Time and again people have come to me to get “unstuck” from wrong routines that have resulted in health and weight problems that were never intended and never wanted. They literally had become “stuck” in a pattern of ongoing fatigue, weight gain, wrong foods, wrong routines, and deteriorating health! I promise… you can do better!
Sometimes, simple steps and a wake-up call are all someone needs. Others just need a nudge and a reminder. So here are 3 simple keys to great health. In fact, without embracing these 3 keys to health, I believe it is impossible to live the trim, fit, healthy lives that should be typical in America, and not the exception.
In fact, if you embrace these 3 keys to health, research indicates you will feel better, think better, act better, function better, be more productive, live longer, and lower your risk of most chronic diseases. It’s truly worth getting “unstuck”!
In fact, you should embrace these 3 strategies to achieve your health potential, what I call “Optimum Health”:
Strategy #1: Sleep 7 ½ hours each night.
Psalms 127:2 says, “It is vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.” In our busy routines, we have forgotten the ancient blessing of sleep. Sleep is to be protected and appreciated. Research confirms 7 ½ hours of sleep as a routine is ideal for most people and will do the following:
- Make you feel better, improving mood, energy, and the “fun” factor.
- Increase your metabolism rate by reducing stress hormones.
- Reduce the appetite and excessive food cravings.
- Lower risk of heart attack, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, depression, and early death.
Strategy #2: Spend at least 9 minutes each day on fitness.
In fact, those who spend 9 minutes or more every day on fitness, on average, live 6.2 years longer! And, if you want to be trim, fit, and healthy, fitness time is mandatory. But don’t feel like it needs to be an hour at the gym or lifting heavy weights. It doesn’t!
I believe the best fitness activities are: 1) enjoyable, 2) part of your daily routine, 3) limited in time (9-30 minutes), and 4) sustainable. Choosing something you enjoy, but limiting the time involved, makes it sustainable, which is mandatory for long-term success. Remember those 4 prerequisites as you brainstorm.
The simple activity of walking is the most proven fitness activity for health and weight control of all time! Start slow for at least 9 minutes each day, with a goal of getting a bit sweaty and short of breath, so you feel the exertion. You can always increase the length of the walk over time!
Strategy #3: Nutrition: Eat for health and not for the “high”!
That’s right, most eating in America is done for comfort or pleasure, not health. Do a motivation check before deciding what to eat. Sodas, sugar, and snack foods are tasty, addictive, and deadly! You know they are not nutritious. But here are some options that are always a “win”:
- Fish, low fat meats and dairy
- Colorful vegetables
- Fruits (berries, grapes, other)
- Nuts and seeds
- Olive oil and canola oil
- Water, tea, and coffee
Pursuing Optimum Health is worth the effort. The rewards show up in energy, mood, fewer medical problems (and expenses), more productivity, and lower risk of early death. You are so worth it! I believe God has great plans for you and a purpose for your life (Proverbs 16:3-4)! Working for health increases our ability to have a long and productive life!
Get started with these 3 simple strategies and get unstuck from going in a wrong direction with your health! You can do it!
I will get unstuck on the road to optimum health by committing to:
- _____ hours of sleep each night
- At least _____ minutes of fitness time each day
- I will / will not (circle one) think “Optimum Health” first before I decide what to eat!
And remember, Optimum Health is ALWAYS worth the effort.
For Optimum Health,
Rick Tague, M.D., M.P.H.
P.S. Medical Note: Things like unwanted weight gain, fatigue, and depression often have a medical basis. Family weight gain tendencies, hormone imbalances (low thyroid, insulin resistance, others), nutrient deficiencies, and chronic mood disorders are common and typically need medical support. Check with your physician or call us at the Center For Nutrition if you suspect a medical factor is holding you back from Optimum Health!