On The Grind: 4 Life Hacks To Keep Yourself Healthy And Feeling Your Best

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We, as human beings, have been eating natural foods from the earth and looking after ourselves for thousands of years. Movement, nutrition and well-being are not the vanities many people consider them to be, but rather biological necessities.

The tips below contain simple information on how to better take care of yourself for your family, your aspirations and your overall preservation. Work hard and don’t give up on yourself because strong bodies, clear minds and hearty pursuits are only won with integrity.

1.) Start each day with warm water and lemon.

Starting each day with a warm cup of water and lemon can give you a serious immune boost. Your immune system needs the potassium and Vitamin C found in lemons to support brain and liver function. This will keep colds at bay and promote healthy cell function.

Lemons are an extremely alkaline food. Alkalinity in our blood stream rids our bodies of toxins, allowing for greater absorption of minerals and nutrients through food. Alkalinity is the overall cornerstone of both good health and strong metabolism.

It’s these two synergizing that allows you to operate on your optimal level.

2.) Get a solid start with a morning workout.

It was the great Hugh Jackman (also known as Wolverine to "X-Men" fans everywhere) who said in a Men’s Health UK interview, “It is much harder regaining physical fitness than it is to maintain what you’ve worked for.”

This couldn’t be more true, especially when it comes to setting healthier habits such as a consistent exercise routine. Both your body and mind will thank you, as this habit has been proven to promote both metabolic function, (i.e. weight management) and brain health.

Exercising frequently gives you an unparalleled sense of achievement, especially when you constantly push yourself to reach new goals. If you choose to sweat, doing it in the morning gets it out of the way quickly.

It also allows your body to function optimally off the surge of endorphins and energy that exercising generates. The rest of your day will seem like a piece of cake in comparison.

3.) Eat less processed foods, and increase your intake of healthy nutrient-dense foods instead.

If it grew on a tree, was harvested from (and lived) above or below ground level and can't be caught or bred, then it is probably natural and should be on your plate.

With the above notion in mind, consider the fact that not everything you eat from grocery store aisles is going to be beneficial for your body. Man-made foods wreak havoc on our bodies in so many ways.

The body’s toxicity levels are raised as you eat processed foods loaded with sugars (both seen and unseen). Just because the label on your favorite apple diet bar says 100 calories and sugar-free, it doesn't necessarily support your optimal health.

Here’s why:

Calorie-empty foods are simple carbs, very often loaded with artificial sweeteners or an excess of sodium. Sodium-rich products, such as chips, white bread, sweetened breakfast cereals and candy bars (including many sports bars) often contain trans-fats, and hinder your body’s ability to metabolize and burn fat.

Your body naturally sees such chemicals as enemies, and managing this supply of unnatural foods can put intense pressure on your liver. With an unhealthy liver, fat loss and optimal metabolic levels that use and convert fat into energy for lean muscle maintenance is virtually impossible.

If you want to live naturally to support your body and its potential, eliminate processed, toxic, fast, man-made foods and opt for natural products, fresh from the environment for your appetite.

I’m not saying live beyond your means -- simply choose wisely and recognize that with every meal, you’re either fighting disease or helping it.

4.) Stay hydrated, never thirsty.

Water makes up more than two-thirds of our overall bodyweight. That includes our cells, inner organs and muscle mass. The importance of water for the optimal functioning of our bodies is almost impossible to overemphasize.

Most people go through their days at work, school or college unaware of their particular hydration needs. The amount one needs to hydrate differs from person to person depending on factors such as age, activity levels (or sweat rate/perspiration), environmental pressures and, of course, weight.

Some of the most vital functions people need water for are digestion, healthy blood flow, the absorption of minerals and nutrients in our foods, brain health, nerve function, liver health and muscle preservation, to name just a few.

Below are a few ways to stay hydrated throughout the day to ensure you’re getting enough liquids:

1. Some professionals recommend drinking half your bodyweight in ounces. For example, if you’re 140 pounds, try drinking 70 ounces or about 2.5 liters of water daily.

2. As soon as you wake up, aim to get your first liter down before you leave your home for work. Keeping a large glass by your bedside can give you that head start.

3. Remember that if you’re frequently active, you may need slightly more than your sedentary or deskbound colleagues. A gallon (roughly 3.8 liters) is a safe bet for the active woman or man. This is due to your much higher rates of perspiration.

Photo Courtesy: We Heart It