Living a healthy lifestyle has become complicated – for some reason.
These five things are basic. So basic they shouldn’t even need writing about.
The key is habit, dedication and consistency.
Take brushing your teeth, a seemingly small task that you perform each and every day without fail because it’s part of your routine. Imagine though, you failed to brush your teeth for a year. It doesn’t take much imagination to think about the state of your teeth, health, breath and probably personal relationships in your life.
The five things below, much like brushing your teeth are small tasks, that done on a daily basis with diligence and consistency will contribute to an overall change in your health and lead you on a healthy lifestyle.
I – Get on the floor
Being on the floor is something foreign to most.
It’s sad to say but a lot of issues with falling as we age and pains in the joints during movements come from sitting too much and too frequently.
Get into the habit of sitting and lying on the floor more – reading, stretching, watching TV, playing games with kids or pets. The floor is where we learn our movement as children and sadly it ends there. The floor is a place to reset and relearn your movements.
During your strength session you also want to spend time on the ground – Turkish get-ups, crawls, yoga, tumbling…
II –Walk more
Walking is another thing lost in today’s living.
Walk tall with head held high, shoulders in the back pockets, breathing through the nose deep into the abdomen. The benefits of getting out and walking are profound. Do yourself a favour and listen to this short video from the awesome Stan Efferding.
III – Barefoot as often as Possible
The feet are incredibly complex and sadly, with the abundance of footwear prevalent now have suffered and in turn the ankles, knees and hips have too. There’s more though – postural issues, injuries, weakened muscles, thrown off coordination and reaction times all come from poor feet.
Foot strength and health plays a huge role in our day to day movements.
When you’re indoors, try to be shoeless and sockless as much as possible.
Spend five minutes or so each day rolling the bottoms of your feet over a tennis ball, lacrosse ball or golf ball to release some of the tissues and free up the feet.
IV –Sit Less
Sitting is truly awful for the human.
In Kelly Starrett’s excellent book “Deskbound”, he quotes research from Dr. James Levine who has shown that for every hour you sit down, your life expectancy decreases by two hours. As a comparison, for every cigarette smoked, life expectancy is reduced by 11 minutes. Based on the research then, sitting is more hazardous than smoking.
The key to sitting is making the distinction between unavoidable sitting and an optional sitting.
Driving for example is unavoidable sitting. Commuting on say the train, sitting is optional. A meeting at work will have unavoidable sitting whereas around the home sitting is certainly more avoidable.
This point is directly relatable to number one – getting on the floor more as opposed to sitting in a chair and number five, learning to rest in a deep squat.
V –Rest in a Deep Squat
Deep squat resting is a common, daily occurrence across the world – sadly, in the west, it’s become something that’s completely neglected.
Learning to squat deep and rest in the position is paramount for mobility and health. During the learning process it’s going to feel uncomfortable, awkward and possibly a painful experience.
You want feet pointed forward, heels planted, chest up, breathing naturally.
Closing Thoughts on Living a Healthy Lifestyle
Living a healthy lifestyle comes down to simple habits done daily. The above five things are all incredibly simple to include in your daily routines. The benefits of which will be profound to your long term movement quality and health.
Consistency and compliance over time is what creates habits and a lifestyle and it’s who you become.
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