The 30-minute rule

Welcome to the positive corner of wellness. Here’s a daily digest designed to make you healthier in less than 5 minutes. If...

Welcome to the positive corner of wellness. Here’s a daily digest designed to make you healthier in less than 5 minutes. If you were forwarded this message, you can get the free daily email here.

Today’s Health Upgrade

  • The 30-minute rule

  • Build a bulletproof routine

  • Crush your (sugar) cravings

The 30-Minute Rule

When are 30 minutes, not 30 minutes? Apparently, when it comes to exercise.

Years ago, scientists discovered that 30 minutes of daily activity could improve longevity. But the assumption was always you needed to set aside 30 minutes for a workout. But then scientists asked the question: Is it 30 minutes total or 30 minutes consecutively?

If you like super short workouts, you’ll love what they found. Turns out, getting 30 minutes total per day — no matter how you split up the activity — will give you the health benefits you desire.

That means you can do three 10-minute walks, 30 consecutive minutes in the gym, or a mix-and-match method of adding up exercise throughout the day to hit 30 minutes total.

We tend to stress details that don’t matter. As Arnold loves to say, “don’t think, just do it!” Movement is movement, so as long as you get your 30 minutes — in any way that works for your schedule and lifestyle — you’ll give yourself a better chance of living longer and providing your mind and body with endless benefits.

Bulletproof Your Routine

If you read the item above about 30 minutes of movement, you might think, “That’s great — but how do I make this happen?”

Arnold talks about building routines and habits. And one of the best ways to turn any goal into a reality is to create a goal hierarchy.

There are three steps to creating a goal hierarchy that will turn a vision into action.

Step 1: Start with your “why”

Establish a big-picture goal of what you want to accomplish and the reason behind it.

Step 2: Create intermediate goals that move you in the right direction

This could be something like prioritizing sleep, eating better, making time to lift weights

Step 3: Create specific action steps

This is what helps you establish your routine. You want to create rules and boundaries that make it easy to follow and stay on track. This could be something such as cutting out all screentime after 8 pm, having one serving of protein at every meal, or blocking off three days per week to go to the gym.

This works because multiple goals lower in the hierarchy can support your overarching goal.

So if you need to add 30 minutes of movement per day, you could do the following:

Step 1: I want to make sure I see my kids grow old; therefore I need to prioritize daily movement.

Step 2: Go for three, 10-minute walks per day.

Step 3: Put an alarm in my calendar to go for a 10-minute walk in my home, a 10-minute walk during my lunch break, and a 10-minute walk before I go to my bedroom. And to back it up, I’ll have my best friend check in every day for two weeks to keep me consistent and accountable.

How to Kick Sugar Cravings

You might be tired of feeling like you can’t beat your love of sugar. But — in reality — you just might be tired, and that’s the reason you keep reaching for sweets and treats.

Research from England found that improving sleep can help reduce the amount of sugar you eat (and how much you eat overall).

The study was unique because the researchers didn’t tell participants to cut their sugar intake. Instead, they took people who slept less than 7 hours per night and gave them tips on how to improve sleep quality. This included things like avoiding caffeine before bed, going to bed at the same time every night, and cutting off screen time.

Those who received the sleep hygiene tips slept up to 90 minutes more per night. And they ate approximately 10 grams less sugar per day, consumed fewer carbs and fat, and ate nearly 200 calories less per day during the 4-week study.

What’s going on? Research suggests that sleeping less than six hours triggers the area of your brain that increases your need for food and sweets, while reducing your willpower. This is why you usually crave ice cream (instead of broccoli) when you don’t get enough rest.

The 30-minute rule

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