Here we go into the next 10 of our list. Grab one, or two, of these simple daily habits and work on improving yourself and your health.
#71 Learn How To Do A Push-up
Can you do a push-up? I have memories from junior high gym class, unhappy memories. All the boys could do the fitness test things, like climb a rope, and like one girl could do them. At the time I was frustrated and the undercurrents of “this is bullshit” were beginning to form. I’ve evolved a bit since then and I KNOW without a doubt that anyone can do a push-up.
The secret is letting go of your ego, starting from your current fitness level, and putting in the work to learn how to do them properly, and of course to practice. So why a push-up specifically? I mean, who cares, really? Actually, the push-up is one of those movements that uses your entire body. It’s a measure of fitness that matters because it’s a predictor of longevity. Muscle mass, bone strength, and mobility all contribute to how long you live and how well you live in your later years.
So, how do you do a push-up?
- Lie on the ground on your belly.
- Place your hands on the ground just outside your shoulders, keep your elbows pointing parallel to your body.
- Take a deep breath, tighten your core muscles (your abdominals and back) squeeze your glutes (your butt) and your legs.
- Keeping your body tight, push up with your arms until your arms are fully extended.
If you cannot push up from your toes, push up from your knees. All of the above steps still apply. However, rather than pushing up your entire body weight, you’re shortening the lever and lessening the load.
Please note that the bottom of the push-up is when your chest touches the ground and the top is when your arms are straight.
Other options are push-ups to a wall or to a box. Maintain the same fundamentals.
#72 Learn How To Do A Pull-up
Crickey, a pull-up? Let’s be quite up front and state that most people cannot do a pull-up. But it’s a fun and worthwhile goal and like a push-up, contributes to your longevity.
A pull-up starts with your hands on a bar, facing away from you. You retract your shoulders and pull your body up until your chin is over the bar. Boom! Pull-up!
There are many ways to scale this movement so you can get stronger and can work your way toward getting a pull-up.
Jumping pull-up. Find a bar that you can reach without jumping to it, hang from the bar and use your legs to help you get your chin over the bar. Here’s a good demo video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBIFjk3cSQ4
Banded Pull-up – Wrap a fitness band around the bar, place one foot in the band and use the elasticity to help you get your chin over the bar. Note: depending on the band resistance, you may need more than one band. Here is a good image, or two, of how to use a band for a pull-up and a brand that I personally own and like very much – WodFitters.
You can also do negatives. This is where you start with your chin over the bar and you slowly lower your body down until your arms are at full extension.
#73 Pack Your Workout Clothes The Night Before
If you struggle with morning motivation and find yourself hitting the snooze more often than you hit the gym, try packing your workout clothes the night before. Get them out and ready to put on. If you workout at lunchtime, pack them in your car the night before so you don’t have to worry about packing them or thinking about it the next day.
#74 Sign Up For A Fitness Event – Yoga In The Park, A 5k, A Supported Bike Ride For Charity.
It’s fun to participate in a fitness event. It can be competitive, but it can also be for fun. A Holiday Turkey Trot is a prime example of a fun way to get outside and exercising with your community. Find something that looks interesting and give it a try.
#75 Consume Collagen
I put collagen in my coffee every morning. Why? Because it’s good for your cells and digestive system and as we age, we lose the ability to produce collagen. My hair, skin, nails, and system seem happier for the simple addition to my daily routine. I use the Thrive brand grassfed collagen – https://thrivemarket.com/p/thrive-market-collagen-peptides. One scoop is 9 grams of protein and it dissolves flavorlessly in my cup of joe.
#76 Plan Your Post Workout Nutrition
Did you know that one of the biggest reasons that diet and exercise plans fail is because people overestimate how many calories they burn, they don’t prepare well, and they consume twice as many calories as they need post workout? The vast majority of people don’t need post workout nutrition. Unless you’re a competitive athlete, you don’t need a post workout protein shake or a gatorade to replace electrolytes. If you exercise before a meal, plan that meal so that you don’t over consume food and calories.
For example, if you workout before breakfast, why not make a healthy protein and fruit/veggie smoothie ahead of time? Then you can drink your breakfast after your workout and go on with your day? If you workout before lunch, have a salad with protein ready to eat so you don’t swing by the sandwich shop or drive thru window.
#77 Make a Daily Meal 50% Veggies
Did you know that consuming 800 grams of fruits and vegetables lowers all cause mortality? All cause mortality is basically the death rate from all causes. You can read the meta study here – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5837313/.
A little perspective…You may remember the general recommendations to eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. That recommendation is based on a “serving” being 100 grams by weight. That puts you at around 500 grams of fruits and veggies each day, if you’re actually eating your 5 servings.
So you could add three more servings to your day to reach the 800 grams. OR you could increase the size of your veggie serving, right? So if you eat 5 servings and they’re 150 grams by weight you’re at 750 for the day. Keep in mind that this is by weight so an avocado for example or an apple is about 200 grams and two cups of spinach is around 100.
If you have no idea where or how to start eating more fruits and veggies, eat them at every meal and make one meal each day half fruits and/or veggies.
#78 Create An Awareness Process Before Each Meal
By an “awareness process” I mean to actually look at what is on your plate. Do you want it? Is it good for you? Is it too much food? Are you grateful for it? Will it taste good and satisfy you? Spend a minute actually paying attention to what you eat. It will change how you look at your food and perhaps what you put into your body.
#79 Read A Book A Month
Do you read? Reading is one of the best ways to open your mind to new ideas. Whether you’re reading a romance novel or the lastest book on quantum physics, reading is just good for your mind and your brain. And the average book is less than 300 pages. That’s less than 10 pages a day. If you’re in the car a lot, try an audio book. They’re a great way to educate yourself while you sit in traffic!
#80 Know Your Blood Sugar Levels.
What is your fasted blood sugar? When you wake in the morning and check your levels they should be less than 100. And after eating, they should be less than 140. You don’t have to take it daily, unless you’re diabetic or prediabetic. However, I would recommend that you take it weekly. Glucometers aren’t too expensive. You can get one at your local drug store or online. I have this one and this one, which also measures ketones, at home.
#81 Floss Your Teeth
Just floss them. Plaque and buildup of stuff between your teeth just isn’t good for you.
Go be your best self!