A marathon is synonymous with the ultimate test of endurance. The race itself, however, isn't the most grueling part of the marathon. The training and lifestyle adjustments required just to get to the starting line is the far great test of will. Even if you don't want to run a marathon, you might be able to live a healthier and more productive life by adopting these healthy lifestyle hacks.
Make a Plan
A marathoner's training is carefully planned. Fitting in long training runs, recovery days, and intense workouts require meticulous planning. Most marathon plans start with goal weekly mileage. Starting with this number in mind give you the chance to reverse engineer your week. For instance, if a marathoner wants to be run 25 miles in a week, they'll plan their schedule to portion out their training accordingly.
You can use the same technique with your life. If your goal is to get 3 hours of reading in by the end of the week, you can sit down with your calendar and look for the most optimal time slots. This hack is effective because it aligns your goal with your schedule. You can use this same technique for virtually every quantifiable habit you want to maintain. Activities like meditation, prayer, walking, and napping can also be accomplished with this method. To start this process, however, it's helpful to start with a single habit to reverse engineer.
The most essential nutrient of all is free and widely available: water. Yet, many Americans struggle to adequately hydrate. Marathoners, however, know that without hydration they'll never make it to the starting line, much less the finishing tape. Hydrating requires two basic components: a vessel to carry your water in and a commitment to drinking/replenishing your water supply. You are more likely to be hydrated if you're cognizant of how much water you're drinking in a day.
An easy way to keep track of your hydration is to begin each day by putting stickers on your water bottle. The number of stickers should be determined by the amount of water you aim to drink. Thus, if you want to drink the FDA recommended 2-liters of water per day, you'll need to put the number of stickers on your bottle that correspond to this amount. Every time you empty your water bottle, remove one of the stickers. When all the stickers are gone, you've reached your goal.