I’ve been compiling a lot of useful life hacks that I’ll like to share with you. Some of these things might be obvious or things you already know, but there’s nothing wrong with a fresh reminder, is there? This life hacks series will run for 5 or more posts, so please stay in touch. Are you ready? Let’s go.
First, I’ll be sharing a few health hacks with you that are guaranteed to boost your health and even save your life one day.
1. Never ignore any feeling of pain or discomfort.
Pain is not a natural component of human physiology. It’s a signal to the brain that something is not going well with your body. Never ignore pain. A continued suppression of pain or feelings of discomfort will eventually result in your body’s inability to self-regulate. Pain is only a messenger, if you kill the messenger you’ll stop getting messages. The temptation is always high to “power on” when we have a target or goal to meet and pain is standing in the way. Don’t give in to that temptation. Do whatever it takes to deal with the pain. It might mean getting a shoulder rub or massage, resting, exercising, sitting straight, moving around for a while. Whatever it takes, don’t just sit there and do nothing.
2. Get a full medical checkup at least once in a year.
I don’t think I can emphasize this enough. It’s for your own safety. Be pro-active with your health. Early detection is often the difference between acute and chronic/terminal illnesses.
3. Exercise regularly.
Again, can’t be overemphasized. If you can, run every day. If you can’t, walk for at least 30 minutes every day, at a fast pace. Dance, swim, breathe, do planks, sit-ups, squats, etc. Again, don’t just sit there and do nothing.
4. Sitting for too long at a time is bad for your overall health and posture.
Sitting is a modern day health hazard. The body’s natural posture is to stand or lie, not sit. Imagine forcing a tree to take a 90 degrees posture like we all do for the most part of our lives. The tree will eventually break apart because that’s not its natural posture. Picture this, muscles support the body’s static and dynamic posture. By sitting, you’re eliminating all of the gluteus group of muscles (your butt cheeks) from supporting your posture. That’s a lot of manpower cancelled out. If you work at a desk, try to get up every two hours and move, stretch, breathe for 2-3 minutes. It’ll increase your productivity and keep you healthy.
5. Slouching is as dangerous for your health as smoking.
Slouching decrease motivation, self-esteem, and lowers mood. When you’re glued to your smartphone, bring it to just below your eye level rather than slouch to see the phone. Slouching when you’re tired or stressed only makes things worse. When you’re stressed, standing straight and breathe deep.
6. Breathe well to aid relaxation.
Have you ever had of Buddha’s belly? Abdominal (diaphragm, deep) breathing is the way. Deep (abdominal/diaphragm) relaxes you and increase your energy level. I’ll give you a quick breathing exercise for the road. When you’re stressed, tired, or just bored, breathe in for 3 seconds, hold your breath for 3 another seconds, and breathe out for 3 seconds. Repeat as many times as needed. Thank me later.
Running to catch a bus in the morning can lift your mood for the whole day. It immediately wakes you up. Don’t be forming big girl or big boy. If you’re late for that bus, pick up some pace and chase after it like your life depends on it, but not when it’s dangerous. The explosiveness that such action brings to your body and muscles might just improve the rest of your day.
8. Eat breakfast every day, it energizes you for the day.
In my first year of medical school, I found myself always tired and having a headache around noon. I blamed it on stress and figured there was nothing I could do about it. When I told one of my friends (a girl, girls always know better) about this problem of mine, she asked if I eat breakfast in the morning. I answered NO, and she pointed out that right there was the source of my problem. She asked me to try eating breakfast and see if I’ll notice a difference. She was right, breakfast completely energizes you. Skipping breakfast is like getting in your car in the morning and trying to drive to work without fuel in it.
9. Back to food, you don’t have to cook everything.
I think I’ve written this somewhere before but I’ll repeat it again. Instead of frying that tomato to death, how about slicing it, with some peeled (not too spicy) pepper, onion, vegetables, add some salt and vegetable oil and you’ve got yourself a salad. A vegetable ‘salad’ that’s been cooked to death is not any better than the bowl of eba you’re trying to avoid. Nigeria is blessed with fresh fruits and vegetables. Where I live, we only get fresh produce 3-4 months in a year. Every other month you eat canned or preserved fruits.
10. Caffeine simply sucks.
Whatever you think it does is not worth it. Caffeine half-life is 5-6 hours in the average adult which means it takes 5-6 hours to eliminate half and between 15-18 hours to eliminate the other half from your body. If you want to sleep well at night, time that coffee, cola, Pepsi consumption very carefully
11. To improve your sleep eat dinner 3 hours before your scheduled sleep time.
If you plan to go to bed at 10 pm, eat dinner no later than 7pm. I’m guessing you already know this, and you know no if you didn’t know before. Eating dinner early gives your body enough time to digest it before active metabolism slows down for the day.
12. Still on the sleep matter…
Get 7-8 hours of sleep every day when possible. Simply put, you cannot cheat your body and you cannot cheat nature.
13. And one final sleep tip…
Light keeps you awake, no matter how minimal. To fall asleep faster, get rid of all light at least 30 minutes before your sleep time. That includes smartphones, TV, room light, even street lights if it disturbs you. I don’t mean cut out the street lights, that’ll be criminal. I mean close your curtains.
That’ll be it for this episode on Life Hacks with Oluwaseun. There are more health tips, but these should do for now. If you have any health hacks that works for you, kindly share in the comment section. Look out for the next episode on Productivity. Till then, be safe and be happy.