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  • Writer's pictureDr. Kim Ross

5 Tips for Better Health

I read a book many years ago called

The Compound Effect” by Darren Hardy.

When talking about making changes, he used an analogy. He described an old-fashioned water pump. Yup, like this one here ---->

When you first begin to pump the handle, the work is hard, producing no results (as the water didn’t begin to flow yet). However, if you stick with the hard work, eventually, the water begins to flow out of the pump (results happen) and then much less effort and work is needed to keep the water flowing.

This was a beautiful illustration that I have often repeated over the years to my clients. The neat thing is that this concept can apply to any aspect of your life, including health, finances, and relationships.

How do you apply this concept to your health? Well, let’s start pushing the handle to your water pump!

These 5 tips can help you establish new habits that, at first, can be hard, but over time, they become easier and a way of life.

We all have the choice.

Give yourself the chance.

Benefit from the change!

Tip #1 Drink Water

It is essential for life and makes up over 50% of your body weight. Simply put, without it, your body cannot function optimally. Carry a water bottle (glass or BPA-free plastic) around with you everywhere you go. The goal is to drink 64-80 oz. of water each day.

Tip #2 Eat Real Food

When you begin eating whole foods, a couple things happen. First, you don’t have to read labels to see what is hidden in them because fresh foods don’t come packaged! Some exceptions to this rule can include oils/healthy fats, nuts/seeds that are prepackaged (rather than bulk) and canned legumes. Pick fresh (or frozen) vegetables and fruits, hormone-free meat and poultry, wild-caught fish, a variety of nuts and seeds, and healthy oils/fats. (By the way, healthy fats/oils make food taste delicious, so don’t think you are sacrificing taste!) Second, your body is properly nourished and will feel satisfied. The end result? Cravings can disappear and health can reappear!

Tip #3 Aim for More Veggies

Some data suggest 7-9 servings of vegetables each day. Now--I love veggies and this can be hard everyday, even for a veggie lover like me! Start small and increase over time. if you eat only 1 per day now, aim for 2 per day. Once you master this, increase to 3 per day and so on. When adding more vegetables to the daily routine, one of the most common things I hear is "I am tired of salads." My response, "Cool, stop eating them!" We can consume veggies in a variety of ways: roasted, stews, soups, grilled, baked, raw, steamed, added to smoothies, your morning omelet, etc. Get creative to avoid boredom!

Tip #4 Try One New Recipe Each Week

It is so easy to get in a rut with the foods we consume. Trying one new recipe each week can help to mix things up. Check out the recipes we have included in our blog posts.

Tip #5 Make a Date with Yourself for Physical Activity

We all are consumed with a busy lifestyle, which is exactly why you need to schedule the time for yourself. I am reminded of a cartoon that says, “What works better for you: exercise for 30 minutes per day or being dead for 24 hours a day?” Something is better than nothing in the case of physical activity. Just like vegetables, start slow and work your way up. Shoot for 15-20 minutes each day of some type of activity (walking, swimming, dancing, yoga, etc.) The slowly increase to 30-40 minutes per day. The general rule of thumb is 150 minutes per week of aerobic activity (spread out during the week) and 2-3 times per week (about 20 minutes per sessions) of strength training (light weights are sufficient!) Walking is free to everyone so you don’t need to add an expense into your life.

If you can’t find this time, you may need to reevaluate where your time is going each week (computer, TV, phone, etc.) Many client have found that by having an appointment with themselves (scheduled in their calendar) serves as a reminder and can be a good motivator to establish this habit.

Bonus: Remember that change is hard work! Many media outlets will have you believing that making significant changes in your life should be a breeze. However, change takes dedication, (hard) work, and time! So be kind to yourself and recognize all the little successes you have along the way.

Be like the water pump---water can flow easily from it after some time and hard work.

Your health can benefit after some time and effort, with some light and hard work!

Written by Kim Ross, DCN,CNS

Last Updated March 26, 2024

Water Pump Image credit: Bernd from Pixabay

Change Image Credit: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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