When you were in your twenties, did you stay up late? Eat terrible food, party all night, and feel hardly any consequences the next day? Yeah, those days are gone. After 30, and especially after 40, you start to notice consequences if you don’t treat your body right. You can’t turn the clock back on bad habits, but the good news is you don’t need to. What you do each day going forward – your habits – will dictate how you feel tomorrow, in three months, and in 10 years.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? If it isn’t “drink water,” there is one habit you can easily start right away for better energy, clearer skin, and healthy digestion. We wake up dehydrated, after your body has spent the night restoring and removing toxins from your cells (that’s why you have to go to the bathroom when you wake up.) By starting the day with fresh water, you can hydrate your body right away and reduce headaches, joint aches, and cravings for unhealthy, high-carb food that may actually be due to dehydration.
Do you take supplements? Unless you are confident that you are eating a high-quality diet that provides enough nutrition on its own (hint – most Americans aren’t,) you should seriously consider it. Taking a daily supplement is one of the easiest things you can do to ensure your body has the raw materials it needs to metabolize food, rebuild cells, and eliminate waste. To establish this daily habit, look for quality private label supplements instead of high-price brands that may cause you to think twice about using them daily.
During the day, three habits have the greatest impact on your health. These are eating high-quality foods, getting enough exercise, and managing stress.
Most Americans eat far too much of low-quality carbohydrates (refined flours and sugars) and saturated fats, but not nearly enough antioxidants. Therefore, two of the most impactful changes you can make are to swap refined carbs for whole grains, seeds, nuts, and legumes (peas or beans,) root vegetables, and fruits, and to eat foods rich in antioxidants and healthy fats. Anti-aging supplements can fill in the gaps with nutrients designed to absorb and metabolize easily. For example, NMN supplement manufacturing makes vitamin B3 (niacin) available in a form that has fewer side effects than the more common form (which is frequently added to enriched breads and flours.)
Getting enough exercise does not mean you need a gym membership. While strength training and aerobic activity are both important, the best exercise routine is the one you will consistently do. Make a date with yourself (or with a friend, coworker, or family member) to take a walk daily – on your lunch break, in place of a sit-down meeting, or after dinner. Besides giving you consistent daily exercise, taking a walk gives you a mental break that can lower stress and improve your energy levels.
While a 20-year old might feel ready to face the day after four hours of sleep, after 40 there are greater consequences for not getting deep sleep to restore your cells. Unfortunately, the effects of stress (both physical and psychological) can keep you from getting the sleep you need.
To make sure you are getting enough sleep, start unwinding at least an hour before the time you need to be asleep in order to get a full 7-8 hours of quality sleep. Don’t mistake “doom scrolling” (following the endless loop of online news feeds) for unwinding – looking at screens can prevent your brain from shifting into sleep mode. Put away the distractions, prepare what you need for the next day, and do some relaxing self-care. The consequences of these healthier habits are more energy, better skin, and less aches and pains into your 60s and beyond.
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