We hear all the time when it comes to challenging ourselves that we should "get out of our comfort zone". But, did you know that physically getting out of our comfort zone can actually be good for our health?
Change Your Routine - Our brains are made to like routines because they are safe and predictable, but doing or learning something new each day will help you lower your risk for dementia down the road! When we have to force ourselves to focus our attention more, it seems to slow down time. This is why when we were kids it seemed like time took forever, because we were constantly still learning new things. So decide to learn something new everyday and keep your brain sharp and your life longer.
Turn Off the TV - Sound can cause our brains to release stress hormones because in our ancient environment noise meant danger. We have gotten so used to noise that we will leave a TV on all day just for the sound. Experiencing just two minutes of silence each day can help reduce blood pressure significantly.
Walk Farther - Adding more steps into our lives can help us live longer. Add back about 150 minutes a week of brisk activity can reduce our risk of dying prematurely by 30%. Take the stairs, park farther away in the parking lot and sneak small effortful wins into your days. The most inactive people see the biggest benefits from just doing a little more.
Keep Hungry - If you allow yourself to stay hungry just a little bit longer, it can dial up autophagy which is the process that our bodies burn through dead and damaged cells which are associated with cancer, Alzheimer's Disease, chronic inflammation, high blood sugar and cholesterol. So take a bit more time before you silence that hunger pain.
Lower the Thermostat - In the winter, lower your thermostat by about 4 degrees each week and stopping at 64. Our bodies have to regulate our core temperature to keep us warm, so being cooler can actually speed up our metabolism from a low percentage to a whopping 30%, which will help cut down on obesity. Who knew?!
Get in Nature - Getting outside in nature can do wonders for your stress levels by lowering them significantly. When you are outside and braving the elements it is like taking a dose of Organic Xanax. Spend 20 minutes in a park 3 times a week, spend 5 hours each month in semi-wild nature (like a national park) and spend three days a year in a more off-the-grid type of nature trip (like what you would find camping or renting a cabin). Who doesn't need to reduce their stress levels?
These are all some great tips to not only improve our quality of life, but the length of it as well. Start these habits now and you will be a pro at them later in life and the senior version of you will be happy for it!