Five Simple Actions That Can REALLY Change Your Life

By Dr. Scott E. Rosenthal

Have you been throwing all of your effort (and money) into making positive changes, yet nothing seems to work? If you’re interested in avoiding wasted time and money and preserving peace-of-mind, this article is for you. Here are the most profound actions that have impacted my life. There are more, but these are the absolute heavy hitters.  

Disclaimer: Upon reading these steps, you may hear that little voice that tries to talk you out of taking action. Here’s how you handle your inner sabotaging naysayer: every time it whispers in your ear, state with conviction, “Cancel, Cancel!” Ignoring and silencing this voice is that easy. Go ahead and try it. Repeat as necessary.

1) Leave the Sugar for the bees

What makes refined sugar such a problem? For one, research has demonstrated that the “available evidence in humans shows that sugar and sweetness can induce reward and craving that are comparable in magnitude to those induced by addictive drugs.”(1) 

Having too much sugar in your diet is one of the greatest factors leading to diseases such as metabolic syndrome, obesity, cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes—conditions that can dramatically rob you of quality and years of life. Even when not facing a major disease, regular refined sugar consumption picks away at your overall life-enjoyment. It can make you feel sluggish or moody, and have frequent colds, sinus infections or yeast overgrowth. It may prevent you from achieving or maintaining a healthy weight.

Besides a few days of serious craving, dumping the sugar habit is easier than you think, especially once you start feeling the benefits! Healthy sugar choices are fine in moderation (fruit, etc.). It’s all about avoiding the products with processed or refined sugar such as cake, cookies, sweetened drinks and candy. Artificial sugar substitutes are not recommended and you will want to avoid or greatly limit eating “white” carbohydrate foods such as white flour, white potatoes, white rice or corn.

2) Do Interval Exercises 2-3 Times per Week

Interval training is the most efficient way to receive the benefits of exercise. It consists of alternating low and high intensity activity performed in a single session lasting between 9-30 minutes. The high intensity portion quickly uses up the fuel stored in the muscles. This causes your body to pull energy from the blood stream and stimulates the breakdown of fat. Interval training over time causes a useful adaption for survival and increases the ability of your body to store calories in the muscles, instead of as fat.

One additional benefit found in interval training compared to other forms of exercise, such as low-intensity aerobics, is that calories are burned continuously for hours following a workout. Once you stop doing low-intensity, long duration exercise, you discontinue burning almost immediately. Other benefits range from an improved cardiovascular system to enhanced immune function.

Tips for performing an interval training routine:

Use your favorite piece of cardio equipment (I prefer to alternate between a stationary bicycle, stair-climber and elliptical machine).
Start at a very low intensity setting accomplishing about 50% of your target heart rate for 2-3 minutes.
Increase the tension enough to achieve about 70-90% of your target heart rate or to the point where you feel like you “run out of gas” after about 10-60 seconds (depending on your fitness level). Changing the tension is superior to just going faster- it wears less on your joints and prevents injury.
Follow the high intensity with another 2-3-minute period with no or little tension while your heart rate drops back down.
Repeat about 6 times with high intensity and end with a 3-5 minute cool down.
Perform on an empty stomach- preferably in the morning before breakfast (this dramatically increases your results).
Take at least one day off in between work outs for adequate recovery and to avoid the fat-stimulating effects of over-exercising.
Although interval training can be modified and performed safely with most individuals, it is demanding on the heart, lungs and muscles. Please check with your doctor prior to starting a routine. Also, be sure that

3) Receive a Chiropractic Check-up

People are amazed by how much better they feel when the stresses, restrictions and pressures from daily life are removed. Studies have shown that regular chiropractic care can help you get the most out of life and avoid pain. This means better performance for athletes or workers on the job and lower rates of hospitalization and nursing home use among the elderly (just to name a few). Regular chiropractic users were found to save thousands of dollars each year in health care costs and have fewer medical interventions.

In order to better understand this strategy, please read “Why Do Chiropractors Try to Keep You Coming In?” found under the articles tab at RosenthalChirorpactic.com.

4) Meditate

The physical and emotional benefits derived from meditation are astounding. It’s not about just clearing the mind to a blank screen, but maintaining a prolonged focus of the thinking mind. This is accomplished by sustaining one's mental attention on a single object. Quieting the distractions created by the barrage of thoughts experienced regularly becomes the single objective. One form of mediation in yoga uses the words “So” and “Hum” as the objects of focus.

The word “So” is silently stated in the mind during the inhalation, followed by “Hum” on the exhalation.  Besides being associated with the sounds of the flowing breath, they translate into the words, “I am that.” This means: I am part of all creation. This method is easy to perform and effective for both the beginner and advanced meditator. If you prefer, you may use a favorite prayer or appropriate word of choice. Consider a daily meditation period of 20 minutes.

To learn precise steps and recommendations to complete your meditation practice, please read “Uncover the Extraordinary with Meditation!” Also found under the articles tab at RosenthalChirorpactic.com.

5) Add Time to your Sleep

Sleep is when you fill your energy savings account. Most people fail to get adequate sleep. Unfortunately, it is less effective to sleep longer in the morning. The best way to make gains is to retire to bed earlier each day. As little as 30 minutes can profoundly change how you charge into the coming day.

The above strategies from my personal game plan are proven to bring significant benefits to your life. They are time-tested and an investment that will pay back great returns. Start with them all or one at a time. You may feel younger and better than in years, while solving some of your greatest health challenges. If you are thinking about putting this article aside without taking any action, please give an emphatic, “Cancel, Cancel!”

Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2013 Jul;16(4):434-9.