready for, and partly to make the most of any recommendations the doctor might have.

  • Engage in sports, because a lack of activity on that level increases the risk of coronary heart disease.
  • It doesn’t always have to be team or contact sports — swimming ,jogging, distance running, biking, and other pursuits are also helpful for developing better cardio and training all muscle groups. Swimming has the added bonus of being low-impact on joints.
  • Endurance training might be an important prerequisite to this. Alternate endurance training with the main physical activity.
  • Have a training regimen that gets you moving up to four times a week.
  • Don’t forget the expected heart range parameters.

OF COURSE… wear proper exercise attire not just for safety but to motivate you as well. Look good and feel good! Don’t forget your compression socks!

Finally…

Keeping healthy at an advanced age is more of a challenge than it might have been for us when we were younger, but it’s far from impossible. It might not even be all that challenging if you really want to commit to it, as making time and room for it in our routines is all a matter of deliberate, smart decision-making and commitment.

 

5 Low Impact Not-So-Achy-Breaky Exercises for Seniors

Are you a senior citizen? Do you need to exercise? Well, there are not-so-achy-breaky exercises for you.

As a Senior, you are supposed to be in a comfortable phase of your life, but sometimes, this may not be the case for everyone. Studies dating from 2013, found that 8 in 10 senior citizens live with a chronic health condition, and about 5 out of 10 have more than one.  

It’s essential for any senior citizen to take better care of themselves to reduce the load they have to carry — and to make their senior years the best they can be.

WHY EXERCISE?

For sure, people often say that you “have” to slow down in your old age, but let’s be honest about it — there is no need to make that slow down drastic or permanent. With your doctor’s approval, moderate physical activity can provide a lot of health benefits.

Because when you don’t exercise, you might experience some of the following: (or you are already suffering from them)

  • lower stamina
  • loss of strength
  • reduced balance, with the risk of falling and breaking bones
  • High blood pressure if you’re hypertensive
  • Exercise is good for Seniors! Just choose the right ones. Without further ado…
WHAT EXERCISES CAN SENIORS DO?

Remember that exercises must be done with your doctor’s okay, okay? The ones that we suggest are simple and doable, but it’s always best to be safe.

Some exercises will help improve balance and strength.

SIMPLE LIMB STANCE

One easy balance exercise is the simple limb stance. Stand behind a solid chair without wheels, holding on to the back of the chair. Lift your right foot, balancing yourself on your left foot. Simply hold this for as long as you can, and then switch foot. Eventually, you should be able to stand on one foot for up to a minute without holding onto the chair.

WALKING HEEL TO TOE

Walking heel to toe might not seem like a specific exercise, let alone one that targets improving your balance and strength, but it works. It’ll strengthen your legs, in particular, and you’ll be better at walking without risk of falling. The “heel to toe” part comes from walking with the heel of your right foot touching the toes of your left foot. With each step, the heel of one foot should touch the toes of the other. Put your weight on your heel, then shift to the toes with each step. Do 20 steps at a time.

ROCK THE BOAT

An exercise called “Rock the Boat” will help with strength and balance too. Stand with your feet firmly planted, about the same width as your hips apart, and keep your head level. Shift your weight to your right foot, and slowly lift your whole left leg off the ground. Hold this pose for up to 30 seconds, then slowly lower your left leg and foot to the ground. Shift your weight to that leg, and raise the right the same way as before. Do this for five times each side.

THE CLOCK REACH

The Clock Reach requires a chair, one light enough to comfortably lift. Imagine you are at the center of a clock, with the number 12 in front of you and the number 6 behind. Holding the chair with your left hand, lift your right leg and stretch out your right arm to point to 12. Then, looking straight ahead the whole time, move your arm to point to 3, then to 6, then 3 again, then 12 again. Do this twice per side.

BACK RAISE

One last exercise is the simple Back Raise. This will strengthen your back and your bottom. Stand behind a chair, and slowly raise your right leg behind you (don’t point your toes but don’t bend your knees either). Hold for one second, then lower and do the same with the other leg. Do this 10-15 times per leg.

WHAT TO WEAR WHEN EXERCISING?

It’s important to dress the part when you exercise.

It doesn’t have to be fancy gym stuff, of course, but it does help to wear loose, comfortable clothing that lets your body breathe. The one exception to loose clothing would be compression gear. Compression gear is basically today’s version of the compression hose of yesterday. (Don’t tell me you don’t remember those compression hoses? 🙂 ) – except these days they are trendier and more technological while maintaining the helpful and healthful benefits of before.

Cotton compression socks are especially suited for seniors.

The super-snug fit and superior comfort of cotton compression socks help to keep circulation going in your legs, something very important at this age. This helps ward off varicose veins and other unpleasant effects of having blood pooling in your veins, which could happen if your circulation isn’t up to par. For that matter, because of the snug fit, compression socks have been known to help stave off fatigue in people working their legs, which will make the exercise routine even better.

LET’S START EXERCISING NOW!!!

Life is supposed to be fun and easy once you get to a certain age, so let’s keep it that way. Don’t sell yourself short by being one of the people who slow down after a certain age — as long as the doc gives you the green light, you’re ready to go. Remember, a bit of moderate physical activity can go a long way toward improving your lifestyle.

#healthyexerciseforseniors #compressionsocks #sockslaneforlife