14 Water Secrets: The Truth about Water, Distilled Water, Reverse Osmosis and more
Water is critical to our health and the first building block for life. This is why it is one of the five forces in the book SuperLife and the number one topic we get asked about here at SuperLife. Below you’ll find answers to some of the top frequently asked questions (FAQs) on water we receive. Read on to the find the A’s to your Q’s. Still have a question? Comment below!
1.Does it really matter what water you drink?
I’d love to tell you that water is water is water. But it is just not all the same! Drinking just any kind of water often won’t enable the hydration and detoxification you desire in your body for optimal health. Most of our water has been run through water treatment plants, while this creates technically “clean” water and helps prevent waterborne disease (making it a very necessary process in many places), it really creates a whole new “tea” with a long list of chemicals and additives that bring small foreign particles into your body.
In order to fully hydrate your body, switch to drinking a water source that is reverse osmosis (RO) or distilled.
Why? These types of water are like a perfect, blank clean canvas for cleansing and hydrating your body because all the little, invisible particles water treatment added have been removed. Filtered water gets SOME of the particles out, but not all of them. Micron filtration goes even further, filtering water through microscopic holes to remove even more contaminants than standard filters can. But only RO or distilled water are a perfectly clean slate for your body to use.
2. I’ve been told NOT to drink distilled water. Why is that?
You may have been told not to drink distilled water. It’s because electrolytes are removed through the RO or distilling process. Electrolytes are foundational nutrients of the body, and they must be present to create water that’s accessible for your body and cells. The solution is to add them back to your water through Himalayan crystal salts which add back the electrolytes in a pure form. See No. 3 below for how much salt to add.
3.How much salt do you add to distilled or reverse osmosis water?
Hands down, bar none, this is the MOST ASKED QUESTION. And it is a great one! It is so important to add unprocessed/ unrefined salts to the distilled, structured water or reverse osmosis water you drink. Here are the ratios:
Many salts are stripped of minerals and bleached. Himalayan crystal salt is mined from ancient sea beds, so it is pure from modern environmental toxins. It provides 60+ trace minerals, along with your needed electrolytes, plus it has a unique ionic energy that is released when the salt is mixed with water. This means the salt is the right size and proper action of molecules for ideal synergy with your body and cells.
5. I have had distiller water for over 20 years and I’ve never added anything back into it. Do I really need to?
You should definitely consider adding Himalayan crystal salt to your water. Distilled water does not have any minerals, and those minerals are essential for the body to absorb water well and maintain long-term health.
6. What’s your thoughts on the Kangen machine and alkaline water?
I recommend reverse osmosis (RO) or distilled water. Kangen uses some filtration and some electrolysis that structures the water, but it doesn’t get the water clean or filtered enough. The water still has a large amount of total dissolved solids (TDS). Just because the PH is altered does not mean it is safe or good water. There are many factors to consider.
7. How can I make my own distilled water?
Yes! The ideal option is to put a reverse osmosis (RO) or a personal distiller in your home. If you cannot do this, you can buy distilled or RO water and add Himalayan crystal salt to it.
8. Can I just drink purified water?
It depends on what filtration system the “purified” water you are asking about is made from. Just because water is labeled as “purified” doesn’t mean that the water is clean or filtered enough. The water can still have a large amount of total dissolved solids (TDS).
9. What about well water? I live in a rural area and we have our own well.
The best way to find out the quality of your water is to test it. Well water is commonly high in nitrates, arsenic, and lead. Use a Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) meter or a pH meter when testing. Testing would let you know if you need to take steps to filter it or change your water supply.
10. Should we be concerned getting our distilled water in plastic containers?
Glass is always best if you can find it. However, distilled water is easiest to find in plastic, which is fine. The cost benefit ratio of getting water that is CLEAN in plastic far outweighs the issue of the plastic.
11. How does one improve hydration on a cellular level? On a whole body level? On a community level? On a planet level?
Drinking enough clean water will impact the cells first, then the whole body, resulting in a healthier and happier person. Someone who is strong from good hydration and awareness can and will naturally be attracted to making positive changes in their community and for the planet. Hydration is essential to all people, regardless of their region, race, ethnicity, religion, or economic class. If every person on Earth was willing and able to be properly hydrated, think of all that we could accomplish!
