The key word here is “simple” not easy.
“Every morning you have two choices: Continue to sleep with your dreams or wake up and chase your dreams. The choice is yours.” — Anonymous
EDITORIAL DISCLAIMER: Any advice or recommendation given in my writing is what works for ME and may not be the best regimen for you based on your psychological or physiological makeup and stability. Please consult a doctor when making decisions about your health.
These days everyone wants something as quick and as easy as possible.
It started with the seven-minute ab craze in which people really thought they could get the body they desired by only working out for seven minutes per day.
You see it with other plans as well, as everyone is excited about something that will give them quick results without promising they have to do a lot of work for it.
The reality is that it’s just not that easy.
However, there are four simple things that if you are willing to do them, you’ll have the chance to get into the best shape of your life.
Stop drinking /cut back on alcohol
This first one can be a doozy for many.
It’s hard for many people to consider a life without alcohol, but to give yourself a chance at being in great shape (especially at an older age), you have to consider this as a possibility.
The reality is that as long as you allow alcohol to dictate your decision-making and overall success in life, it is going to be very difficult to reach peak physical fitness.
The other reality is the older you get, the worse alcohol is for your overall health in general.
While I know some people may argue that some athletes or superstars are able to do it, the reality is that they have tons of money to buy the best trainers, chefs, or nannies/chauffeurs to ensure the only thing they have to focus on is their health.
For the average person, who has to eat what they can cook quickly, can only get a work out for about 30 minutes per day, and is constantly doing this, that, and the other as a parent, this is not a fair comparison.
Therefore, if you want to give yourself the best chance at getting and staying in shape, giving up, or at least significantly cutting back on alcohol,(no more than one to two drinks at a time) is the only way to go.
Stop eating / cut back on sugar
This is a second doozy for a lot of people, but this may be worse than alcohol in the grand scheme of things.
Excessive alcohol drinking can still take 10–15 years or longer to catch up with you as it relates to becoming a serious health risk for your liver and heart.
On the other hand, if you eat excessive sugar for about a five year period, you could be at risk for type- 2 diabetes and the host of problems that come with it.
Outside of that, the effect that sugar can have on weight gain is tremendous, as it has a tendency to change form into fat once it lays dormant in your body for some time.
Read about how sugar is so damaging to your fitness goals
While that second piece of cheesecake was satisfying at the time, the way it can quickly turn into fat and affect your overall body’s metabolism can be devastating to your weight loss goals.
If you are able to abstain or at least significantly reduce the amount of sugar you consume, you will see amazing results.
Workout at least 30 minutes six days per week
When does 3 hours not equal 3 hours?
When you break it up to build consistency and habits.
Some people like to go to the gym and work out for hours on end, and while that is a noble cause, the chances of keeping such a high level of dedication day after day can be really challenging in the face of all the different responsibilities we have in our lives.
Instead, it will probably be much easier for someone to reengineer their mindset by working out for less time but MORE consistently over an extended amount of time.
This is also much better for your heart, as a recent study found that 4–5 days per week is much better than 2–3 as it relates to keeping your heart healthy.
From a psyche perspective, when you only work out every other day (3 days per week) for an hour or so, you will find yourself trying to find different reasons to switch up where and at what time you will workout.
You will have to pull yourself to the gym some days because your body will think about how good it felt to not work out the day before.
Since you are only working out 3 out of the 7 days of the week, it will still feel like something you have to do as opposed to something that you just do because it’s part of your routine.
However, when you commit to working out six days per week and don’t allow anything to stop you from doing so, you’ll find that working out becomes a part of who you are, and the one day that you don’t work out will feel like the odd day out.
By working out 6 days for 30 minutes instead of 3 days for one hour, you are building a habit that your body will latch on to and begin to push you to go workout even when you might not feel like it.
The last added potential benefit is if you work out each morning, you’ll also kickstart your metabolism for the day and burn more calories — a bonus win.
Get at least seven hours of sleep each night
Take your a** to bed.
So many people truly underestimate the importance of sleep as it relates to their overall health, and one important aspect of that is your fitness.
Getting enough sleep is important to allow your body the time to digest calories as well as recover from the workout.
When you get enough sleep, your body works more optimally in a number of different ways that are important to your overall fitness.
Read about why getting enough sleep is so important to your fitness goals
First, if you aren’t tired when you wake up in the morning, you are much more inclined to feel excited about getting up and hitting that morning workout.
Second, as it relates to your diet, you will be in much more control to eat the things that you should and shun the things that you shouldn’t.
This is a dangerous combination that makes you hungrier than you should be, while at the same time not allowing you to feel completely full when you do eat.
This is one of the reasons that people find themselves wanting to snack on food incessantly when they can’t sleep — something that will not lead to any good long term results for their brain or their waistline.
Four simple steps that you might find challenging to follow initially, but if you are able to implement them and stick with them for at least 90 days, I promise the new you won’t be disappointed.