By Eric Martinez
If you struggle with consistency, motivation, or just need a plain old push in the right direction then this list is for you. One of the toughest battles we face daily is our mental toughness, which potentially leads to lack of nutrition, exercise efficiency, and a whole lot of other issues. I know there are endless myths and recommendations to improve your health, but which do you trust and why? So, ask yourself what do I have to lose by trying these 5 tips out?
1. Think Less
Generally, most people looking to improve their health and fitness have a common theme. It’s not weight loss, muscle gain, or improving their diet. It’s paralysis by analysis. Healthy living has become so complex and frustrating for so many people, instead of it being small and simple daily life decisions, we turn it into this huge ordeal. People need to stop sweating the small things and focus on the big picture. Start simple and eat more natural foods: fruits, veggies, lean protein sources, and healthy fats. It can be a struggle for certain people to eat these kinds of foods, simply swap them out gradually if needed. Make sure to find an eating schedule that works for you, whether its 3 or 6 meals, find a way to space them out at least 4-6 hours to let your body digest all the proper nutrients. Limit the processed foods and refined sugars and hit the gym at least 3 times of week, and give it 100% when doing so. Most importantly, find a training routine you are interested in, do not just follow a trend or else you will lose focus and interest. Try different things, maybe sports if necessary to give you that push, at the end of the day exercise is exercise and it’s 1% better to living a healthier life, bottom line. When you think too much, you often don’t take action. So start slow and I promise it will be effective and you will gradually get a feel for what your short, medium, and long term goals will be.
2. Track your progress
A Very simple action everyone is capable of taking is being accountable for what they do. You must track your progress daily when training. We are in the gym to get results, in order to get results we must track our progress to see where we are and where we need to improve day in day out. From personal experience, I never used to have a training journal, and I learned the hard way, it was one of the worst mistakes I made. By tracking your reps, sets, weight, and how you feel will put you one step ahead of the game. There is nothing better than looking back at where you started and how much you have progressed. So, get a basic journal or use your handy dandy smart phone to track your progress.
3. Reward yourself
In every area of life, we create an expectation that good performance will yield some additional benefit. In your personal life, it’s a grand vacation. In your occupation, it’s a demanded raise. Health and fitness should be no different; we work hard on our bodies mentally and physically day in and day out. As I said earlier you should be setting short, medium, and long term goals, then rewarding yourself with things that matter most to you or bring you joy. Not only does this concept remind you that you have done a great job, it gives you more motivation for your next goal. It is ok to bribe yourself, at the end of the day if it helps you eat better and keeps you in the gym consistently then by all means bribe away.
4. Read Food Labels
This is very crucial when going grocery shopping; many of us make the mistake of not taking 30 seconds to a minute to read food labels and ingredients in what we purchase. If you haven’t noticed our wonderful Government and FDA love to market healthy foods for their consumers. The thing is, most of what they market and say is healthy, is not! It is all processed, chemical injected garbage. Taking the time to read your food labels can really make an impact on your health. For example, when buying Wheat bread, make sure the ingredients say “Whole Wheat Flour” and not “Enriched Wheat Flour”. Buying enriched wheat flour is as good as buying regular white bread, it’s not real wheat! Another example is to watch out for the refined sugars, such as “High Fructose Corn Syrup and Sucralose”. These are pretty much the same as table sugar, sugar is the devil! Make sure you read the food labels and ingredients; you never really know what manufacturers are putting in food these days. If you can’t spend a little extra time checking labels and ingredients while grocery shopping, then reduce your daily Facebook time.
5. Challenge Your Beliefs
We all have our personal preferences, and that’s fine. Many of us are stubborn about our ways and what we believe in. In today’s world, I truly believe you must have an open mind, many people are close minded and very ignorant, and I am really not sure why. There are so many different trends in the health and fitness industry; at the end of the day you are the one that has to make the choice of which to follow and why it’s most optimal for you. Keeping an open mind will make these decisions that much easier for you to make. The way to improve health globally is to improve education and reduce ignorance. I am constantly learning new things and many of the things I knew yesterday won’t necessarily be true tomorrow. I am ok admitting I am wrong about something, as long as I am informed and can help make people live a better and healthier life. Fitness and science is constantly evolving, we must evolve as well, we have to understand that and accept it. Challenge your beliefs and always have an open mind ladies and gents!
“Live A Dynamic Lifestyle”