12. How does swimming pool water affect hydration?
Unfortunately most pools contain chemicals that are harmful for our bodies. Pools containing bromine may interfere with iodine, thyroid, and adrenal reception. Chlorine, commonly found in pools, affects brain. By immersing oneself in these chemicals we force the liver to clean these added toxins. Some people are able to keep a safe, chemical-free pool by using saline or salt water instead of the typical chlorinated cocktail. Some people pump ozone into their pool, which kills unwanted bacteria without harming humans. Being chemical-free does not mean you have to give up your beloved water recreation and sports!
13. I don’t like the taste of water. What should I do?
Pure, simple water is always the best choice for your body. But true hydration does mean drinking a lot of it, so if your taste buds need a break, try infused water. Your taste buds will love the mix up, and the water will absorb some of the nutrients in the added fresh, organic herbs, fruits, and vegetables. For example, adding a simple organic slice of lemon or cucumber both have an alkalizing effect! Try adding your favorite organic fruit and even a bold kick of ginger! For some simple, refreshing options, check on this blog.
14. Why do you have different things to say when it comes to water than other health practitioners?
Water is a very big topic! The truth is fresh, clean spring water is the absolute best because it is clean, vacant of heavy deposits, energized from the rocks and motion that creates Ionic potential (IP). However because plastic bottles and transportation effect water, the best way for large populations of people to drink water is to first clear it of the debris that can cause problems and lower the TDS and balance the PH. I recommend RO or distilled water because these types of water are like a perfect, blank clean canvas for cleansing and hydrating your body because all the little, invisible particles have been removed. You may have been told not to drink distilled water. It’s because electrolytes are removed through the RO or distilling process. Electrolytes are foundational nutrients of the body, and they must be present to create water that’s accessible for your body and cells. The solution is to add them back to your water through Himalayan crystal salts. You can also re-energize water again by electrolysis or vortation or vortex, check out http://www.superlife.com/project/structured-water/. You can also read more in my book SuperLife where I have a whole chapter on the truth about water in your body.
Today I'm talking about listening, so you better pay attention. There's an art to listening, really. And I'm not just talking about the kind of listening that goes along with normal every day conversation. I'm talking about the kind that happens on a deeper level. Listening to the subtleties of your body, the sometimes not so subtle feedback of life, and all the things happening around you that could be telling you something needs to change.
It's easy to get stuck in a rut or routine. You might be working out every day, sticking to your routine, but nothing's changing. You’re bored half the time, and you feel like you’re on the verge of getting injured. You can't drop weight, you’re exhausted, and your mojo is a no-go, yet you're scared to death to jump ship and try something new. You feel uneasy and dis-satisfied. This intangible mediocre feeling has you beating yourself up, with no clue as to what to do. Trust me, I know; I’ve been there.
That dis-satisfaction you're feeling is your mind and body telling you to pay attention, and listen for change, variety, and something new. News flash! Just because you lost weight doing one thing, doesn't mean doing that same exact thing will keep it off. Just because a certain way of eating worked for a while, doesn't mean you have to eat that way forever. You need to challenge yourself in a new ways. Get creative, start to step outside of the norm, and engage your "beginners mind" again.
In my book "The Big Picture" I talk about jumping into the deep end and embracing change. I'm constantly forcing myself to push the envelope when it comes to my workouts, my life, and my career. I’ve been stuck in a routine many times, and it takes a ton of effort to bust out of old patterns. I learned back in my 20s and 30s that if I am not growing and learning, then I’m not living.
We can often get comfortable, too comfortable in our day-to-day life, and find ourselves using bullshit excuses like lack of time, money, energy, or whatever. If you want your life to turn out the way you’d like it to, then personal growth has to happen after high school and college. Unfortunately, most of us stop learning after our mid 20s. We take what we know, hold on tight, put on the blinders, and hope for the best. Good luck with that! As the world changes, so should you, if you want to avoid the trials and tribulations of living in the modern world. It’s the only constant and thing we can truly count on; change!
