Do you want to hear about 10 of my favorite health hacks that you can do this New Year and, most importantly how you can be successful at them?
When each new year rolls around and everyone creates goals and resolutions, unfortunately most often are not successful. Why is that? It is because we have to align our subconscious mind with our conscious mind. Our conscious mind is telling us that we have this specific goal, however, our past experiences, emotions, actions, and activities of daily living are going to factor into our subconscious.
We as humans always seek pleasure over pain. This is why is it so easy to sleep in the morning rather than go work out. We want to seek what’s pleasurable, what’s easy, what’s comfortable, and something that is familiar. We have to be able to break out of those comfort zones and begin to align our subconscious with our conscious.
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Key Concepts You Need To Know
Before we get into all of our fun hacks, I do want to make sure that you have a concise, clear plan for the New Year. As my business coach, Dave Frees, always says, when you are setting a goal, it should be specific and you don’t want to put limits on it. For example, “I want to work out three days a week or more by June 1st or sooner. It speaks to our subconscious mind in a much different way.
Now we have to think about what is our goal and how are we going to align ourselves up for success. If you want to work out three times a week, you may have to start with five minutes, so that you can be successful. Then you can move that up to 10 minutes three times a week, and slowly increase it over time.
It is not ultimately about how much weight you lose or how many calories you are burning, it is consistency and forming habits. Are you going to make this a habit for a lifetime or is this simply a New Year’s resolution?
The last key concept that I want to talk about is waking up your reticular activating system. This bundle of neurons is specifically in your brainstem and this is an area where it regulates sleep, wakefulness, and focus. It is something that we want to think about if we want to achieve a specific goal, whether that’s business, health, or whatever it may be, we have to bring our attention and our awareness to this specific thing.
For example, if I want a new Jeep and I begin to put that in my mind, I will see Jeeps everywhere. We could do that with our health. If you want to feel a certain way, look a certain way, be a certain way as it relates to your health, lose weight, improve your gut health, etc., then you want to bring your awareness, focus, and attention to those specific things. This will also work on our subconscious mind so that we can be effective in our goal setting and reaching.
Now we’re going to get into my 10 favorite health hacks. Although I have many, these are the key things that I think make a profound difference in your life.
10 Health Hacks
1. Diaphragmatic Breathing
I recommend starting diaphragmatic breathing for one minute before sleep. It can help optimize your sleep, calm your nervous system down, and train your body to know how to tap into your superpower.
One minute of meditation a day can have a profound impact on your health. You can figure out the appropriate time of day to build into your schedule, not fit into your schedule. You could use an app, guide, or just do it yourself.
One minute of meditation allows you to begin to develop a consistent habit of meditation. Meditation can impact your brain health, actually changing the gray matter in your brain. It also impacts your clarity, focus, and attentiveness to be able to perform your daily tasks. The list goes on but starting with one minute is a fantastic start.
Consuming one or more additional vegetables per day either raw or cooked is great for your health. It gives you a focus of trying to have more colors, variety, fiber while focusing on nutrient-dense foods rather than eliminating foods.
4. Strength Training
You should aim for 10 minutes of strength training three times a week. If you are already strength training, fantastic! Add more weight, intensity, or variety. If you are not, try three times a week of 10 minutes of your basic strength movements.
Muscle is the organ of longevity, so the more that you are strength training and building muscle over time, which believe me is challenging, the better you are. The better your health is and the more resilient you are. Everyone starts somewhere, so starting with 10 minutes is fantastic.
You want to aim for walking outside in nature for at least five minutes a day. This way, you will get your Vitamin D exposure. Also, being in nature lends itself to things like gratitude and being more mindful, present, and grounded. If you could do this barefoot, even better, however, just starting with a five-minute walk outside is a great way to increase endorphins, and be more mindful/present.
6. Limiting Blue Light
I recommend putting on blue-light-blocking glasses after 7:00 p.m. The goal is to decrease the amount of blue light stimulation that you’re having before sleep. Circadian rhythm disruption is one of our key inflammatory drivers. Everything that we do should be revolved around optimizing our sleep.
7. Lymph Drainage
You can check out my other videos on lymph drainage on how to perform this. You can either do it by tapping or dry brushing. It takes less than a minute to perform and can have a great impact on the way that your body is detoxifying. I recommend performing this daily.
8. Sensory Stimulation
You can use something like the Naboso insoles, which is a textured surface that stimulates the small nerves in your feet. You can also use Naboso mats, sensory balls on your feet to do a foot release, going outside and grounding, or using a rock mat. Using some form of sensory stimulation will help drive optimal movement and it impacts our emotional regulation.
9. Identifying Inflammatory Foods
Perhaps in the New Year, you could do a modified elimination diet of gluten or dairy to see how these things are affecting you. Food triggers are one of the most commonly overlooked drivers of many emotional and physical health issues. Gluten and dairy are the two most common food triggers.
10. Vagus Nerve Hack
Performing a vagus nerve hack throughout your day will allow you to regulate your nervous system. There are many variations and I’ve posted lots of them, so please check all those out.
You can do something as simple as the salamander. You perform this by interlacing your fingers behind your head, side bending to one side, and then looking with your eyes in the opposite direction. Hold that for 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side. This can improve your cervical range of motion and stimulate the vagus nerve bringing you back to that state of social engagement.
Ultimately, these biohacks for health will optimize how we feel, live, and move through the world. If we can do them consistently over time, you’ll have the greatest results. In the Slight Edge by Jeff Olson, it states, “Small changes compounded over time are what make you successful.” This year I hope you think about how you can become successful.