Its a new month! For those of you who are looking for the reason to start, a new month is as good as any. One month closer to spring. Warm weather is coming. They say that summer bodies are made in the winter. Winter isn’t over yet, you can still see lots of change by summer with the right ideas.
1. Consistency Is Key – As is the case with anything you are trying to improve in your life, consistency drives it all home. Whether it be your workout routine, your diet, your sleep, or your movement. The more consistent you are, the faster the results will come, and the longer they will last.
2. Find The RIGHT Eating Philosophy – Also known as “diet”, that word has come to have a negative meaning, and often leads to extremes. Whether its intermittent fasting, keto, paleo, vegan, Whole 30, Weight Watchers or other, all have benefits. The one that will benefit you the most is the one you don’t start to resent, and can stick with long term.
3. Move More – Over my years as a fitness coach I find the one thing I tell just about Every client is to get up and move. Whether your’e trying to lose weight, or you spend all day commuting or sitting at a desk, we all need to get up and move!
4. Get Outside – Moving is Great, getting outside to get that movement in is even better. First of all, there is so much to see out there!! If that isn’t enough, there’s the great fresh air, all the benefits of sunshine, including getting natural Vitamin D, which boosts energy and is good for your skin, and most people are deficient in.
5. Be A Good Human – This seems easy, but so many people need the reminder. This will help you and everyone around you be happier. If you stay positive, and treat others around you with respect, it will make everyone around you happier and help show them you the importance of it. Plus, the more that you let the little things go, and stay positive, you’ll see your stress levels decrease, super important for mental and physical health.
6. Invest In Experiences More Than Things – Think of all those times you “needed” to have those new things. New car, new shoes, new clothes, new watch. Think about how long those items or others gave you joy. (Probably until they’re not “new” anymore) Now think about the great getaways, or nights out you had that you enjoyed, and how long those memories last. Looking back on those experiences, the joy you get, memories you make, things you learned can last a lifetime.
7. Hire A Coach! – This one gets an exclamation point because it hits home with me personally being a personal trainer, but I’ve also seen the benefits in my own life. Whether its your health, your job, your business, or your life in general, you may think you can do it on your own, but you’re often mistaken. Do your research, narrow down your search, and instead of worrying about what it costs, think about the importance of what you’re investing in, and ask yourself what its worth to you for that to be at its best! If its important to you, its worth it to do it right.
8. Eat More Fruits And Vegetables – Have you heard this before? Probably your whole life! Most people are deficient in their green leafy vegetables, and all the vitamins and nutrients they provide. There’s so many different ways to cook them, there’s got to be one or two that you like! Fruit intake is also so important for the nutrients it contains. Anyone who says fruit will make you fat, is wrong! If it grows from the ground, chances are, you could afford to eat more of it.
9. Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone – If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you. Think about where you are in life. If you feel like you are stuck, the only way out is to try some new things. You never know what you’ll enjoy, or the benefits it could have if you never try. You may find your purpose, or you may just find your new favorite hobby. Get out and try!
10. Take Your Rest Days – We’ve all heard the call of the “dedicated” person “No Days Off!” That’s not the way most people should be operating. Unless you have the super genetics of someone like The Rock, you need to treat your body with respect. Your body is all controlled by the central nervous system. When you exercise, when you’re stressed, when you diet, when you’re sick, it all adds stress to your CNS. If you are feeling run down, take your rest! You’re body will thank you. I promise you, you will not lose all of your progress in your one day off.
11. Read More Books – This also often goes hand in hand with watching less TV. There’s an old saying, the difference between you now, and you five years from now is the people you’ll meet, and the books you’ll read. I’ve spoken to many long time coaches, who all say they learn more from reading books, then they do any other way. There’s books on Every topic. I promise you can find some that you like. And you just might learn something!
12. Discipline Leads To Freedom – I learned this one from a well known life, and business coach named Craig Ballentyne, author of “The Perfect Day Formula”. If you’re looking for the free time to do what you want in your day, you have to get done the things that take priority every day. Delaying the most important parts of your day leads to more stress, and more time spent hurriedly getting things done instead of getting the benefits of doing things right, and on time.
13. Progressive Overload Leads To Results – You get stronger and put on more muscle, or get faster and build your endurance by consistently challenging yourself. If its a workout, you can’t expect to continue to grow if you lift the same weights, the same amount of times, at the same pace for the rest of your life. This doesn’t always mean heavier weights. Try playing with how many reps or sets you do, or the tempo that you do the lift, or altar rest times. All can make exercises harder, and keep the results coming.
14. Practice Flawless Execution – Rule #1 as a personal trainer is “Do No Harm”. No matter what kind of exercise you are doing, you should be focusing more on proper form, then how much weight or how many reps. When your form is spot on, you are working more efficiently, and working your body the way that its meant to be. Not only will the changes come, but you will keep yourself out of pain. If you’re hurt, you can’t train. Keep yourself in the game!
15. It’s Never Too Late – As of March 2nd, I will have 37 years of experience on this planet. I have lived this lesson many times. I tried the conventional route of college after high school, it wasn’t for me, and I needed to do something I’m proud of, so at age 20 I joined the Marine Corps. Later than most 18 year olds. Then at age 28 I went back to college and got my degree. (School is a lot easier when you’re not partying with the kids) I never gave up my dream of having a career I love, and being able to help people. At age 33 I got certified to be a trainer, and now I love what I do, and have finally found my dream career. Don’t EVER think its too late to do what’s right for you, your family, or your health.
