Do you want to learn about 10 of my favorite health hacks for the New Year, as well as how to be successful at them?
New Years Health Hacks || نئے سال کے ہیلتھ ہیکس When a new year arrives, everyone sets goals and resolutions, which, unfortunately, are rarely met. Why is this the case? It’s because we need to align our subconscious and conscious minds. Our conscious mind tells us that we have this specific goal, but our subconscious will factor in our past experiences, emotions, actions, and daily activities.
As humans, we always prefer pleasure to pain. This is why it is so easy to sleep in instead of working out in the morning. We want to look for things that are pleasurable, easy, comfortable, and familiar. We must be able to break free from our comfort zones and begin to align our subconscious and conscious minds.
Key Ideas You Should Understand
Before we get into all of our fun hacks, I want to make sure you have a concise, clear New Year’s resolution. As my business coach, Dave Frees, always says, when you set a goal, it should be specific and without limitations. “If possible, I’d like to work out three days a week or more by June 1st.” It communicates with our subconscious mind in a unique manner.
New Years Health Hacks || نئے سال کے ہیلتھ ہیکس Now we must consider what our goal is and how we will position ourselves for success. If you want to exercise three times per week, you may need to start with five minutes to be successful. Then you can increase it to 10 minutes three times a week, gradually increasing it over time.
Consistency and habit formation are more important than how much weight you lose or how many calories you burn. Is this something you intend to do for the rest of your life, or is it just a New Year’s resolution?
The final key concept I’d like to discuss is reactivating your reticular activating system. This bundle of neurons is located specifically in your brainstem and regulates sleep, wakefulness, and focus. It is something we should consider if we want to achieve a specific goal, whether it is business, health, or whatever it may be. We must focus our attention and awareness on this specific thing.
For example, if I start thinking about getting a new Jeep, I’ll start seeing Jeeps everywhere. That is something we could do with our health. If you want to feel a certain way, look a certain way, be a certain way in terms of your health, lose weight, improve your gut health, and so on, you must focus your awareness, focus, and attention on those specific things. This will also work on our subconscious mind, allowing us to be more effective in goal setting and achievement.
Now let me share my top ten health hacks with you. Although I have many, these are the main things that I believe will make a significant difference in your life.
10 Health Hacks
1. Breathing Diaphragmatically
Breathing diaphragmatically, also known as belly breathing, is a technique that can help you reduce stress, improve oxygenation, and relax your body. Here are some steps to practice diaphragmatic breathing:
- Find a comfortable position: Sit or lie down in a comfortable position, with your back straight and your shoulders relaxed.
- Place your hand on your belly: Place one hand on your belly, just below your ribcage.
- Breathe in slowly: Inhale slowly through your nose, focusing on filling your belly with air. As you breathe in, your hand on your belly should rise.
- Exhale slowly: Exhale slowly through your mouth, pushing out all the air from your lungs. As you exhale, your hand on your belly should fall.
- Repeat: Repeat the inhale and exhale process, focusing on the sensation of the air moving in and out of your body. Try to make each breath slow and deep, and keep your attention on your breathing.
- Practice regularly: Practice diaphragmatic breathing for at least 5-10 minutes each day, or whenever you feel stressed or anxious.
Diaphragmatic breathing can be especially helpful for managing stress and anxiety, as it can slow down your heart rate and help you feel more calm and centered. With regular practice, diaphragmatic breathing can become a natural and automatic part of your breathing pattern.
Meditation is a practice that can help you reduce stress, improve focus, and promote overall well-being. Here are some suggestions for getting started with meditation:
- Find a quiet and comfortable place: Find a quiet and comfortable place where you can sit or lie down without being disturbed. You can sit on a cushion or a chair, or lie down on a yoga mat or a comfortable surface.
- Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to relax your body. Relax each part of your body, beginning with your toes and working your way up to your head.
- Choose a technique: There are many different meditation techniques, such as focused breathing, visualization, or repeating a mantra. Choose a technique that feels comfortable and natural for you.
- Focus on your breath: If you choose focused breathing, focus on your breath as it enters and leaves your body. Take note of the movement of air in and out of your nostrils, as well as the rise and fall of your chest or belly.
- Acknowledge distractions: Your mind may wander during meditation, and that’s okay. Acknowledge any thoughts or distractions that come up, but gently bring your focus back to your breath.
- Practice regularly: Practice meditation for at least 5-10 minutes each day, gradually increasing the time as you become more comfortable with the practice.
With regular practice, meditation can help you cultivate a greater sense of awareness and presence, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve overall well-being. Meditation is a personal practice, and what works for one person may not work for another.
Vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet because they provide essential nutrients and fibre. Here are some ideas to help you incorporate more vegetables into your diet:
- Experiment with different types of vegetables: Try a variety of vegetables to see what you like. Some examples include leafy greens like kale and spinach, root vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower.
