Here are my five personal fitness rules. Stick to them at least 90% of the time to keep your body healthy and warm.
#one. Don’t eat just for the sake of eating. There is no room for mindless snacking in your healthy lifestyle. I’m talking about a box of popcorn at the cinema or a bag of chips in front of the TV. All the calories from mindless snacking have to go somewhere… and that somewhere is around your waist or your thighs.
Snacks are good when you’re aware of how much you’re eating to balance it out with the rest of your meals for the day.
#2. Stand (and walk) whenever possible. Have you heard the saying “sitting is the new smoking”? The idea is that sitting every day for a lifetime is just as bad for your body as smoking. Think for a moment about how much of your day you spend sitting.
You wake up and sit down to breakfast. You sit in the car to work. You go up by elevator. You sit for most of eight hours at work. You go down by elevator. You sit on the road on the way home. You sit down to eat dinner. You sit down to watch television.
That’s a lot of time spent sitting. Now imagine consciously standing for some of that time every day and using the stairs instead of the elevator. As the weeks and months go by, it really adds up in terms of calories burned, muscles worked, and overall fitness and health.
#3. Avoid sugar. I may sound like a broken record on this one, but that’s okay, I’ll keep hammering on this point until more people listen. Our bodies are not designed to consume large amounts of sugar on a daily basis. When you consume too much sugar on a regular basis, the results are always the same. You are gaining weight.
The tricky part is that sugar is everywhere, so you have to be really careful to avoid it.
Start with your morning beverage of choice. Is there sugar in it? Most beverages blended and brewed in coffeehouses are merely vehicles for digesting sugar. Find a drink you enjoy without added sugar and stick to the rule of not drinking sugary drinks throughout the day.
#4. Keep dinner light. Who says dinner has to be the biggest and most filling meal of the day? Instead, focus on enjoying light dinners heavy on proteins and vegetables, and avoid asterisks and carbohydrates in the evening.
#5. Always exercise. How often do you brush your teeth? Do you sometimes take a break from brushing your teeth for a few weeks or months? No. This is big. As an ongoing habit, you brush your teeth every day because you know the benefits outweigh the slight discomfort.
Exercise only really works when you do it as a consistent habit because you know that the benefits outweigh any minor inconveniences. It’s part of keeping you healthy. It’s part of who you are.
Fred Sassani is the founder of Bodies By Design in Pflugerville. a nationally certified personal trainer and nutritionist with over 20 years of experience. For more information on Bodies by Design. visit bbdforlife.com.