In my book, I talk about finding your purpose, and how important it is to find a new adventure to embark upon. Your purpose will add energy, enthusiasm, and excitement to your life. You might not know what your true purpose is yet, but if you read, meditate, take a class, hang out with new people, travel, change your diet, or try new workouts, something is bound to give you a clue. Listening and applying what you’ve learned will help you step outside of your comfort zone once in a while so that personal growth can happen.
So my advice to you is this, open your ears, your eyes, your heart and mind, and see what life is showing you. Then, and only then will you be able to hear what your true purpose is.
13 Candy Alternatives to Give to Trick-or-Treaters
Admittedly, no one wants to be like that weird neighbor down the street. You know, the one who gave out Bic pens or cough lozenges for Halloween. At the same time, if you’re working on getting fit, you probably feel at least a tiny bit guilty dumping a handful of sugary junk into trick-or-treaters’ bags, especially with child obesity rates at an all-time high.
In light of that, we thought we’d offer you a few healthier options, some culled from our experts, some from you! Here’s our list of candy alternatives you can hand out tomorrow night. And, consider this, since most houses will be handing out candy, your treats will stand out (in a good way) from the bunch!
Sunflower Seeds Mini Pack
Sunflower seeds are incredibly labor intensive, so kids tend to reach satiation or boredom before they can overeat. The sodium is a little dodgy, but the fats are all good and they pack a nice little bit o’ fiber.
No kid can have enough crayons. And they inspire creativity instead of obesity. You’re not going to get much healthier than this, provided kids don’t eat the crayons, of course.
Yes, we know, refined flour. But no fat and little or no chemicals. A 100-calorie pack of pretzels is such an improvement over, well, any candy.
This simple toy can lead to hours—or at least minutes of entertainment.
Rebellion, man! That’s what Halloween is all about. Kids will walk away from your house happy and healthy and, if you’re lucky, you’ll really annoy a few parents. Those things don’t come off in the bath, ya know. (They do, however come off with a little rubbing alcohol.)
Crystal had the great idea of inspiring fitness in a fun way. She “bought swim/skate passes for the kids! Great exercise and fun too!”
Fruit “Snack” Rolls
They may not be as good as a real piece of fruit, but they’re individually wrapped and they usually contain about 1 gram of fiber for every 12 grams of carbohydrates.
Katheen Larsen likes to hand out this cheesy snack. “I tried to do glow-in-the-dark fangs, but they aren’t individually wrapped.”
Remember these little bamboo puzzlers? Stick your fingers in each end of the tube—and you can’t get them out!
There’s something about kids and stickers. They’ll be happy to sticker themselves, each other, and all sorts of stuff with Halloweeny stickers. Can’t find Halloween stickers this late in the game? Pick up animal or fantasy themed ones!
Most stores carry bags of spider rings, bouncy eyeballs, or snakes. Or consider handing out Halloween-themed pencils and erasers. The fun of these will last long after the Halloween sugar high is gone.
Glow in the Dark Sticks
Courtney likes to hand out glow sticks! We loved these as a kid and kids will have fun waving them around as they trick or treat.
If you can find them, those little monster finger puppets are super fun at Halloween both for terrorizing siblings…and parents.
How to Motivate Yourself to Workout... Especially When You Don't Feel Like It
By Hannah Rex
Sometimes getting motivated to start a workout can be just as hard as the exercise itself. There are days it seems almost impossible to muster up the energy to do anything other than veg out on the couch. Yet there are people who squeeze in at least a little exercise every day. How do they do that, and can everyone else get some of that magical motivation?
You might be in luck. Researchers may have finally figured out how to get people more excited about exercising. The trick? Just stay focused on the here and now.
“People will not commit to exercise if they see its benefits as distant or theoretical,” Dr. Michelle L. Segar, author of No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness told The New York Times. “It has to be portrayed as a compelling behavior that can benefit us today.”
In her book, she talks about using exercise to enhance happiness, rather than a way to achieve a physical goal in the future. This study published in Psychological Health found that 335 older adults aged 60–96 exercised more often when they placed an emphasis on how it increased their quality of life, as compared to those who exercised solely for health benefits.