- Add vegetables to meals: Try adding vegetables to your meals in creative ways. For example, add chopped veggies to omelets or smoothies, use lettuce or collard greens as a wrap for sandwiches, or stir-fry veggies with your favorite protein.
- Snack on vegetables: Keep cut-up vegetables on hand for a quick and healthy snack. Some good options include carrot sticks, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber slices.
- Choose colorful vegetables: Choose a variety of colorful vegetables, as different colors indicate different nutrients. Aim for a variety of colors, such as red, orange, yellow, green, and purple.
- Try new cooking methods: Experiment with different cooking methods to find what you like best. Some options include roasting, grilling, sautéing, steaming, or eating raw.
- Make vegetables the star of the meal: Try making vegetables the main focus of the meal, with a smaller portion of protein and grains. This can help you get more vegetables into your diet while reducing calories and increasing nutrient density.
Remember that everyone’s dietary needs are different, so it’s important to talk to a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian to ensure that you’re getting the nutrients you need.
4. Strength Training
Strength training is a type of exercise that involves the use of resistance to build muscle and improve strength. Here are some steps to get started with strength training:
- Start with bodyweight exercises: Bodyweight exercises, such as squats, lunges, push-ups, and planks, are a great way to get started with strength training. These exercises can be done anywhere and use your own bodyweight as resistance.
- Use free weights or resistance bands: If you have access to free weights or resistance bands, they can be used to increase the resistance and intensity of your workouts. Begin with light weights and gradually increase them as you gain strength.
- Maintain proper form: Maintaining proper form is essential for avoiding injury and getting the most out of your workouts. Focus on using proper form, even if it means using lighter weights or doing fewer repetitions.
- Rest and recover: Rest and recovery are important parts of any strength training program. Allow your muscles to recover between workouts, and get enough sleep and nutrition to support muscle growth.
- Increase intensity gradually: As you get stronger, gradually increase the intensity of your workouts. This can be done by increasing the weight or resistance, doing more repetitions, or decreasing the rest time between sets.
- Consult a professional: Consider working with a certified personal trainer to help you develop a safe and effective strength training program. A professional can help you set goals, develop a plan, and provide guidance on proper form and technique.
Remember to listen to your body and make necessary adjustments to your workouts. With consistent practice and proper technique, strength training can help you build muscle, increase strength, and improve overall fitness.
Walking is a low-impact form of exercise that can be done anywhere, at any time, and is great for improving cardiovascular health and reducing stress. Here are some tips for incorporating walking into your routine:
- Set a goal: Set a goal for how much you want to walk each day or week, and track your progress. Aim for at least 30 minutes of brisk walking most days of the week.
- Wear comfortable shoes: Choose comfortable shoes with good support, especially if you’ll be walking for an extended period of time.
- Start slow: If you’re new to walking, start with shorter distances and gradually increase the time and distance as you build endurance.
- Mix it up: To keep things interesting, try walking different routes or incorporating intervals of faster walking or uphill climbs.
- Walk with a friend or group: Walking with a friend or group can help you stay motivated and make walking more enjoyable.
- Incorporate walking into your daily routine: Look for ways to incorporate walking into your daily routine, such as walking to work or school, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or parking farther away from your destination.
Remember to listen to your body and adjust your pace and distance as needed. Walking is a simple, effective way to improve your health and fitness, and can be enjoyed at any age or fitness level.
6. Limiting Blue Light
Blue light is a type of light emitted by electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computer screens. Exposure to blue light at night can disrupt the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle and cause insomnia. Here are some tips for limiting blue light exposure:
- Use a blue light filter: Most electronic devices have built-in blue light filters that can be turned on to reduce the amount of blue light emitted. You can also download apps or install software that can help filter out blue light.
- Use dimmer lights: If you need to use electronic devices at night, dim the lights around you to reduce the amount of blue light exposure.
- Use warm light: Warm light has a lower color temperature and emits less blue light compared to cool light. Consider using warm light bulbs or adjusting the color temperature on your electronic devices.
- Take breaks: Take frequent breaks from electronic devices to give your eyes a rest and reduce blue light exposure.
- Limit screen time before bed: Avoid using electronic devices for at least an hour before bed to allow your body to wind down and prepare for sleep.
- Use blue light-blocking glasses: Blue light-blocking glasses are designed to filter out blue light and can be worn when using electronic devices at night.
Remember, while reducing blue light exposure is important for sleep, it’s also important to prioritize good sleep hygiene by getting enough sleep, establishing a regular sleep routine, and creating a comfortable sleep environment.
7. Lymph Drainage
Lymph drainage is a technique used to stimulate the lymphatic system, which is responsible for removing waste and toxins from the body. Here are some tips for promoting lymph drainage:
- Exercise: Exercise helps to promote lymph flow and circulation throughout the body. Focus on exercises that involve movement of the limbs, such as walking, cycling, or swimming.
