Being healthy and fit is the goal of most people because we know it helps us to live happier lives. However, it is way too often that we get bogged down by the amount of quick fix schemes that ultimately just lead to confusion. Here we talk about the goals and habits that are imperative to lead a healthy life rather than just a healthy few months.
I was having a conversation with my dad when he told me that it’s nearly impossible to find the truth on any given topic in today’s digital age. “What in the world are you even talking about?” I fired back. “Of course we can. We have the internet where we can literally find the answer to anything.” “Yes,” he replied. “That is precisely my point. What many of us assume is fact is merely one’s opinion. Everyone has an opinion, and the digital age has given voice to thousands of people. However, truth is another story.”
After swallowing my pride and realizing the truth behind his point, I quickly realized how the health and fitness industry is no different. It is inundated with “do this” or “do that” , countless diet plans, carbs, no carbs, do cardio, no-lift heavy weights. We see Tiktok videos of girls thrusting hundreds, deadlifting more than men and squatting 5x their body weight and instantly feel inferior-incapable of ever being where they are. It’s exhausting. And it’s no wonder that so many people throw their hands up in the air, not knowing what to do.
Oh and don’t even get me started with the “get-ripped-in-a-week” schemes that circle the internet and sell like crazy. It’s impossible guys. Impossible! The people who are achieving the kind of strength you see on social media have been at it for years…and their goals very well may be different than yours. But what all these sales pitches do do is create enough confusion for “information paralysis” to set in.
So we end up doing nothing because knowing what to do can seem beyond our reach. If you’ve been there, like me, you know that information paralysis is real, and it rears its head every time you type into the search bar to gain some kind of traction to implement change. Then you find yourself, hours later scrolling through transformation stories, thinking to yourself “how did I get here?” Here’s the thing though. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Why it’s Important to start small and chewable
If you’ve read any of my stuff before you know that I’m not the kind of girl who just jumps into things and makes significant change overnight. I’m the turtle in the race…slow and steady. I like to ease into change because it feels less rigid to me. It makes me feel more adept to accomplish something big when I work at it slowly. Rather than committing to a marathon, I’d first commit to running once a week for three months. Then I’d up it to 2x a week when I’ve achieved my itty bitty goal first…but only after tasting the sweetness of success first. This method helps me to constantly win at what I set my mind to. And that’s not to say all of my goals are itty bitty. I just really think about what I want and why I want it before making any kind of commitment. Call it a curse or call it a blessing but when I make a promise to myself to do something, it is exceptionally difficult for me not to follow through. Failing on a commitment I’ve made is damn close to giving up on myself, and I refuse to go down that road again (been there, done that, not looking back).
Plus, healthy habits aren’t formed by drastic overnight change. They are formed and perfected by staying consistent, pivoting when it’s needed and working hard come hell or high water.
And aint nobody getting fit and healthy if we aren’t first addressing our habits!
Focusing all our attention on the outcome hinders our ability to see success in the moment…and this is a tragic mistake many people make both in life and in fitness. So set yourself up for small wins. Things that are doable today so that you can continue on in your fitness goals instead of giving up when you fall short of a goal that’s bigger than you can swallow. Can we just all give ourselves permission to stop looking at goals like they need to be extraordinary to be meaningful? Let’s shoot not for elusive goals but basic fitness goals.
My Goals on Health & Fitness
- To move without pain
- Play without getting sore
- Build muscle
- Lose fat
- Walk long distances
- Climb big hills
- Stay flexible
By aspiring to these fitness goals, rather than “no cellulite in a week” (or something equally as ridiculous) you CAN build a body you can be proud of and confident in. To achieve these goals, I have a few important habits that I swear by that serve me in my mission to accomplish them. These habits have served me on my journey to health, and I believe they can serve you too if you respect them, take them seriously, and follow them as if they were punishable by fine.
My Rules of Health & Fitness
- Drink a shit ton of water
- I shoot for a gallon a day, but a good rule of thumb is to drink .5-1 ounce per pound of your body weight. So, if you weigh 150, you should be drinking 75-150 ounces per day. One gallon is 128 ounces, which I feel like a pretty solid goal to shoot for on the regular.
- Get ample sleep
- This is often overlooked when we are trying to get healthy, but it can’t be neglected. For me, it is absolutely necessary that I sleep well, and not just because I’m moody but because our bodies literally don’t function at their highest capacity when we neglect the importance of sleep. And don’t tell me you have problems sleeping well. If you can’t sleep well, you aren’t being active enough during the day. PERIOD. Up your activity level, and good sleep will follow.
- Don’t forget to sweat
- The basic goal of breaking a sweat regularly is manageable…much more manageable than committing to lifting heavy or running daily. So just start with a goal of sweating.
- Limit your alcohol
- I feel like this goes without saying, but alcohol literally can set you back on your fitness goals. Not only does alcohol contain empty calories that can cause weight gain, it also can hinder your performance, stifle your ability to sleep well, and impede your judgement in making good food choices.
- Move your body daily for at least 30 minutes
- Even if it’s just walking down the beach when you’re on vacation because you don’t want to hit the gym-just do something everyday to move your body. Take a walk, take the stairs, play with the kids…there are many ways to move your body that don’t require a polished workout routine.
- Limit your intake of processed food and eat whole foods that your body knows what to do with
- Sometimes when we get so fixated on a diet, we start making poor food choices to accommodate a specific diet, such as passing over the fruit salad and eating a stack of bacon and eggs instead because you’re doing keto. This isn’t sustainable, nor is it moderation or healthy. Try to eat something that grew on a tree or in the ground with every meal to ensure you’re not neglecting necessary micro nutrients in your diet.
This is the truth about health and fitness-not just my opinion:
Fitness should be grounded in a desire to lead a healthier life. When you look at it from this perspective, it is easy to calibrate what you already know you should be doing. Diets and short term exercise programs are not conducive to living a healthy lifestyle, longterm.
Diets are a short term fix…but a healthy lifestyle should be a long term goal, so stop treating your health like a one night stand that you only address when you’re lonely. Stop focusing on which diet to chose and just eat healthy, non-processed foods in moderation.
On the other hand, exercise shouldn’t just be a month of ab exercises to get you that six pack you’ve wanted your whole life. True fitness requires you work all your muscle groups consistently so that no matter what opportunity life throws at you, you can be ready.
When someone calls you up to go snowboarding, you’re going to be super bummed if you’ve only worked your abs and have neglected your legs for years on end.
If someone hits you up to test out the new rock climbing gym down the street, you’re gonna wish you did arm and back exercises
Or if you find yourself in the water trying to get back into a boat without a ladder (if you’ve been there, you know what I’m talking about), you’re gonna wish you didn’t neglect those triceps.
Plus abs are the last thing to come for most people…and the hardest to achieve. So get fit first and the abs will follow. Figuratively, abs are just the cherry on top.
I’ll end by saying this. Fitness should we woven into your daily life just as coffee is woven into my every morning.
The ultimate goal to health and fitness should be to create a lifestyle where exercise becomes a component of who you are, second-nature. And healthy food choices are irrefutable. Only then can you look in the mirror and proudly profess to be leading a healthy lifestyle.