Here’s three super-simple ways to upgrade your regular rituals to lose fat faster, says New Body Plan editorial director Joe Warner
This morning I was brushing my teeth in the bathroom when I looked up and saw my reflection in the mirror. It then suddenly dawned on me that this simple task, which I do at least twice a day, was one of my most important daily rituals, yet was something I spent absolutely zero time thinking about.
In many ways brushing your teeth is the perfect healthy habit: it requires no real preparation, time nor effort, yet the benefits are huge (you reduce the chances of your teeth falling out while simultaneously increase your chances of someone wanting to kiss you).
And if you’ve read some of my other posts about forging healthier habits, you’ll know it ticks my three boxes of being simple, sustainable and smart – the three S’s – which are essential qualities for establishing a new and positive routine or ritual. For example, here’s the three common habits shared by all the people who successfully shrink their waistlines.
And it got me thinking: wouldn’t it be great if if we could “level up” some of the healthy habits we all already do each day, so that we’d get an even greater health and fitness boost without any extra effort. And the good news is we can! Here are three easy and instant ways to “upgrade” your day: none of them take more than 30 seconds to do – and besides, you’re already doing them anyway, so it’s win-win all the way!
Level Up 1 Brush your teeth
Unless you’re truly ambidextrous you’ll always use your dominant hand to hold the brush that cleans your teeth. Until now. Before bed tonight I want you to use your non-dominant hand instead.
Why? Because doing so will fire up the opposite side of your brain, forcing it to work in a new and unfamiliar way, which will forge new neural pathways that may have crossover benefits to many other parts of your life. After all, your mind is not dissimilar to your muscles in that it needs to be challenged with new tasks to conquer to keep it fit and healthy and firing on all cylinders!
Level Up 2 Wash your hands
Experts have told us to wash our hands with soap and hot water for as long as it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” to ourselves twice over. Next time you wash yours, sing the first time standing just on your right foot then sing it again standing just on your left foot. Why? Standing on one leg will force your core into action to stabilise your torso.
Try it now: as soon as you lift one foot up you instantly correct your posture and stand up straighter and taller. This will make you more aware of how it feels to have good posture, and an engaged core will make you sit straighter at your desk (protecting your back and shoulders from being “rounded” for hours on end). But here’s the big one: the better you can engage your core the more stable your body, and that means you can instantly do more bodyweight squats and press-ups, as well as lift heavier and run faster!
Level Up 3 Drink more water
I genuinely believe the single-best piece of advice for anyone wanting to look and feel better is to drink more water. It’s quick, easy and practically free. So every time today you go into the kitchen to boil the kettle or make a snack or meal, fill up a glass with cold water and drink it down.
Being only slightly dehydrated can have a big negative impact on your energy, mood and motivation, so regularly drinking throughout the day means you’ll be more likely to exercise and less likely to snack on sugary foods and drinks, which together will make losing weight and feel great so much easier!
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