Top 10 Small Steps for BIG Health Gain

by Mark Chetwynd, Ultimate Spark! Coaching Graduate & Certified Health Coach

Attempting to sift through the overabundance of contradictory “one-size-fits-all” nutritional and fitness advice out there can be a daunting task with an innately high failure rate when it comes down to implementation.

The fact of the matter is, many individuals simply struggle to harness the motivation and balance the know-how and follow-through required to make a meaningful and lasting impact on their specific health issues and general well-being.

The good news is that small calculated behavioral modifications can have an immensely positive impact on one’s overall health and wellness. The key is that these changes are sustainable and become a lifestyle as opposed to a misinformed, misguided, temporary regimen of self-punishment, deprivation and inevitable failure.

The following is a list of my Top 10 Small Steps for BIG Health Gain:

1. Hydrate – The benefits of proper hydration are boosted energy, immunity and cognitive ..

function, improved digestion, complexion and mood, toxin removal, body temperature regulation, and it promotes weight loss (among a host of other physiological benefits). Stay in tune with your body: when you’re thirsty, take a drink – when you’re not thirsty, stop drinking.

Also ensure you’re replacing lost fluids when enduring extreme heat and intense exercise.

2. Eliminate Processed Sugar & Flour – Okay, perhaps this isn’t exactly a small step for ..

some, but it’s got to happen regardless. Conventional wisdom dictates that processed sugar and flour are terrible for your health.

And yet, the prevalence of chronic disease and obesity continue to skyrocket due to these immensely addictive substances. Not only do these substances alter your brain chemistry, but they play yo-yo with your energy levels, keeping you hungry and feeling lousy. Es no Bueno!

3. Full-Body Functional Strength Routine – Full-body functional strength is what translates ..

most practically into our day to day lives. Carrying groceries, bending over to tie shoelaces, climbing flights of stairs, chasing your runaway toddler at Best Buy – these are the day to day demands of our body that, by modern standards, are necessary for survival.

Committing to a 15-minute full-body fitness routine that focuses on compound movements will condition your muscles to bare the physical demands of daily life with ease.

4. Eat the Rainbow – There's no question about it, nature is spell bounding. And when it ..

comes to organic produce, the sheer volume of shapes, sizes, colors, flavors, smells, and textures leaves no room for exception.

The colorful compounds in organic produce signal nutrient density and are toxin eliminating, cell fortifying, wildly satisfying and should be eaten in variety and abundance daily for optimal health.

5. Stretch – Beyond the effects of aging, flexibility and mobility can be significantly impinged ..

by our lifestyles and even sleep patterns. You might be shocked to discover how much just 3-5 minutes of dynamic stretching in the morning can positively impact your day and keep you feeling younger.

6. Breathe – Diaphragmatic breathing exercises help to lower heart rate, blood pressure, and ..

cortisol levels as well as improve core muscle stability – a powerful tool in your arsenal to help manage stress.

7. Anti-Inflammatory Foods – Multiple scientific studies have concluded that most (perhaps ..

even all) chronic diseases are triggered by inflammation. Fight inflammation with the anti- inflammatory foods as your medicine such as tomatoes, fresh berries, raw nuts, extra- virgin olive oil, dark leafy greens and fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines.

8. Play – “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

The idea that “playing’’ stops when one enters adulthood is vastly misguided and a detriment to well-being. Playing can look very different for each individual but is nevertheless a critical element to a well-balanced lifestyle.

Regularly engaging in a hobby such as cooking, sports, woodworking, or even playing the didgeridoo is an excellent way of managing stress, promoting creativity and just plain enjoyment.

And no one has the right to tell you not to play in the sandbox, regardless of how many spins around the sun you’ve had!

9. Power Down – Get in the habit of powering down your mobile devices at least 60 minutes prior to bed ..

and ensure they are kept a safe distance away. In doing so, your quality of restful sleep (where the majority of essential recovery processes occur) will improve.

10. Set Deadlines – When it comes to setting goals, one of the most common reasons for not achieving them is that ..

A lot of folks simply don’t set a deadline. Nobody ever achieved success of the back of good intentions. Without tangible accountability, exceptions and excuses start appearing en masse. Set a deadline and stick to it!


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