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5 of my Effective Habits in 30 Seconds

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. [box] 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:
  4. Practice intermittent fasting combined with quality food intake
  5. Have cold showers (feel free to combine with warm ones) [/box] [box type="alert" icon="none"]Comment if you like these short posts. I'll make more. This concludes the ‘under 30 seconds’ bit.[/box]

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.