Written By Brian Tracy
There has never been a time in human history where you can live longer and live better than you can today. Incredible advances in pharmaceuticals, medicine and healthcare enable people to overcome disease and illness and continue to thrive well into their 70s and 80s. Perhaps the largest growing demographic group in America today is people who are 90 and 100 years old, or more. Your job is to join this group and to be fit and healthy all the days of your life.
For almost the entire history of the human race, longevity was a matter of accident or coincidence. Today longevity is a matter of design and choice. You can actually decide today to enjoy superb levels of physical health, and by developing specific health habits, you can assure that you live longer and better than has been possible for any other generation in human history.
- Choose to Be Healthy and Fit
The first habit for you to develop is the habit of achieving and maintaining your proper weight. More than 60% of Americans today are officially classified as “obese.” This means that they are more than 20% above their ideal weight, based on height and weight charts. Even worse, there are many millions who are officially classified as “morbidly obese.” This means that they are 40% and 50% above their ideal weights. They are in danger of dying from being so overweight.
Everything you are, and ever will be, is the result of your choices and decisions. If you want to change some aspect of your life, you have to make new choices and new decisions, and then you must discipline yourself to follow-through on your decisions.
Being overweight is very much a matter of choice. No one can eat for you but yourself. No one can put the food into your mouth for you. You only eat as the result of your own decisions and your own actions. Anyone who is overweight is in that condition because they have been unable to restrain themselves in the presence of food for a very long time.
The only way to achieve your proper weight is to develop the habit of eating less and exercising more each day and each week. But just as it takes you months and years to become overweight, it takes you many months to get rid of the weight once you make that decision.
It is not easy to lose weight. This is because you develop automatic habits of eating that are hard to break. You get into a rhythm of eating certain foods – morning, noon and night. You become accustomed to eating snacks between meals, and to overeating in the evening. It is not easy to break these habits, but it is definitely possible. This is your goal.
- Eat the Right Foods
The second habit you need to develop for long life full of health and fitness is the habit of eating a proper diet. You have to develop the habit of eating the right foods, in the right proportions, at the right times.
Everyone knows that they should eat a more balanced diet, containing more fruits, vegetables and whole grain products. In addition to this basic principle, there are several things that you can do to modify your diet, and develop the habits of good nutrition, which will lead to a combination of weight loss and higher levels of energy and fitness.
In addition to eating a peak performance diet to achieve rapid weight loss and improved functioning, you should develop the habit of eliminating the “three white poisons” from your die, which are salt, sugar, and flour. This change in your diet is so simple and yet so powerful that every one of my students who tries it is absolutely amazed at how quickly they get noticeable results.
- Get Lots of Exercise & Rest
The third habit you need to develop is the habit of effective exercise. Many people stop exercising in their late teens and early twenties, even people who were active in sports when they were growing up. However, the human body, made up of 610 muscles, is meant to be exercised regularly throughout your life.
Develop the habit of articulating and moving every joint in your body, every single day. This keeps your muscles and joints agile and flexible. Regular exercise assures that you have greater balance and mobility. It helps to diminish the likelihood of muscle or joint pain or problems.
Develop the habit of exercising 200 minutes each week. If all you did were to go for a walk, 30 minutes per day, seven days per week, you would be one of the fittest people in our society. If you disciplined yourself to ride an exercise bicycle, work out on a treadmill, swim, jog or engage in any aerobic exercises that get your lungs and heart pumping, you will dramatically improve your levels of health and energy in a short period of time.
The next habit that you need for superb all around health is the habit of proper rest. You need seven to eight hours of sleep each night for optimal performance. If you get less than six to seven hours of sleep per night, and you continue to work as hard as you normally do at your job, you will eventually develop a “sleep deficiency.”
You can change the way you feel about yourself, and your performance in your work and personal life, by developing the habit of going to bed early, by 10:00 pm each night and getting a good night’s sleep every night of the week.