In other words, thinking about going for a run today in hopes of being 10 pounds lighter in two months, is less likely to help you wake up for a jog before dawn than if you think about going for a run as a way to see a friend or exploring a new part of town. It’s these kinds of immediate rewards that researchers say are more likely to keep you coming back for more exercise. Rather work out indoors? Put the focus on increasing your energy, improving your mood, or lowering your stress level, and you might be more likely to push play. “I like to think of physical activity as a way to revitalize and renew ourselves [and] as fuel to better enjoy and succeed at what matters most,” says Dr. Segar.
What is a supernutrient?Supernutrients are powerful nutritional components within superfoods that provide vital health benefits. Basically, they are the parts of superfoods that actually cause the foods to be “super.” For example, a bilberry is a superfood. One of the components of bilberries (which are an ingredient of Shakeology) that make them “super” is anthocyanins, which help support eye health. Therefore, anthocyanins are one of bilberry’ssupernutrients. Got it? Great!Shakeology has a smorgasbord of supernutrients in its ingredients, which is why you really do get your daily dose of dense nutrition with each delicious glass.
Supernutrient: AMINO ACIDS
What it does: Are the building blocks of proteins which help build and maintain muscle health
Which ingredients in Shakeology have this: Whey, Pea, Chia, Quinoa, Amaranth, Flax, Sacha Inchi; Vegan Protein blend also includes Oat and Rice Proteins
What it does: May help benefit the heart and the health of blood vessels
Which ingredients in Shakeology have this: Pomegranate
What it does: Protects the body form oxidative stress
Which ingredients in Shakeology have this: Spinach and Kale
What it does: May help promote nutrient absorption
Which ingredients in Shakeology have this: Astragalus, Ashwagandha, Schisandra, Ginkgo, Tulsi [Holy Basil]
What it does: May help support cardiovascular health
Which ingredients in Shakeology have this: Blueberries, Bilberries, Yacon, Pomegranate
These are only SOME of the supernutrients in Shakeology that you consume every time you blend up a yummy shake. Not only is Shakeology a treat to your taste buds, but it is also a great way to treat your body to the nutrition it deserves. Are you heading to the kitchen right now to make a shake? We thought so.
Why is Shakeology the "Healthiest meal of the Day"
Shakeology is packed with superfoods.
What’s a superfood, you ask? Superfood is the collective name given to the most nutrient-dense foods on our planet. They go beyond meeting basic nutritional needs; in addition, they have high concentrations of multiple nutrients, such as antioxidants, phytonutrients, or adaptogens that work together to support the immune system and help fight aging.*
Shakeology’s ingredients fall into these powerful nutrient groups:
(Whey, Pea, Chia, Quinoa, Amaranth, Flax, Sacha Inchi; Vegan Protein blend also includes Pea and Rice Proteins [Rice Protein replaces Whey in vegan formulas])
These two very important elements help build and repair muscles, reduce hunger and food cravings, support optimal brain function, improve your mood, and promote healthy skin, hair, and nails. The bottom line is, your body NEEDS proteins and amino acids to thrive—and Shakeology has lots and lots of them!
ANTIOXIDANTS (Cacao, Coconut Flower Nectar, Acerola Cherry, Pomegranate, Camu-Camu, Bilberry, Goji Berry, Blueberry, Açai, Green Tea, Rose Hips, Cinnamon, Luo Han Guo)
Antioxidants are incredibly important in one’s diet because they neutralize molecules known as free radicals. These destructive little devils damage your body the same way oxygen in the air rusts exposed metal on a car. Unfortunately, free radicals are natural by-products that our cells produce, and if you don’t have enough antioxidants to absorb free radicals, they overwhelm your cells, oxidizing and destroying them.
Moral of the story: Load your body up with antioxidants and super-fruits (via Shakeology) to help keep you happy and healthy for a long, long time.
(Moringa, Spirulina, Chlorella, Spinach, Kale, Barley Grass, Kamut Grass, Oat Grass, Wheat Grass)
Phytonutrients are the active elements found in fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, and teas. All the green superfoods in Shakeology contain phytonutrients that are known to promote a healthy immune system, healthy aging, and help to detoxify and alkalinize the body.
