The world we live in today is truly marvelous. Knowledge is at our fingertips at all times as technology allows us to fly through the air, transfer organs, and connect with people thousands of miles away at the click of a button. On the surface, it looks like the human race has taken a monumental step toward optimizing our potential, but in reality, this could be far from the case. According to exercise physiologist and health coach Josh D'Alessandro, the speed at which humans have evolved has slowed us down in terms of our pursuit of optimal, physical health. Josh explains however, that it does not need to be this way. Here are five things he recommends we do on a daily basis to enhance our well-being right now, and for the long haul.
We are always looking for the most exciting and revolutionary way to do things. This is no surprise considering the wonderment of societal evolution. However, when it comes to exercise and nutrition, over complicating oftentimes backfires. We need to spend less time saying "this seems too simple to work," and more time understanding it's the simple things that do work. Step 1 is to reprogram your approach to health by understanding that a consistent emphasis on the basics will do the trick.
2. Slow time down.
I am sure anyone reading this immediately thinks of their computer when it buffers for an extra two seconds. But have we forgotten the days of dial up? Josh claims, "While we don't want things to slow down in such an efficient world, an emphasis on quick results is one of the most common mistakes people make. Any good business owner will tell you that if you cut corners, you are bound to pay for it down the road. Why should your approach to long term health be any different?"
3. Wake up 15 minutes early.
For many individuals, adding 15 minutes to their day sounds more difficult than designing and implementing an entire business plan from scratch. Despite this, Josh encourages all of his clients and patients to wake up 15 minutes early, with the intention of "scheduling" time for exercise and self-care. "We get lost in our days, and by the end of them, we have forgotten, once again, to take care of ourselves. If this were already factored in, say, like a really important meeting, we would prioritize taking care of ourselves and it would fit into our lifestyle seamlessly."
4. Replace high-ingredient foods with whole foods as often as possible.
Josh explained that the increased intake of processed foods by the majority of people has led to a surge in calorie intake. "Calorie intake is far different from nutrient intake. Foods like cakes, cookies, and fast food are filled to the brim with calories, especially sugar, with little to no nutrient density. Switching to whole foods, regardless of what they might be, is an immediate step that can be taken to increase total nutrient consumption, reduce sugar and calorie intake, and enhance our day to day well-being."
5. Buy and carry a gallon water jug with you at all times.
You may already be thinking about the number of trips to the bathroom this might entail, but this habit means a lot more than proper hydration. "We all have due dates and daily challenges that we need to accomplish. Many of these daily challenges have little to do with our overall health." Josh feels that one of the simplest ways to know you're taking care of yourself every day is to down that jug by the end of it. "It is consistency, above all else, that will help us live the longest, healthiest life possible for decades (not days) to come."