I do a number of things to stay healthy/happy/productive. These 5 most effective habits give the best return on investment when considering time/effort input and effective output.

Easy:

  1. Drink 0.5 liter of water within 30 minutes of being awake
  2. Drink unsweetened tea all day, prepare by the pot, not cup
  3. When doing stationary work (@desk) do 5 pushups every hour

Hard:

  1. Practice intermittent fasting combined with quality food intake
  2. Have cold showers (feel free to combine with warm ones)
Comment if you like these short posts. I’ll make more. This concludes the ‘under 30 seconds’ bit.

Explanations

Drinking water after waking up

Your metabolism creates toxins and waste products. This is normal. The issue is that your body doesn’t get any water while you sleep which it can use to get rid of them. Hence concentrated urine when you wake up.

Drinking half a liter of water when waking up stimulates the detoxification process. You will notice that once you start doing this you never want to go back.

Unsweetened tea by the pot

Unsweetened tea (think green teas, earl grey or any loose tea leaves really) have a host of health benefits. I favor green teas for their polyphenol and Theanine content but regularly drink black tea mixes too.

Making it by the pot makes sure you drink plenty of it. If you make it by the cup it takes a lot of walking to drink more than 2 liters a day.

A note here, you will have to go to the bathroom quite a lot if you drink all day. It’s a great reason to get up and stretch your legs. For people who barely drink it can be a big change though.

Hourly exercise

I like many others have a weak back. As a kid/teen I did a lot of sports that trained by back (trampolining, the good stuff not the black round ones). Now not so much.

Sitting still for long periods of time gets me prone to back injury and general pain. Even if these are no issues for you, doing a little exercise every hour can help you get/stay in great shape.

Personally I do:

  • 5 pushups with my left leg off the ground
  • 5 pushups with my right leg off the ground
  • Right side plank
  • Left side plank
  • Stretch by back (lie on belly, push up upper body with arms)
  • Stretch my back (sit on knees, but touching heels, leaning forward and putting arms on the ground)

It takes about 1-3 minutes depending on stretching length. I started with less but found that I feel great doing this every hour.

Intermittent fasting

I only eat between 4PM and the 8 hours after that. That means no breakfast/lunch. People always ask this, how hard is ‘not before 4PM?!’.

The reasons are manifold but include great health, better focus and convenience when on a selective diet.

Cold showers

These have many health benefits ranging from immune system effects to metabolism and will power. If in the mornings you can’t handle it, start warm and then do cold.

A great side effect is that you feel warm when the shower ends. If you shower warm only, getting out from under the shower feels cold. If your last bit was cold the air feels warm.

25 Comments

  • Great article, new goals for the coming week! P.s. You probably meant trampolining instead of tramlining? Also still wondering about not eating till 4pm. Any elaboration?

  • Loved it! I will definitely try them.
    I’m curious about the tea one. Doesn’t the caffeine in the tea disrupt your sleep if you have it in the afternoon-evening (like it happens in coffee)?

  • I like this.

    I do cold showers too, but after a hot one. Totally changes my mood for the day. 🙂
    It trains your mental toughness as well.

    How long do you do your cold showers?

    2. You do IF daily?!

    3. What about adding honey to the tea?

    4. What’s tramlining? Is it a sport you’re trying to refer to? Google says it’s a car tyre thing.

    • 1. Depends, I don’t time it. A minute minimum I’d say.
      2. Yes, feeding window 16:00-24:00 (though I sleep at 22:00 to 23:00 so that restricts)
      3. Why would you? unless you drink terrible tea it’s not needed. Why spike blood sugar if you don’t need to?
      4. Trampolining. It was a typo. Tramlining sounds like hanging out on a tram all day…

  • I do enjoy your articles and find them interesting and useful. I will give the 0.5L of water in the AM and tea a try now.
    Thanks

  • Bookmarked this website page, will come back for more articles. You ROCK! I found just the info I already searched everywhere and just could not come across. What a perfect site.

  • This series would be great. However, I do think that you should not post them too often, because readers might get overwhelmed and try to do all at once -> more difficult to really build the habit.

    I have a few questions:
    1. so you drink 2l of tea instead of water? or do you drink tea as part of daily drinking portion?
    2. Do you have any reason for your feeding window? I thought that eating earlier in the day is better? like breakfast is the most important meal and such.

    Thank you.

    Mai

  • Absolutely awesome!!!!! Keep it coming!!! Only Negative Nancy/Nate would post something against your mentoring advice. It is win-win advice!!! Merry Christmas!!!!

    ~Lorraine

  • Great write up. I already do 1,4 and 5. I will get started with 2,3 because I sit at work all day except when I have to wake up to pee.

    Thank you for the information.

  • Agreed. Good stuff. Also appreciated the protein shake recipe. Keep it coming (at reasonable intervals as another adept poster suggested).

  • I love your “tidbits” as I think of them. Really useful, but in digestible chunks. I specifically like the way you organize your posts with the concise summary and then the detailed information. Keep up the good work!

  • I liked the 30 second article. I really like to learn something new everyday and apply it to my life. Keep the articles coming. Take care!

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