I had the privilege of speaking for a group of women last night. The local American Business Women’s Association invited me to join their January meeting and talk about something fitness/health related. After I scrapped my first few ideas, I decided to go with some basic strategies they could follow to help them healthier lives. I think it went well, and I had a really good time. (Plus I got my dinner paid for by them so no complaints from me!)
Anyway, I thought I would share these strategies with all of you.
1. Have a Plan.
Through my observations, I’ve found that most people show up to the gym with little to no idea as to what they are going to do. “Hmm, what do I feel like? Chest? Back? Maybe I’ll blast my biceps!” Making things up as you go along is a great way to get no where. To ensure you get the most out of your training, know what you are going to do before you get there. I plan my clients training a month at a time, which means that when we start a new program, i can tell them what they will be doing for the next four weeks. Most gym-goers don’t know what they will be doing in the next 5 minutes. Have a plan. Know what you want to accomplish and how you’re going to go about getting there. (Side note, if you ever encounter a trainer that seems to be making things up as you go along, I would find a new trainer.)
2. Plan ahead.
This may seem like it’s the same as #1, and it a lot of ways it is, but I’m rewording it to make a different point. I’ve discussed before about the importance of planing meals in advance. My wife and I plan our meals for the week on Sunday afternoon and then go shopping so we have everything we need to make those meals. 99% of the time, we stick to the meals we have planned. there’s something about planning for things that makes it much easier to stick to them. If you know what you are going to eat for dinner, and you already have everything you need to make that dinner, you’re probably going to eat it. I don’t think I need to mention it, but I will just in case-plan healthy meals. Don’t plan on a Big Mac and fries.
The other thing with this is-make extra. Having leftovers gives you a healthy lunch for the next day.
3. Take a lunch.
This piggybacks on the last point in #2. Taking a lunch to work ensures you will eat a healthy meal during the day (as long as the lunch you take is healthy). People tend to make quick stops at fast food places because it’s easy and cheap. Avoid this temptation. If you take a lunch with you to work (or if you’re going shopping for the day), you will be a lot better off, and your body will be thanking you for it.
4. Eat like a caveman/cavewoman.
The basic point with this is, if you can’t kill it or grow it-don’t eat it. Now obviously most people are never going to not eat anything that can’t be killed or grown (myself included), but if 80% of your diet is made up of things that could have been eaten thousands of years ago, you will have no trouble staying lean. Our modern diets are made up of processed and refined foods that cause irritation, inflammation and all kinds of trouble within our bodies. Think of raw, natural foods (lean meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds) and make up most of your diet from these foods.
As a society, we’ve forgotten what it’s like to be active. We sit at work. We sit at home. We go out to eat or go to a club and sit, sit, sit. Sitting is pretty much how we spend most of our days. Don’t underestimate the role that simply playing can play. Going for a bike ride, going for a walk, playing tag with you kids or grandkids; all of these kind of activities can play a critical role in your health and overall well being. Playing and enjoying life does wonders for the body, mind and soul.
Hopefully you find these strategies helpful and begin to apply them to your daily lives.