Tuesday, January 27, 2015

My Tips For a Healthier, More Fit You for Life!

We have all seen the commercials on TV and the banner ads online:

-The secrets to being fit like Hollywood stars
-The Ten Facts of Fitness
-Three stage weight loss formula
-How to get ripped in 25 minutes a day

There is a lot of  people who want you to spend money on their products and you have to hope that what they promise is true for you.  These gimmicks may work, but not for everyone.  Some of these "fitness facts" are manipulative to entice you to buy a product.

The truth is that the real key to being fit and healthy is based in what you do every day, not in the products you take or whose workout program you use.  So instead of trying to sell you on a product or program, let me give you my fitness tips to live by that you can use the rest of your life:

1. Drink More Water!
Did you know that over 60 percent of the human body is H2O?  In fact, your brain and heart are composed of 73 percent water.  But as a society people spend so much time drinking coffee, soda, juice, and alcohol then forget they need clean water for their body to function.  Many people who suffer headaches, dizziness, inability to focus and muscle cramps it's  because they are not hydrated enough.

Here is what I recommend: when you wake up each morning, drink 6-8 oz of water first thing.  This will jump start the re-hydration of the body after hours of your body recovering during sleep.  Just drinking coffee in the morning is not enough because while the caffeine is a quick jump start for increased blood circulation, water first thing stabilizes the functionality of the brain and other organs.  Then through out the day, attempt to consume a gallon of water.  This seems extreme but over the course of the 12-18 hours per day you average being awake, drinking a little every 15-30 minutes some water will go along way to maintaining your body is hydrated through out the day.

2.Eat Good, Feel Good
Sounds too good to be true?  Well the food you eat every day has a profound affect on how your body functions.  The higher quality food you eat can directly correlate the better you will feel.  This sounds simple but in truth we live in a world with fast food places every few miles and "deals" at the supermarket on over processed foods.
So here are my solutions for you to eat better every day:

-If your great-great-grandparents wouldn't recognize it as food, then you don't need it.  There are tens of thousands of food dishes that have been around for centuries that are full of quality foods with macro-nutrients your body needs.  If something doesn't "taste any good" maybe it was made wrong; the solution isn't to drown all your food under condiments that pump your body full of sodium and preservatives it doesn't need.

-The 80/20 rule: 80 percent of the time eat healthy while treating yourself 20 percent of the week.  This method is proven to be healthy and help you with whatever your health and fitness goals may be.  The biggest problem with many of the fad/crash diets is that the initial shock to your system is not sustainable for your health.  But if you "treat yourself" infrequently, your metabolism will recognize what you are trying to do and will learn to function more efficiently.

3. Fruits, Vegetables, Protein, then everything else
When you eat enough fruits, vegetables, and protein you get valuable nutrients your body needs while also eating food that satiates hunger cravings.  When you eat until your stomach is satisfied you will have less room for "bad food" that you have become so accustomed to cramming your meals with.  Protein doesn't have to just be animal products; beans and nuts are also solid forms of protein.  So next time you order out or make a meal at home, make sure you are getting some fruits and/or vegetables along with protein every time you eat.  You will find over time you will feel better and by habit be less likely to grab snacks/desert so quickly

4. Exercise 4-6 days per week for about an hour per day
We all have busy schedules and we tend to think we don't have time for exercise.  The reality is that we have time for what we prioritize in life: our favorite TV shows, going out to the bar, playing Facebook games, etc.  All the stuff we cram into our days, but how much of it is truly "necessary"?  Prioritizing your your health is necessary for living a happy and functional life.  Exercising once a day 4-6 days per week only takes up 4-5 percent of your week.

Also being physically active consistently doesn't mean you have to lift weights or go run every day; do activities you enjoy half of the week then take the other days doing something that is challenging.  If you enjoy running or playing a sport, do that consistently every week, then take a couple days to do some strength based exercises.  Or if you love to pump iron, find a couple days per week to get in some cardio or balance exercises.  The more variety you have in your week with exercise, the more functional your body will be and the better your body will respond to the fitness regimen you are practicing.

5. Surround yourself with good people who support that you want to better your life
Being healthy and fit isn't a program you do for 90 days, its a lifestyle choice.  With any lifestyle choice your environment has a significant impact on you.  Many times when we want to better ourselves, whether professionally, physically, or socially there will be people who we thought were our friends and supporters who over time show their true colors because they dislike what we are turning into.  Whether this dislike is based on jealousy, insecurity, disdain, or resentment, the outcome is the same: they put us down.  Sometimes its passive aggressive with sarcastic humor or singling us out of the crowd for our lifestyle.  Or it can be overt with criticisms of what we are willing to do to achieve our goals.  These people who are suppose to be friends and supporters now want to bring you back down to their level because you are no longer one of them.

The solution is a hard one: change your environment, socially and privately.  You will never reach your goals of improving your life on any level if you are being held back by others.  You need to surround yourself with people who support you, offer constructive criticism and want the best for you.  If you want to be healthy and fit, you have to socialize with like minded people.  You cant be healthy, both physically and mentally, when surrounded by negative people who constantly criticize you and think your dreams are "stupid" or "unnecessary".  When you remove all the people and environmental influences that hold you back, you can be more clear of mind to make better decisions; then surrounding yourself with positive, motivated, driven individuals will uplift you to want to exceed even your own dreams and expectations.

Following these principles will not just help you to be more healthy and fit, but also will improve your overall quality of life.  And don't we all want to have happier, better lives?

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