Alkalinize? What does that mean?
Think back to science class when you were a kid and did that litmus paper test. If something was too acidic it turned the paper red. RED = BAD. If it was too much of a base it turned the paper purple. PURPLE = BAD. But right in the middle is the neutral zone (which is where we want our bodies’ pH levels to be). To be in that happy zone we need to “alkalinize” our bodies. And the alkaline nature of phytonutrients (which are packed in Shakeology) helps promote alkalinity in your body.
Unfortunately, the American diet is comprised of waaaaaay too many acidic foods—things like soda, energy drinks, coffee, alcohol, pasta, and processed deli meat. And an acidic environment in the body may lead to disease. So if you’re a self-proclaimed veggie hater (like our CEO Carl Daikeler claims to be), DRINK SHAKEOLOGY and you won’t even know you’re drinking phytonutrients that help alkalinize your body. You’ll just be happy and healthy.
(Maca, Astragalus, Ashwagandha, Maitake Mushroom, Cordyceps, Reishi Mushroom, Schisandra, Ginkgo, Tulsi [Holy Basil])
If they sound like something out of a sci-fi movie, they kind of are. Adaptogens are special herbs that often grow in harsh climates and conditions, at high elevations and on mountaintops where the soil is rocky and oxygen is thin.
Because these plants have to adapt to very harsh conditions, they have highly concentrated nutrients that can help your body cope with stress, and help neutralize harmful free radicals. Plus, they fuel your body with energy while promoting a strong immune system.
Shakeology has a total of 9 adaptogens! So if you want superpowers, consume adaptogens.
PREBIOTICS and PROBIOTICS
(Yacon Root, Chicory Root, Lactobacillus Sporogenes [Bacillus Coagulans])
Prebiotics pretty much act as “food” that fuels the growth of probiotics (the good bacteria) that are naturally found in your intestines.
Probiotics are strains of good bacteria that assist your body in absorbing nutrients and minerals, bringing an overall balance to the digestive tract while helping support your immune system.
Forget what those cleaning product commercials tell you about bacteria being bad, because these kinds of bacteria are important for proper digestive health and a strong immune system.
(Amylase, Papain, Cellulase, Lactase, Lipase, Protease, Bromelain)
Digestive Enzymes help your body break food down into its individual components, making nutrients easier to absorb. Because cooking can destroy foods’ natural digestive enzymes, there’s a very good chance that you don’t get enough of these enzymes in an average diet.
Then we loaded Shakeology up with VITAMINS and MINERALS.
The truth is, most of us don’t get the complete range of vitamins and minerals in our daily diets. Some important vitamins, like vitamin C and the B vitamins, are water-soluble, which means they need to be replenished regularly. And other vitamins, like vitamin D, can be difficult to get enough of in food.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
When Common Sense Fails You Tap into Your Uncommon Sense
By Simple Truths
At one time or another, we’ve all heard someone say, “Just use common sense!” But you probably haven’t heard of using uncommon sense. Using uncommon sense can take you from average to incredible in all areas of your life.
Here’s a comparison of common sense and uncommon sense.
What is common sense?Common sense is loosely defined as a general set of principles that society has agreed is the “right” or conventional way to do something. These sayings and thoughts have become so ingrained in society over the years that we mostly don’t even have to think about it. Using your common sense becomes a routine. Basically, common sense teaches us to think like this: This is the right way to do something because we’ve always done it that way, and it’s just how things are.
And while using common sense is important, it’s not always the right way to look at the world. Sometimes you need to use uncommon sense.
So what’s uncommon sense?While common sense is considered conventional wisdom, uncommon sense is a re-examination of that conventional wisdom.
In our business life and personal life, following common sense is usually the safe way to go. But, the people who are really making a difference in the world are usually the people who try something new. People that may go against something that may go against what conventional wisdom says is the “right” way to do something.
Unconventional thinking is the reason we have the ability to fly thousands of feet above the ground. Can you imagine a world without airplanes? The Wright brothers are a real-world example of people who went against conventional wisdom and completely changed the world. Common sense says that humans can’t possibly fly, but the Wright brothers challenged that. If it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t have modern air travel.
