Modern culture makes us think we have to do everything the “hard” way. Work it out for a living, lift the heaviest weight to show off at the gym, cut out all carbs to lose fat, and the list can go on.
All those HARD things are working well, and most people can’t sustain the results because they can’t sustain the efforts day in and day out. Fitness and nutrition can become a constant back-and-forth phenomenon that causes frustration, fatigue and loss of self-confidence.
All harmful to our health in the short and long term.
You might be thinking, well, if dieting and intense exercise aren’t the paths to long-term success, why are they so popular?
Marketing and Quick Fixes
The marketing of fast results, cheap introductory programs that promise weight loss, healthy meals delivered in no time, and everything we think will make our lives easier and healthier. This creates an even tougher battle for people. I should know.
I struggled with this when I first started trying to improve my nutrition. I didn’t follow any carb craze and lost 18 pounds in about a month. The problem for me was carbs. Our body’s #1 ENERGY source, so I didn’t have much willpower to stay consistent with my workouts, and on cheat days, I ate way too much for one person to even consume for the whole a cheating weekend. All because my body was craving a nutrient it had been fueling for my entire life.
A few people are successful with these all-or-nothing, all-in-one approaches to weight loss, but I’ve seen more people enjoy their daily lives and achieve long-term success by incorporating fitness and wellness into their way of life.
Some people are used to drinking soda all day and not exercising, and others are used to drinking water first thing in the morning and walking their dog. Daily and repeated daily choices become individual habits and routines. These routines shape our life experiences and, ultimately, our health.
To help you keep things simple, choose some of the following lifestyle habits that you can incorporate into your daily routine that will improve your health in the short and long term.
First of all:
Besides the fact that WHAT what you do nutritionally in the morning, make sure it’s a choice that aligns with your visions for your health. For some, that may mean preparing a full and colorful breakfast. For others, it might be a smoothie packed with fruits, vegetables, and protein to fuel you for the day. Make sure that what you eat first in your day starts with hydrating (water), adding things that have some color (fruits/vegetables) and is at least a full serving of protein (15- 30g). A good rule of thumb is to focus on natural foods like whole grains, eggs, and fruit. This habit will prepare you mentally and physically for healthier lifestyle choices throughout the day.
Do at least one physical thing outside daily:
Recently I took a trip to San Diego with my family. When I travel, I like to observe the culture and enjoy the local coffee. In the morning we walked around the seaside town and had coffee/breakfast. I quickly understood some healthy lifestyle trends. Lots of people were walking dogs, riding bikes, skateboarding, or carrying a surfboard. Californians always do things outside because the weather is so nice, and in AZ we tend to avoid the outdoors if the conditions aren’t ideal. I mean, I know at least I know.
Here’s your chance to turn the tide by dressing for the current temperature in your area. Spend at least 15 minutes outside doing something you enjoy. Sunlight has been proven to help improve physical and mental health, and movement will be just as effective as time in the gym. Go for a walk, start that garden you’ve been dreaming of, or eliminate that yard job you’ve been meaning to go to, and have fun while you’re at it.
Make your lunch menu worth waiting for:
We fail to properly fuel our bodies when we don’t plan for the next meal to come, and I see that far too often with busy professionals, and of course I fail sometimes too. We all know Tuesday leftovers don’t taste great on Fridays. Do your future self a favor and plan a delicious lunch each day. Check out these tailored office lunches provided by My Fitness Pal. If you’re going to work from home, pack lunch and make a double serving, so you can take it to the office the next day. Another tip is to spend a few minutes after cleaning up dinner preparing lunch for the next few days. You can even do this while watching your favorite show.
Join a health club:
There’s something about going to a health club that just can’t be duplicated with an at-home workout. The motivating atmosphere, access to equipment, trainers, group classes and amenities make physical practice a unique and engaging experience. If you can schedule two or three settlement steps each week, the financial investment in your membership will be worth it.
You don’t have to be heavy to see exponential results. Implement one of the above habits one at a time. The important thing is to find your groove that gives you the results you desire.
the 4 Your health blog is for working men and women who want to incorporate health and fitness into their daily lives. Together we will get there!
Your health partner,
PS Whenever you’re ready, here are a few weeks where I can help you and your team improve their health and your company engage its people in a meaningful way:
Set up Workday movement breaks!
Are you looking to set up daily physical activity for your staff? Not sure if people will participate? This program kicks off in June, so there’s plenty of time to learn more and train your team. Learn more about our Movement break program here.
Take Our Corporate Wellness Scorecard
Are you curious about where your organization stands from a wellness perspective? I use a simple dashboard tool to determine your current level of wellness readiness and the best next steps for improvement. Email me with “Scorecard” in the subject line, and I’ll provide you with all the details.