3 Basic principles for a healthier lifestyle…

Anyone who knows me knows that not only do I love fitness, but also I’ve made health and fitness part of my lifestyle.  I love to move my body in multiple ways that involve sports and weight training with compound movements using multiple muscle groups.  Often I find myself changing my routines from body building workouts, to strength training, SAQ drills (speed, agility, quickness) core strengthening, body weight movements and yoga.  These are just some of the types of workouts that I enjoy doing during my training; I like variety.

In addition to my workouts I make sure my nutrition intake is well balanced by eliminating processed food, soda, sugar, starchy carbs as well as reducing my meat intake and alcohol consumption.  My nutrition regimen includes plenty of wild fish, legumes, fruits and veggies especially the green leafy kind.  By no means is my nutrition perfect, nor am I perfect when it comes to enjoying a social life with friends and family over some burgers (veggie J) and beers.  But I count those as cheat days; it’s never good to deprive yourself of the good things in life once in a while.  Every choice I make to eat or drink something comes with me knowing that the very next day I’m back on my grind with my workouts and nutrition.

I wish I can say everything about my nutrition and workouts are flawless; that my body fat percentage is 10% but its not.  But what I’m here to say is anyone can get healthy and fit by 3 basic principles which I use to build and maintain a healthy and fit lifestyle. 

1.     Move more - People it’s that simple; move more than you do now.  The body is designed to move, to walk, run, twist, climb and jump.  Get up and go for a walk every morning before work, after dinner, during lunch.  Go walk 30 minutes to an hour and make no excuses, go the day after new years, on your birthday, the morning of Christmas and your days off from work.  Move more, breathe more, stretch more; do these things after dinner instead of sitting on the couch stagnant and immobile trust me your body will thank you for it.

2.     Eat real food – By real food I mean food that has not been processed by man, packaged with preservatives, additives, artificial ingredients labeled as “natural flavors and ingredients”.  Eat food that is grown by Mother Nature, fresh organic veggies and unprocessed meats from animals free of GMO’s, hormones and chemicals.  Eat fresh wild fish and avoid farmed raised when possible.  Sure you might spend a little extra money on these healthy alternatives vs the subsidized priced prepackaged processed foods.  It is an investment in you and your families’ health.  Invest in your health now and reduce the doctor bills later for high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, depression, anxiety, fatigue, digestive and several other health issues related to poor nutrition.

3.     Sleep – Turn the TV off, put the phone down and disconnect at least an hour or more prior to bedtime.  Allow the body to get sleepy, to shut down, to rest and recover.  Televisions, phones and computers all have screens which emit lights that trick our minds into thinking that its daytime by suppressing melatonin, a hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain that helps control your sleep and wake cycles.  Allow your body to sleep deeply for at least 7 hours or more if possible.  Deep sleep is the body’s way to recharge, recover, rejuvenate and replace the burned cells from our body earlier in the day to regenerate new ones.  Notice the trend here with these “RE” words.  All of these synonyms mean really the same thing when we’re speaking of the body.  Renew, invigorate, revive, restore, bounce back, breathe new life, reenergize.   All positive words meaning great things for our bodies, our minds, our souls and our health.  Take naps during the day for 10 to 20 minutes you’ll give your body a bounce in your step that it needs.  There is a reason we call them power naps, it give us a quick recharge to get us back on track. 

These 3 principles are the stepping-stones to build a foundation to a healthier and fitter lifestyle.  These are all principles that work, as long you want it bad enough.  We all want to achieve success in this world, earn a good income so one day we can have a family, buy a house, a car, maybe start a business, travel but what good is it to achieve all of this when we can’t enjoy it to the fullest because our health is not where it should be. 

This is the journey on which you can build upon, learn from and become better than yesterday.  A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.  These are the steps we must take.  Take these steps today and make it part of your lifestyle then build upon it one brick at a time to become a stronger version of you. 

The 80/20 rule...

Let's face it, getting in shape is not easy.  Whether we are trying to lose a few pounds, build more muscle or run a marathon we’re going to have to work hard and understand we will have good days and bad days.  Some days we’ll feel like we can conquer the world and other days the world is beating down on us.  I’ve seen so may people especially those new to fitness give it their all, 100% only to last a couple of weeks, if not days.  Why do they only last a short period of time?  Well more than likely they haven’t adopted fitness as a lifestyle or even pace themselves as they embark on this fitness journey.  So what happens next? They burn themselves out faster than they ignited the flame.  This happens when you over commit by setting your goals too high.  They miss a workout here and there, have a bad food day and just like that the flame has gone cold. 

This is where my 80/20 rule comes into play.  Its simple, you commit 80% of the time and leave the 20% for the off days.  Why this works is simply because we are humans and humans are imperfect. The intent is there to be 100% at life, training and nutrition but if they miss a workout or indulge in a happy hour and wings, they feel like they’ve completely failed. That’s why I tell my clients its ok to have a glass of wine, or a cup of ice cream or even take the day off.  As long as you stick to the plan 80% of the time they’ll be successful. It works for me and it’ll work for you as well.

Derrick the trainer