- Massage: Lymphatic massage is a gentle massage technique that can help to stimulate lymph flow and drainage. Consider seeking out a professional lymphatic massage therapist.
- Compression garments: Compression garments, such as compression socks or sleeves, can help to promote lymph flow by applying pressure to the lymphatic vessels.
- Hydration: Drinking plenty of water is important for promoting lymph flow and flushing out toxins from the body.
- Dry brushing: Dry brushing involves using a dry brush to gently massage the skin in circular motions, which can help to stimulate lymph flow and drainage.
- Avoid tight clothing: Tight clothing can restrict lymph flow and prevent proper drainage. Opt for loose-fitting clothing that allows for movement and circulation.
Remember, if you have any underlying medical conditions or concerns, it’s important to speak with your healthcare provider before starting any new health practices.
8. Sensory Stimulation
Sensory stimulation involves activating one or more of the senses (sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell) to improve mental and physical well-being. Here are some tips for incorporating sensory stimulation into your routine:
- Nature walks: Take a walk in nature and take in the sights, sounds, and smells of your surroundings. This can aid in stress reduction and mood enhancement.
- Aromatherapy: Use essential oils or candles with calming scents, such as lavender or chamomile, to create a relaxing environment.
- Music: Listen to music that evokes positive emotions or memories. Music can also help with stress and anxiety reduction.
- Mindful eating: Pay attention to the tastes, textures, and smells of the food you’re eating. This can help to promote mindful eating and reduce overeating.
- Texture exploration: Explore different textures through touch, such as by touching different fabrics or materials.
- Sensory toys: Use sensory toys such as fidget spinners, stress balls, or tactile objects to engage the senses and reduce stress.
Remember, sensory stimulation can be different for everyone, and it’s important to find what works best for you. Incorporating sensory stimulation into your routine can help to promote relaxation, reduce stress, and improve overall well-being.
9. Identifying Inflammatory Foods
New Years Health Hacks || نئے سال کے ہیلتھ ہیکس Inflammatory foods are those that can trigger an inflammatory response in the body, leading to chronic inflammation, which is associated with various health problems. Here are some tips for identifying inflammatory foods:
- Keep a food journal: Keeping a food journal can help you track what you eat and how your body reacts to certain foods. Note any symptoms or changes in how you feel after eating certain foods.
- Know common triggers: Some common inflammatory foods include refined sugar, processed foods, fried foods, red meat, dairy, gluten, and alcohol. However, everyone’s triggers can be different, so it’s important to pay attention to your body’s response.
- Consider an elimination diet: An elimination diet involves removing potential inflammatory foods from your diet for a period of time, then gradually reintroducing them to identify any triggers.
- Get tested: Food sensitivity tests can help identify foods that may be causing an inflammatory response in your body.
- Pay attention to labels: Read labels carefully to identify any potentially inflammatory ingredients, such as high-fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, or artificial sweeteners.
- Listen to your body: If you experience symptoms such as bloating, headaches, or joint pain after eating certain foods, it may be a sign of inflammation.
Remember, it’s important to speak with a healthcare provider or registered dietitian before making any significant changes to your diet or lifestyle. They can help you develop a plan that works best for your individual needs and goals.
10. Vagus Nerve Hack
New Years Health Hacks || نئے سال کے ہیلتھ ہیکس The vagus nerve is an important component of the parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates the body’s rest-and-digest response. Here are some hacks for stimulating the vagus nerve:
- Deep breathing: Slow, deep breathing can help to stimulate the vagus nerve and activate the parasympathetic nervous system. Try inhaling deeply through the nose for four counts, holding your breath for seven counts, and exhaling slowly through the mouth for eight counts.
- Singing or chanting: Singing or chanting can help to stimulate the vagus nerve and promote relaxation.
- Cold exposure: Exposure to cold temperatures, such as taking a cold shower or dipping your face in cold water, can activate the vagus nerve and promote relaxation.
- Massage: Gentle massage, particularly around the neck and throat, can help to stimulate the vagus nerve and promote relaxation.
- Mindfulness meditation: Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on the present moment and can help to activate the parasympathetic nervous system and stimulate the vagus nerve.
- Gargling: Gargling with warm saltwater can help to stimulate the vagus nerve and promote relaxation.
Remember, it’s important to speak with a healthcare provider before trying any new health practices, particularly if you have underlying medical conditions or concerns.
New Years Health Hacks || نئے سال کے ہیلتھ ہیکس You can start with something as simple as a salamander. This is done by interlacing your fingers behind your head, bending to one side, and then looking in the opposite direction. Hold for 30 seconds before alternating sides. This can improve your cervical range of motion and stimulate the vagus nerve, restoring your social engagement.
Finally, these health biobanks will improve how we feel, live, and move in the world. We’ll get the best results if we can do them consistently over time. According to Jeff Olson’s Slight Edge, “small changes compounded over time are what make you successful.” This year, I hope you consider how you can be successful.