Sometimes it seems like there are two kinds of people in the world: there are the super-fit P90X-ing, CrossFitting, UFC Training fitness gods, and then there are the rest of us. Sure, you had plans to get motivated and get pumped, but life got in the way. Now you find yourself squeezing in a workout here and there, blending protein shakes in the office blender during your breaks, and fantasizing about the next time you can get some proper time in the squat rack. Don’t despair. There are a number of little things you can do to get yourself back on track. One day you will have the time you need to workout to your heart’s content. Unfortunately, that time will probably come when you are unemployed. Until that bittersweet day arrives, we have some tips to get you doing your best with the time you have. These are 7 Simple Steps to a Healthier Week.
No. 7 – Don’t Let Your Portions Get Out of Proportion
There is a popular notion out there that you should eat 5 or 6 small meals a day rather than the traditional 3. It turns out that the jury is still out on this one. The important thing is not necessarily how many meals you eat, but that you don’t overeat. The reason that 5 or 6 feedings a day has been effective for many people is because it encourages you to regulate what you are eating. When many of us say we eat 3 meals a day, what we are really saying is “I skip breakfast, starve until I bloat myself on McDonalds on a late lunch, grab a bag of chips on the way home, and binge on pasta before I go to sleep.” Obviously, that’s not good for anyone. If you plan your meals and don’t overindulge, it won’t matter if you eat 4, 6, or 8 meals a day. Okay, maybe 8 is a bit much, but you get the idea.
Stacking Kitchen Tool Kit at Snow Peak.
No. 6 - Drink Water
You don’t drink enough water. The same is true of pretty much all of us. You’ve probably been given the cliché advice, “Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.” This is almost right. If you do that, you’ll be drinking about 2 liters of water on the daily. The Mayo Clinic advises you to drink at least 3 liters of “total beverages” every 24 hours. Yes, it would probably be good if 2 liters of those were water. Also, let’s be real: it would also be good if the majority of those liquids weren’t Mountain Dew, beer, and Four Loko.
Stainless steel water bottle at Mizu.
No. 5 - Eat Fruits and Vegetables
We know. We know. You are just as sick of hearing this as we are. There is a reason that this advice has been drilled into your head since you’ve been alive. It matters. The CDC recommends that half of your plate be fruits and vegetables during any meal. Considering the male proclivity towards two pound porterhouse steaks, that is a ton of greenery. Stop making excuses, get down to the fruitstand, and spend four dollars on a cantaloupe and some string beans instead of buying another mocha frappacino.
No. 4 – Take the Stairs
We aren’t here to tell you that taking the stairs or walking to work is any substitute for a real fitness regimen. Jillian Michaels famously said, “when someone tells you just take the stairs – it is a false message of lethargy.” Harsh words Jill. She’s right though. Don’t use this as a substitute for your work out, but incorporate little ways to get fresh air and feel fit throughout your day.
No. 3 - Take a Multi-Vitamin
It’s really funny: it is so easy for young men to motivate themselves to go down to GNC to pick up tons of protein supplements, but they often forget or choose not to buy themselves a multi-vitamin. The most common argument is that people think they are already eating healthy enough. Science tells us otherwise. 50% of the US population has at least marginal nutritional deficiencies and 80% consume less than the daily allowance of vitamins and minerals. For those of you no longer on Mom and Dad’s health insurance, you can view this as one of the best preventative health measures you can take.
Before you go coughing up the hard earned cash on Flintstone’s chewables, remember, not all vitamins are created equal. Just because you are getting the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA), doesn’t mean you are getting the most mileage out of your supplement. As usual, the internet is here to help. There are numerous articles like this one ready to recommend the best vitamin for you.
Multi-Vitamin from Nature Made.
No. 2 – Switch up your Fitness Routine
If you read Sneaker Report, you are probably the kind of person who likes to hit the gym or the track on a regular basis. Even those among us who are active gym rats can get complacent in our routine. You should be setting specific goals in the gym that will push you to where you want to go. Not only does this mean adding weight or reps, sometimes it means changing your workout entirely. Experts recommend that you switch up your workout up pretty frequently, every 3-4 weeks for seasoned lifters and every six weeks for beginners. We’ve notice an added bonus when we switch up our gym game. You might just find yourself more excited to hit the gym because you aren’t doing the same routine you’ve done every few days for the last six months.
MedBell Collection at Perform Better.
No. 1 - Get The Right Amount of Sleep
Notice we didn’t say “get enough sleep.” We have been told time and time again to get 7-8 hours of sleep when possible. But, we also know that with an active lifestyle this is often impossible. For many of us, our life begins when we get home from work. Whether that means a long gym session, a hot date, or pursuing what we “really want to do,” you can often come up short on slumber.
What you probably didn’t know is that it is also important when you sleep. Your body is going to develop your circadian rhythm by knowing when it is time to go to sleep and when it is time to wake up. You probably have different schedules on different days of the week. For example, you might wake up at 6 am throughout the work week, but you may sleep until noon after that bender on the weekend. Surprisingly, your body doesn’t like this. We aren’t saying that you should stop partying, but try to add some consistency to when you wake up in the morning if possible.