inner engine fitness

building a better body

Less Than 3%?

on March 24, 2016
In order to achieve true health, we need to relax and unwind.

In order to achieve true health, we need to relax and unwind.

A recent study in the news analyzed how many people follow healthy habits during their daily life. By the title, I’m guessing you know how many people follow these guidelines. It’s staggering to think that with all of the available information today, we still adhere to behaviors that are less than good for us. It shows that more is needed than just information. It’s all about behavior change and we all know that we don’t like change!

The study reviewed nearly 5000 adults, a decent sample size I’d say. They looked at four behaviors: non-smoking, good eating habits, exercise level, and body fat percentage. Less than three percent of the group achieved all four healthy habits on a regular basis. That is quite a statement about our society.

I believe stress is a major player. Who isn’t strapped for time and burning the candle at both ends?! What stress does to the body is that it triggers you to eat more and get less benefit from exercise. It also creates more addictive behaviors meant to thwart the anxiety you feel constantly. As a cherry on top, your body holds onto more fat when you are constantly stressed because back in the days when you were surviving, not just living, your body needed all the reserves available. Enter again into current times and your body believes it needs to protect itself from the onslaught of stress.

This is not a recipe for success. We need to figure out ways to be more mindful and less stressed out. Obesity is at an all-time high, and is starting at a very young age. We are literally killing ourselves, even though we know the right behaviors to adopt.

So, to try to handle stress a bit more effectively, I have a few ideas for you:

  1. Take a few deep breaths before you embark on any activity you find stressful.
  2. Carve out quality time relaxing with your loved ones, perhaps walking the dog or going for a leisurely stroll.
  3. Have just one or two glasses of wine (depending on your weight and gender) to unwind from a particularly rough day at work.
  4. Keep a constant supply of fruits and veggies handy and cut up, even if you have to recruit a delivery service or the help of your family members to achieve the goal.
  5. Make sure to get AT LEAST seven hours of sleep a night.
  6. For a minimum of a half hour at night, do something relaxing that is not work-related, even if that means you don’t have an immaculate house. Read a book, have a cup of herbal tea, talk to a friend on the phone or Skype, or take a warm bath.

Do these things and then you can work up to the four healthy habits listed at the top. Health and an overload of stress are not compatible. As long as you keep pushing yourself until you’re depleted, you won’t have the energy to change for the better. The answer is to support your fragile body, not to beat it up. If we are kind to ourselves, we lay the groundwork for a healthy future. So, take the step to build your health piece by piece. Soon, together we’ll make up more than a measly 2.7%!

If you’d like to, let me know what your sticking points are in your pursuit of better health. I’d love to help you break through the barriers.

For further information about the study, visit: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2016/03/less-than-3-percent-of-americans-live-a-healthy-lifestyle/475065/

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5 responses to “Less Than 3%?

  1. @fitone says:

    I had to read this again. Going to post in o my challenge group

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