Two Things To Improve Your Health Instantly
I’m going to rock your world this morning and give you the gift of not one, but TWO things you can add to your daily routine that will not only provide a bevy of health benefits, but make you feel like a million bucks to boot. Which is basically a health benefit in of itself so that makes completely no sense.
Whatever, just roll with it.
Help me, help you.
Now full disclosure: what I’m about to share with you isn’t anything Earth shattering or something you’ve never heard before. I’m not going to sit here and disclose some super secret Russian quasi-isometric drop-set protocol that’s going to add 50 lbs to your deadlift in two weeks, nor am I going to blow sunshine up your ass and tell you that drinking acai berry juice mixed with unicorn tears and the back hair of an angel is going to somehow add ten years to your life.
Nope, I’ll save all that nonsense for the gurus and quacks out there on the interwebzzzz who think a ham sandwich is smarter than you.
All I want to share are two things that I feel will help improve your health and well-being almost instantly. Both are absolutely FREE, and both are something that EVERYONE can implement within five minutes. Ready?
Drink more water and go for a walk.
Seriously, that’s it. No target heart rate talk. No breaking down macronutrient percentages. Paleo this, intermittent fasting that. Just drink more water and go for a walk.
“But that’s lame Tony.”
Au contraire my friend.
I don’t have the stats in front of me at the moment, but chances are you live in a state of mild dehydration on a daily basis. Do pee less than 3-5 times a day? Does your pee look like battery acid? Yep, your (probably)dehydrated.
I’m not going to make this into some campaign on the benefits of drinking more water, but just to highlight a few things:
– Helps you look younger.
– Helps with weight loss – it’s a great appetite suppressant , and it also prevents fluid retention. When you’re dehydrated the body will retain water.
– Combats skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis.
– Helps reduce the incidence of headaches.
– Improves joint health. I know when I stay hydrated my knees feel infinitely better.
– Drinking water also helps your body burn stored fat. If you’re not drinking enough water, your liver will be forced to help your kidneys detoxify your body. When you drink plenty of water, your kidneys don’t need any extra help, so your liver will be able to metabolize stored fat more efficiently. Drinking water flushes toxins from your body and prevents constipation.
** And yes, this assumes a caloric deficit.
My rule of thumb for many of the athletes who ask me how much water should they be drinking is to take half your bodyweight and drink that much in ounces. So, if you weigh 200 lbs, you’d shoot for 100 ounces per day. And that’s just the minimum.
That number will go up the more active you are.
Here’s on simple actionable item you can start implementing tomorrow. The very first thing you do when you wake up is to walk to the kitchen sink or grab your Brita, pour yourself a ginormous glass of water, and guzzle that sumbitch down.
Go For a Walk
This is something I used to do quite often a few years ago, but for some reason stopped. As of this week I’m back on the walking train.
I live in a very walkable city and it’s actually really nice to walk around early in the AM without all the hustle and bustle of city chaos surrounding me. If anything I find it rather relaxing and a perfect way to start my day.
There’s two ways I can approach it:
1. Just walk and enjoy my surroundings.
2. Grab my iPod and listen to a podcast. Lately I’ve been crushing Dr. Jonathan Fass and Bret Contreras’ Strength of Evidence Podcast, which you can check out HERE.
The way I see it, if I’m going to spend a good 20-30 minutes walking I might as well get smarter while I do it.
And the cool thing is that you don’t even need two guys chirping in your year in order to get smarter in the first place. There’s a mountain of research out there demonstrating that daily strolls help make people smarter. More specifically, walking has been shown to decrease the risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s.
What’s more, other benefits include: reduced risk of type II diabetes, improved sex life (oh yeah!), improved immune function, and a whole host of other stuff.
In many ways, walking is fairly underrated if you ask me. I’m not going to deem it the best form of EXERCISE – it’s walking – but I do feel that if more people turned off Dancing With the Stars and did more of it, they’d feel infinitely better about themselves. And, probably be more productive too.
I mean come on! I went for one this morning and ended up writing close to a 1000 word blog post on drinking water and walking. And I included a unicorn tears reference. If that doesn’t tell you something, I don’t know what to say.
Like I Said
Nothing revolutionary. And nothing remotely sexy or new. Maybe even a bit lame. But what have you got to lose by at least trying?