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November 13, 2017

An Apple A Day Really Does Keep The Doctor Away

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” goes the old adage.

Who am I to argue? In fact, I’d like to elaborate.

The keys to a happy and healthy life may be summarized as follows:

A Always Be Moving

PPerfect Nutrition 80% of the time

PPlenty of Sleep

LLess is more when it comes to food quantity

EExercise daily

Now, let’s savor each part in the apple in separate bites.

Always Be Moving

Our bodies were designed to move. Regular movement, even if it’s just walking, will help prevent chronic conditions like low back pain, achy joints, and weaknesses.

* Beginning your day with a walk around the neighborhood
* Walking or biking to shopping or activities
* Parking your car 10 blocks away from your destination
* Taking the stairs instead of the elevator
* Going for a walk after dinner

Whatever you do, remember variety is the spice of life. Constantly vary your posture between sitting, standing, walking and lying down.

Perfect Nutrition 80% of The Time

Have you ever heard of the 80/20 rule when it comes to nutrition?

80% of the time your diet should consist of whole, unprocessed foods like lean meats, fish, starchy carbs, healthy fats, and lots and lots of high-fiber veggies.

The other 20% of the time you can eat foods that you enjoy, that may also be a little less healthy.

A realistic, common-sense approach to diet and nutrition works best.

Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

As Leonard Cohen wrote:
Ring the bells you still can ring.
Forget the perfect offering.
There’s a crack, a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.”

If a majority of your diet contains whole and nutritious foods, there’s no reason you can’t treat yourself every now and again. You’ll still be getting your APPLE a day…maybe even literally!

So stop thinking “diet” and start thinking “perfect nutrition 80% of the time.”

Again, feel free to reward yourself with foods you love for being 80% compliant. And feel free to forgive yourself for occasionally “falling off the wagon.” It happens to us all. Don’t beat yourself up. It’s counter-productive. Focus on what’s next and carry on.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Getting adequate sleep may be the most underestimated component of a healthy lifestyle.

Every day, I see exhausted people dragging themselves to the gym and struggling through workouts.

They should focus on getting enough sleep.

Aim for at least six hours of sleep a night. Try to establish regular sleep habits by re-adjusting your schedule if necessary.

Your bedroom is for sleeping — and nothing else. Avoid reading, doing computer work, and talking on the phone in bed. When the time comes, enter your bedroom, turn off the lights, and go to sleep. That’s it.

Exercise Daily

Exercising daily doesn’t need to involve lifting barbells in the gym. There are many other options. Fitness should improve your life, not consume it. But make sure you do something every day. It’s the best way to develop good habits.

All that said, your program has to include some strength training. Long, moonlight walks on the beach aren’t enough, unfortunately.

Strength training can help increase flexibility and joint strength; reduce your risk for osteoporosis while increasing bone density and strength; aid in fat loss while increasing muscle mass and help you look and feel better.

The Takeaway

Many diseases and physical ailments can be reduced or prevented by following an APPLE lifestyle.  

Get a full, ripe serving of APPLE every day to stay out of my doctor’s office and live the happiest and healthiest life possible.