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The secret to a longer life… practice health and happiness

Here’s the deal, if you want to live a longer, happier life there are only a few things you need to do

  • Eat more colourful vegetables
  • Drink more water
  • Exercise 30 minutes a day
  • Get at least eight hours sleep
  • Play

It can’t be that easy, can it? Basically, yes, it can!

Eat more colourful veg.  to start off begin with small steps. Simply make sure to include vegetables with each meal. Choose two different coloured vegetables to eat at each meal. After three weeks add one more. Do this once more and within six weeks each of your meals will be fill with nutrient dense foods. Building upon this small habit will lead to other changes over time. You will notice yourself cutting down on the cardboard carbs (processed foods) and your protein intake will probably increase, while the shitty foods will decrease, equating to your waistline shrinking but the key is to simply focus on eating more veg and allow other habits to happen in time.

Drink more water. Probably the easiest change you can make. Aim to be drinking at least two litres of water a day within three weeks. Every morning before breakfast have one pint of ICE COLD water. Do this with every meal. If a pint is too much then start with a half pint but make sure you do it. Staying hydrated is key in helping your body function at an optimal level. Iced water also forces your body to burn more calories in order to maintain its core temperature, resulting in fat loss.

Exercise 30 minutes a day.  Doing this is simpler than you think. If you are worried about going to a gym then start with something you can do without equipment. Make a deal with yourself to walk at least 30 minutes a day. If this is too much then break it up. Take the stairs in work instead of using the lift, walk to the shops instead of driving, just make sure you do it everyday and strive to improve each day.
Once you feel your fitness level increasing set a date to start training. Write it down. Writing something down helps us focus on the goal. Look for a good quality trainer, preferably someone in a private training studio where you can concentrate on the session rather than being worried that you are being watched.

Learn the fundamentals of human movement. Squat, hinge, push, pull and carry. To begin with you might not even need weight. To improve the majority of people all you need is the Kettlebell swing, the goblet squat, a get up movement, a body weight row, press up and some sort of weighted carry. No need to become bogged down with sets and reps just do each exercise as many times as you can with good form for 1 minute each, as you improve, decrease rest times, increase rounds and try to move up a weight every four weeks.

Get eight hours sleep.  The majority of us fail to realise how essential this actually is. I have already covered this in my blog “an idiots guide to gaining strength and building a better body” http://www.strengthandmovement.co.uk/?p=20 but here is a quick summary. Sleep is when your body repairs itself. When you get better quality sleep you will look and feel better. Turn off phones, use blackout blinds and don’t use computers or watch TV an hour before going to bed. Allow your body to wind down. If you need to use more than one pillow to sleep, there is a good chance you have some joint/mobility issues.

Play . This is the greatest way, in my opinion, to get rid of stress and rediscover your youth once more. It honestly doesn’t matter what you do as long as you are being active and having fun. Kick a ball with your children, play tag, race, do handstands, roll, climb, tumble and fall. The choices are endless, all that matters is that you are laughing and learning how good it feels to forget about your problems for a while.
We all were kids at one point so we all know it is like to not have any worries. As children we lived in the moment and those times when you kicked a ball with your dad or had piggyback races with your parents will be memories that will stay with you forever. Try and recapture them, even if it’s only for fifteen minutes. Give yourself permission to laugh and be laughed at and remember what life is really about.

Try these small changes, practice health and happiness by making a rule to introduce them one by one into your daily regimen and watch how you can change your life for the better.

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