Uncommon sense is not about throwing common sense totally out the window. Tapping into our uncommon sense allows us to take a deeper look at things we often take for granted. It fights against the thought or perspective: Well, it’s just the way things are.
Dr. Nido Qubein, president of High Point University and author of Uncommon Sense: The 10 Principles to Transform Your Work and Life, explains that uncommon sense is all about taking a critical approach to life.
Here are some of the Dr. Qubein’s examples of uncommon sense:
From Tony Horton, TH Life
Failure. It’s just a word. A silly word that confuses the user. I think failure rocks! It means you’re doing something. There’s no reason to shy away from it, or try to avoid it. All “failures" are opportunities to improve. Failure means you’re doing something right, as long as you’re learning from it.
In my opinion, failure needs a new name; how about "awesome or powerful?" The word itself denotes absolute defeat or collapse; that’s not what happens when you don’t lose the weight, slip up and eat at McDonald's, or can’t do as many pull-ups as you were hoping for. Those moments are not failures, they're small motivational setbacks. Failure and success are Siamese twins, with one heart and brain. They don't exist without each other. If you're not failing a little, it means you are not stepping up, taking chances, putting yourself out there, and opening yourself up to the Big Picture.
Winston Churchill said, "Success consists of going from failure to failure without the loss of enthusiasm." Brilliant! One issue with the word failure is it can make us feel like a loser, or that we ARE a failure, versus the line of thinking that we merely had a setback at our attempt to do something, which is not a reason to give up! Setbacks are our opportunity to learn, better ourselves, move forward, or take action to do it a bit differently, but more importantly to keep trying.
Many people would rather play it safe, not take chances, not explore, not stick their neck out, or put themselves in a situation where they could possibly fail/ learn/ grow/ LIVE! Take it from me; I was someone who played it safe for much of my life. And what did it get me? Next to nothing. I said “NO" to everything, which led to NO adventure. NO experience. NO learning. NO real successes in life.
When I took the chance with P90 eighteen years ago, I didn't know if it would succeed or fail, but I worked like hell, had a few setbacks, and did my best. I was lucky to have people who believed in me, and supported me. There were dozens of naysayers scoffing, “Another exercise program, especially an extreme one being sold through an infomercial? That will never work.” Things turned out pretty well in the end, and we’re still going strong.
If you're afraid to fail, you will never open yourself up to opportunities for success. Failure is the key to joy, happiness, and personal growth. If you view failure as AWESOME, or POWERFUL instead, then you will be open to doing new things. You might make mistakes, screw up, or fall flat on your face, but at least you were in the middle of the action and not sitting on the sidelines.
Your ego might tell you not to get up again, but that's only because your ego wants you to think it has everything under control. That’s how it keeps its identity. But, you and I both know that we have the power to choose a different way of looking at awesome and powerful setbacks, and not let our self-image run the show. It's time to use the ego as an AWESOME and POWERFUL servant, instead of letting it be the master of your life.
So next time you feel afraid to fail, push forward and enjoy the whole ride. You might fall and get banged up a bit, but you can always get back up, wipe yourself off, and keep moving forward. That’s not failing, it’s living.
Until next time...T-Horton
How To Get Rid of a Cold
The Beachbody Blog
You’ve been taking your vitamins, avoiding your sniffly friends, and obsessively washing your hands. But despite your best efforts, you can tell you’re coming down with a cold. Luckily, you can take a few simple steps to nip it in the bud — or at least speed up your recovery so it doesn’t ruin your whole week. Here’s how to get rid of a cold — according to someone in the know: Dr. Scott Helmers, an urgent care physician for the Mayo Clinic Health System.
Your mom was right: You need your fluids. Hydration helps your body fire on all cylinders, but it’s especially important when you’re battling a cold. A cup of warm water or hot tea can soothe a scratchy throat, and the fluids will thin out your mucus, so you won’t feel as stuffy. Water, juice, or broth will do the trick, and you don’t need to overthink the number of ounces. “It’s really just a matter of satisfying your thirst — maybe have an extra glass of fluid every couple of hours,” says Dr. Helmers.