16. Smile And Laugh More – There is way too much negativity in this world. Find the positive in things. Enjoy little things. The more you smile, the more you will find reasons to. Take some of those daily stresses out of your life by finding a reason to smile. Start now, wherever you are reading this, just smile. Notice how your mood changes instantly. You’re welcome.
17. Watch The News Less – Personally, I don’t watch the news at all. With today’s 24 hours news cycle, I’ll find out the important things I need to know. If you’re a morning or evening news watcher, I’m sure you notice how negative every news story is. This will depress you, its proven. It will also put in your head that everything happens to you is negative. Nobody needs that in their life.
18. Sleep More – Sleep is so important to your physical and mental health, your digestion, your stress levels, and EVERYTHING else. If you find yourself exercising and not seeing results, ask yourself how you’re sleeping. Physical change doesn’t happen while you exercise, it happens while you recover. Sleep is the number 1 most important part of recovery.
19. Surround Yourself With People You Want To Be Like – Have you ever heard the saying “You are the sum of your 5 closest friends”. Now give it some thought. Is it time to find new people to spend time with? Humans are very tribal beings. Does your tribe consist of the kind of people you want to be?
20. Care About How You Present Yourself – If you are looking for success, you should look like success. If you let your body, your clothes, and your hygiene get sloppy, that immediately changes peoples first impression of you. Like it or not, we All have judgmental eyes when its someone we don’t know. Present yourself how you want people to see you.
21. Play – This is the most fun way to keep yourself moving. I read in a book recently, the quote “We don’t stop playing because we get old, we get old because we stop playing”. Think of the energy you had as a kid when you were outside playing. Finding fun ways to be active is a surefire way to boost your energy, and attitude.
22. Don’t Judge Your Workout By How Sore You Are – Some people feel that if their muscles aren’t sore, they didn’t work hard enough. Its just not true. If you’re sore for more than 48 hours, chances are you damaged the muscle. You’re looking for just enough stress on the muscle to cause an adaptation. When exercise is done right, and you’re recovering right, you shouldn’t be unable to move for days. Want a great way to do this right? Hire yourself a coach.
23. Forgive – Don’t hold grudges. When you have an issue with someone, talk it out or figure it out. Arguing over it will increase how anxious you feel, and change your whole attitude. Take that drama out of your life, and de-stress!
24. Find A Workout Plan And Stick With It For 4-6 Weeks – The fitness world is so over saturated with people on social media with 6 pack abs that are telling you they can get you there. This leads to seeing every kind of different exercise you can think of. You have to repeatedly hit those muscles of yours so they keep changing and growing. Let your body adapt for a few weeks, then find a new way to hit them consistently. No more program hopping!
25. Learn How Your Body Functions – Stick with the main movements that your body was meant to do. Squat, lunge, hinge, push, pull, and carry. Look for workouts that help you master these movements first, then add load to them, and master them again. This is the backbone of a very popular buzz word nowadays “Functional Training”.
26. Train Your Core For Its Purpose, Not For A Six Pack – The purpose of your core muscles (they include more than just your abs) is to control rotation, and anti-rotation of your spine while your limbs move freely. Train for strength and stability. That, plus a very low body fat percentage will get you that 6 pack anyway.
27. If You’re Experiencing Low Back Pain, Stretch Your Legs, Not Your Back – I hear it all the time “my back hurts, can we stretch it?” I do what the client asks, to help them believe they are feeling better. But I also make them stretch their hip flexors, their glutes, and upper legs. The body is all connected. If the muscles and tendons attached to your hips are tight, they will be pulling your hips in either direction and cause that back pain. Stretch with a purpose.
28. Don’t Skip Leg Day – I know guys, you don’t like working legs. I didn’t always either, and they still aren’t my favorites, but find the benefits. You’re using your legs much more in a day then you do your upper body. Train accordingly. To accomplish anything with your fitness you need your legs to carry you to it. Activate, and train the lower body to keep yourself moving.
29. Pull More Than You Push – In other words, don’t just train those mirror muscles. Society as a whole has a big population of those with rounded shoulders and upper backs as we sit and hunch our backs over our computers and devices. This shortens your chest muscles, deactivates your back and shoulders, and pulls you forward. Stand up straight, with pride, and work your back! Protect your shoulders, and back. Train those muscles that you don’t see. Some coaches recommend pulling 3 times as much as you push. Get used to it, its worth it.
30. Don’t Starve Yourself – Too many people looking to diet go to extremes like cutting calories way too much. If you stay so low calorie for so long, your body will adjust and burn less calories out of necessity. Don’t think that just because you’re eating less, that you are in a calorie deficit. Start small, and progressively do more as the body adapts. (Sound familiar?)
31. Use What You Have – As an in home personal trainer, I pride myself in showing clients how to get a great workout in, while using what they have. You can get a great day of exercise using just the things in your house! Don’t believe me? Check me out at www.joeszadokfitness.com sign up for a free assessment, and let me coach you to health, happiness, and your goals!
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