BY DYLAN PORRAS
“Successful people are simply those with successful habits.” -Brian Tracy
If you are reading this I am very confident that we can both agree on the importance of habits and how it shapes our life. Good & bad habits are hard to break so why not start trying to create good habits that will drastically improve our mindset, health, and fitness??? Let’s dive right into this and hopefully make this short enough that most of you read through all of it!
1- MAKE YOUR BED
If you have not seen Navy Seal Admiral McRaven’s commencement speech I highly recommend you do. He starts by saying: “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed” He explains in his speech that completing the first task of the day will encourage you to complete another task and another and will help you acknowledge that the little things in life matter. “If you can’t do the little things right, you’ll never be able to do the big things right” Admiral McRaven isn’t the only person that believes this. Some studies clearly show that consistently making your bed will affect your mood and productivity throughout the day! Making your bed isn’t going to fix your depression, anxiety or other problems but it is a great way to start the day off on the right foot and get ready to attack your day.
“If you win the morning you win the day” -Tim Ferris
US Navy Admiral William McRaven 👆
2- DRINK A GLASS OF WATER TO START THE DAY
Other than the fact that it’s super refreshing to have a glass of water first thing in the morning, there are a lot of benefits to it as well. (I prefer cold water but the temperature doesn’t matter). The glass or two of water in the morning on an empty stomach will help wake you up, help regulate your digestive tract, and of course help with re-hydration.
Your body will always prefer a glass of water than a cup of coffee first thing in the morning. It’s a small simple task to start the day that takes no time so why not add this in right away?? You win the morning you win the day, right??
3- SLEEP CONSISTENTLY
Now when I say the term sleep consistency, I don’t mean being consistent with how many hours of sleep you get. (Ideally, we should be getting about 8 hours a night. If we don’t we should start there.) I can go on forever about the importance of getting enough sleep and how it will affect your mood, recovery, and hormone regulation but that’s not the point of this habit. Sleep consistency is.
What I mean by sleep consistency is having your bedtime and wake time the same each night.
Harvard has done some interesting studies on this. Sleeping from 10 PM to 6 AM consistently appears to have a more positive affect on your sleep and hormones than just sleeping 8 hours per night but having the start and end times vary from day to day. Studies show that having consistency with your sleep times helps you get more deep sleep & REM sleep, which will help with our mood, hormone regulation, weight loss, bone density and so much more. Not only this but having set times will also help you fall asleep faster!
Why? Sleeping at the same hours allows our body to get in to a rhythm and/or take full advantage of it’s natural circadian rhythm. This results in a consistent production of melatonin, the body’s natural sleep aid, which improves the ease with which we are able to fall asleep once in bed.
“Sleep is the best meditation” -Dalai Lama
Reading is one of the most entertaining things you can do besides watching How I Met Your Mother for the 10th time! Bonus…You can make it so much better by reading educational books and working out your brain!
We often train our bodies more than our minds and we should all aim for a better balance.
“A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone if it is to keep its edge.” ― George R.R. Martin
The benefits of consistent reading go from an expanded vocabulary to better memory overall. I see parents constantly telling their teenagers and kids to read more but as we get older we shy away from it and waste time all throughout our day.
Adding 15-20 minutes of reading a day maybe before sleep is a great way to work on 2 out of the 7 habits on this blog. I use reading for learning and entertainment! I’m constantly varying from Stephen King’s books for entertainment to leadership books to improve overall. The amount I have learned from books ever since I got back into reading 2+ years ago is mind-blowing! It has been used as a stress relief forever! Why not add that into our daily routine??
Every habit added in this blog is here to help us improve our fitness, mindset, and health. This daily habit is a “Twofer”! Meditation is very much a part of Yoga! Do Yoga…and get meditation as an included bonus! Both will add mental relaxation and improve cognitive abilities.
The “normal” person lives a very hectic fast-paced life. Adding anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour of the day of calm relaxing stretching and breathing will help clear your mind. Remember we need to work on our minds just as much as our bodies.
“If you can learn how to use your mind, anything is possible.” -Wim Hof
Seeing that most of you that are reading this are athletes lets talk about the benefits of being more flexible. Improved mobility will lead to better positioning during lifts which will lead to more strength. More strength will also lead to faster times on our metcons which will lead to better aerobic and anaerobic capacity.
During my time as a coach at Blue Titan, I have seen an insane amount of athletes who’s main limiting factor is mobility. Adding in 15-20 minutes per day of stretching can lead to drastic changes to our fitness. Now, this is not only applicable to athletes. Don’t you think the more flexible and relaxed you are at 80 the easier you’ll be able to get around and play with your grandchildren???
5- COLD SHOWERS
A lot of people preach about cold temperature exposure. Wim Hof is one of them who I know a lot of you are familiar with. When Wim Hof talks about cold showers he mentions how you are strengthening your will power.
Cold showers have been used in the past to treat patients with depression. They help with circulation, improving the immune system and help release endorphins (Happiness hormones) which is why you feel all hyped up after a cold shower. The last fun fact on cold showers is that you tend to burn more calories with them as well!
Just like fitness you don’t have to go from 0 to 100. Start with the last 2 minutes of your shower at a lower temperature where you get uncomfortable and slowly make it colder and colder. Every day try making it colder and lasting longer! Deep breathing will help you get through it.
7- EATING A VARIETY OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
The reason I’m saying “a variety of fruits and vegetables” is because the best way to not being deficient in any time of vitamins or minerals is eating a variety of foods including fruits and vegetables. Thinking about eating as many colors as possible is a good way to start.
Studies have shown that around 90% of the US population is deficient in at least 1 vitamin or mineral. That means that if you’re reading this, the odds are your deficient somewhere.
Now, it’s admittedly tough to say where you’re deficient without doing some blood work but you are likely to take a leap forward simply by eating a variety of fruits & vegetables every day!
Many fruit and veggies are high in antioxidants and dietary fiber. Consistently adding in both will benefit your gastrointestinal tract, strengthen your immune system, help with hormone regulation and of course, lead to weight loss.
These are the 7 habits I have recently added to my life. Try to make an effort to add these or any other healthy habits that suit your life!
“Success is the sum of small efforts—repeated day-in and day-out.” —Robert Collier
If you need help implementing new and healthy habits, don’t worry! Blue Titan has you covered with nutrition & accountability coaching.