2. Eat for wellness.
Vitamins and minerals are beneficial to your overall health, but it’s debatable whether any particular one will ward off a cold or reduce its duration. Your best bet is to focus on eating healthy foods and eliminating anything that might make you feel even more sluggish, like alcohol or greasy foods. “It’s not that those would impair your ability to fight it off; it would just be compounding the symptoms,” Dr. Helmers says. In other words, if your head’s already pounding from sinus pressure, a night of Fireball shots probably won’t improve things.
3. Adjust your workout accordingly.
If you feel like you have enough energy to go for a jog or do some light lifting, go for it. Just listen to your body and don’t work out to the point of exhaustion. (And for the love of Typhoid Mary, wipe down your equipment after you use it.) “Pay attention to what your body is telling you,” Dr. Helmers says. “Moderate activity may help with muscle soreness that might accompany an upper respiratory infection. On the other hand, if you’re a runner or biker, pay attention to the ambient conditions — if it’s really cold, it may end up making you feel worse. There’s no great advantage in tiring yourself out.” And if you have a fever, discomfort in your chest, or difficulty breathing, skip it.
4. Sleep it off.
A good night of shut-eye can help shut down a cold before it really ruins your plans. “Rest according to what your body is saying it needs, and be sure to hydrate when you wake up,” Dr. Helmers says.
5. Reach for the right remedies.
Stocking up on cold meds could leave you with a case of sticker shock to go along with your stuffy nose — and it probably won’t make you feel better any sooner. “Scientifically, we probably can’t prove that antihistamines, decongestants, and [over-the-counter] cough medicine shorten the illness,” Dr. Helmers says. Still, there are a few simple ways to soothe your symptoms (and you probably already have what you need at home!).
If you stay healthy, manage your symptoms, and rest when you need it, you may be able to reduce the amount of time you’re under the weather. But how do you know when it’s time to give up and go to the doctor? “Most colds run their course in 3-5 days,” Dr. Helmers says. “If it’s going much beyond that — or if you have a fever, chest congestion, intensely sore throat, or facial pain — then it’s appropriate to be examined.”
Two Quick Tips to Get You Out of Your Mental Rut
We often look at unfortunate situations through a pessimistic lens—but what does that really do for us? Instead of fixating on “coulda, woulda, shoulda,” maybe it’s more beneficial to set your mind on moving forward. A good way to do this is by focusing on possible solutions for the future, rather than the problems of the past.
“When people are obsessed over a problem, they may be discouraged by the lack of progress and by the fact that they have repeatedly failed to achieve their goals,” says Hengchen Dai, Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior at Olin Business School.
Dai explains that this can lead to what researchers call the “what the hell” effect. Think about a situation, such as slipping up on your diet by eating a slice of cake. Since you’ve already failed, you continue indulge and binge on even more junk food, because “what the hell,” why not? But all of this drives you further and further away from your original objectives. Instead, forget about that one little slip up and shift your focus towards fixing it for the future. Then you can more quickly get back on track with reaching your goal.
Of course, all of this is easier said than done, but there are some tricks that can make it easier.
The timing of when you set your goal can be very influential on overall success. Dai explains that people are more motivated to create and initiate goal pursuits at moments that feel like a fresh start, such as the beginning of the week, a new season, or right after the holidays. “Around those moments, people may not only be more receptive to messages that encourage them to find solutions, but also be more willing to put aside their past failures and try out new solutions,” she says.
How you approach a new challenge can also affect how successful you are at reaching a goal. Research shows that people with a learning orientation—meaning they focus on mastery and improvement as opposed to outperforming others or demonstrating competence—react to failures more positively and are more persistent. “Focusing on learning and self-development could help you build resiliency in the face of failures, which is often required for finding the right solution,” Dai says.
No person is perfect, so don’t expect your diet or fitness plan to be perfect, either. You’ll hit a few bumps in the road, but they don’t have to stop you from reaching your end goal.
Hi I'm Kelly Richards Mulloy a stay at home mom of 6. I am on a journey to change my life inside and out. Health and fitness, staying young, join me.