Modern culture has us thinking we need to do everything the “hard” way. Grind it out to make a living, lift the heaviest weight to show off in the gym, cut out all carbs to drop fat, and the list can go on and out.
All those HARD things work well, and most people can’t sustain the results because they cannot sustain the efforts day after day. Fitness and nutrition can become a constant off and on phenomenon that causes frustration, fatigue, and decreased confidence in oneself.
All harmful to our health in the short and long term.
You might be thinking, well, if dieting and hardcore exercise aren’t the routes for long-term success, why are they so popular?
Marketing & Quick Fixes
The marketing of quick results, cheap intro programs that promise weight loss, delivered diet meals that take no time, and all the stuff that we think will make our lives easier and healthier. This is creating an even more uphill battle for people. I should know.
I struggled with this when I first started to try and improve my nutrition. I followed no carbs craze and dropped 18 pounds in about a month. The problem for me was carbohydrates. Our bodies’ #1 source of ENERGY, so I didn’t have much willpower to stay consistent with my workouts, and on cheat days, I would eat far too much for one person to consume even in an entire cheat weekend. All because my body was craving a nutrient that it had been getting its fuel from for my entire life.
A few people succeed with these all-or-nothing and all-in approaches to weight loss, but I’ve seen more people enjoy their daily life and succeed long term by making fitness and wellness a part of their lifestyle.
Some people have a habit of drinking soda all day long and not doing any exercise, and others have a habit of drinking water first thing in the morning and walking their dogs. Both daily choices and repeated daily become individual habits and routines. These routines shape our life experiences and, ultimately, our health.
To help you keep things simple, pick a few of the following lifestyle habits that you can sneak into your daily routine that will improve your health in the short and long term.
First things first:
Regardless of WHAT you do nutrition-wise in the morning, make sure it’s a choice that aligns with your visions for your health. For some, it might be making a full, colorful breakfast. For others, it may be a smoothie packed with fruits, veggies, and protein to fuel you up for the day. Make sure what you consume first in your day begins with hydrating (water), add to it some things that have some color (fruit/veggies), and is at least a whole serving of protein (15-30g). A good rule of thumb is to focus on natural foods like whole grains, eggs, and fruits. This habit will set you up both mentally and physically for more healthy lifestyle choices throughout your day.
Do at least one thing physical outdoors daily:
Recently, I took a trip to San Diego with my family. When I travel, I like to observe the culture and enjoy local coffee. In the mornings, we would walk around the beach town and grab a coffee/breakfast out. I quickly picked up on some healthy, lifestyle trends. Many people were walking dogs, riding bikes, skateboarding, or carrying a surfboard. The locals in California are always doing things outdoors because the weather is so beautiful, and in AZ we tend to avoid the outdoors if conditions aren’t ideal. I mean I know at least I do.
Here’s your chance to flip the script by dressing for the current temperature in your area. Spend at least 15 minutes outdoors doing something you enjoy. Sunlight is proven to help improve physical and mental health, and the movement will be just as effective as time spent in the gym. Go for a walk, start that garden you’ve been dreaming of, or knock out that yard work that you’ve been meaning to get to and have FUN while you’re at it.
Make your lunch menu worth looking forward to:
We fail at fueling our bodies properly when we don’t plan for the next meal to come, and I see this far too often with busy professionals, and I of course fail at it sometimes too. We all know the leftovers from Tuesday are not appetizing on Friday. Do your future self a favor and plan for a tasty lunch each day. Check out these fit-minded desk lunches provided by My Fitness Pal. If you get to work from home, make lunch and do a double serving, so you can bring it to the office the next day. Another trick is to spend a few minutes after cleaning up dinner making lunch for the next few days. You can even do it while watching your favorite show.
Join a Health Club:
There is 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 physically going in a unique and engaging experience. If you can schedule two or three steps at the facility each week, the financial investment in your membership will be well worth it.
It doesn’t need to be a heavy lift 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 plug health and fitness into their everyday life. Together we’ll get there!
Your partner in health,
P.S. Whenever you’re ready,,, here are a few weeks I can help you and your team improve their health and company engage their people in a meaningful way:
Implement Workday Movement Breaks!
Are you looking to implement workday physical activity for your staff? Not sure if people will participate? This program kicks off in June so theres plenty of time to learn more and education 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 wellbeing perspective? I use a simple scorecard tool to determine your current stage of wellness readiness and the best next steps to improve. Email me with “Score Card” in the subject line, and I will get you all the details.