Really, it's that easy!
Sit down at any local Starbucks and chances are you'll hear someone talking about how they want to be more fit or giving advice on the topic. Meanwhile, they are chugging away their fourth Double Chocolate Chip Creme Frappuccino Blended Creme with Whip and can't figure out why they get two hours of sleep at night. So to kick things off, sit back, relax, and get a tall glass of water.
1) Drink Water
Believe it or not, water is a must. First off, the human body is about 55-60% water and with every breath you take, you become dehydrated. The ole time saying is 64 ounces of water a day. There are many different variables such as the environment, activity level, pregnancy, and others. So to hide the fact there is not a universal amount, let's go with 64 ounces. Probably a good time to take a sip of that water.
Main Point: At least 64 ounces of water a day. Cheers!
2) Eat Healthy
What the heck does that mean?! Between keto, intermittent fasting, IIFYM, Atkins, Mediterranean, and all the other diets, you can justify eating just about anything. The one thing that virtually every diet preaches, in one way or another, is portion control. Whatever lifestyle eating habits you have, stay with it. Believe it or not, it is okay to break the diet and have a cheat meal. If it makes you feel any better, some diets/lifestyles even encourage this and call it a "refeed" meal. Just don't make it a refeed week, month, or year!
Main Point: Be mindful of what you are eating!
Whoop, there it is. If exercise has never been your thing, start small. A ten-minute walk will get you headed in the right direction. It is important to do strength training as well as aerobics. That's right, cardio. If you loathe cardio, think of it as strength training for your heart! With a strength training program, you'll not only look better, but you will feel better and have more energy throughout the day. Exercise leads to a stronger immune system and skeletal system, which means less sick days and less broken bones!
Don't know where to start at the gym? There are plenty of resources out there. Contact a friend and go with them; working out with a buddy is scientifically proven to be twice as fun. Okay, I lied, it's not proven, but it can be fun! Hiring a personal trainer is another solution. Many gyms offer free training sessions. A personal trainer will not only make you stronger, but make sure you are safe.
Main Point: Start building strength or you might need to walk around with a "fragile" box.
That's right, not only am I suggesting you move more, you should also move less! When our muscles are put to use, they accumulate micro tears, very tiny rips of the muscle. This is completely natural and healthy because when the tears repair, the muscle becomes stronger. However, this occurs while we sleep, so it's very important to get quality sleep. It is recommended 7-8 hours of sleep each night. tips for a good night's sleep include getting the room as dark as possible, as well as turning off all electronics an hour before bedtime. Wait, bedtime... I haven't had a bedtime since I was 7. Well my dear friend, getting the body in a rhythm allows your hormones to work at their best. Consider trying to go to bed around the same time every night for a month. It might stick, it might not. Can't hurt though right?
Ever feel tired during the day? A 20 minute power nap in the middle of the day has a lot of researched benefits as well! Although a 1-2 hour nap might sound fantastic, our bodies are not set up that way. you might have found you wake up just as tired as you were before. 20 minute nap is the secret to life. Okay, it's not that big of a deal, but give it a whirl sometime, you'll see
Main Point: Sleep for 8 hours at night and go to bed around the same time.
One step at a time. I love the quote for two reasons. 1) It's rare to become an expert at anything in one day. Anytime you start a new task, there is a learning curve and it takes time to get good at it. 2) If you take more than one step at a time, that is a hop. Can you imagine hopping all day? I'd rather not, one step at a time for me.
Any change you make needs time. Most benefits take some time to develop. It takes 21 days to build a habit, so whatever changes you make, try for at least 3 weeks.
Now there are plenty other topics I could have included but these are 5 very important ones. Don't forget about your social life, mental health, hobbies, and balance! Life is supposed to be fun, so let it be fun.
Author: Alex Strahle
Personal Trainer at 517 Fitness