Fit life is such a general statement. So much can apply to it. It is such a simple approach and yet so overcomplicated.
When we say that someone looks or lives fit, what do we, exactly refer to. Do we address the health aspect, or do we judge by the outside look? When we decide to take that approach, what we are, actually thinking to change.
Today I thought I would share with you, what is, in my opinion, the right approach. What I realize with the years of mistakes and growth. I am going to list the steps that each person who finally decided to change his/her life should check, in order to achieve optimum health, permanent results, and as a side effect, good looking body.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
1. Prioritize sleep.
It is by far the most important pillar of health. The most underestimated tool for performance. The reason for so many accidents and diseases. The free supplement, people neglect in their arsenal. The ultimate recovery tool.
Our body is constantly exposed to damage. We think, create, move, work, train. We are constantly testing our physical abilities. We are constantly using our body resources and grinding the materials by just simply living. The night is the time to rest and recover. When we sleep, we rebuild the damaged tissue, make it stronger and more resilient.
I will give you an example:
A few months ago, I was learning the handstand. I was strong enough to hold it against the wall, but I was struggling a lot with the balance. I tried so much stuff. Training modalities, consistency, metronome for counting. And the furthest I got, was 10 sec of hold.
At that time, I happened to be reading the book “Why we sleep” by Dr. Matt Walker. It is one of the most eye-openers for me personally. Such an interesting read. Did you know that lack of sleep is the number one cause of car accidents? Mind-blowing, right? Well, I decided to test it and priorities my sleep. Yes, that meant no more Netflix and popcorn at night. No artificial or bright light and not eating around 2 hours before bed. I simply developed a routine that allowed me to have a quantity (at least 7 to 8 hours) and quality (allowing my body to secrete melatonin) sleep.
As a result. 3 days later I held the handstand for a whole 20 sec. That blew my mind.
It is not going to fix all your health problems, but it is worth trying. It is simple to manipulate. Trust me, you will be surprised.
2. Food intake.
As we already know, our body is constantly damaging and repairing itself. During rest, we recover and rebuild, but we need the building blocks to do so. Let me ask you something. If you have the best engineers and machines on earth, but no bricks and cement, will you ever be able to build a house? And If you have the wrong size bricks and poor-quality cement, how strong is that house going to be?
See, food is the main source of energy and we must prioritize it too. Nowadays we have access to so much, I can’t even call it food, products which are full of toxins, preservatives, chemicals, and whatnot. And all, to make it more palatable, have a longer shelf life, and be convenient. No surprise though. The industry must make tons of money after all. But all those bad quality foods-like products are fooling society and are making that incredible machine called the human body function not as intended. To function with dis-ease.
There are thousands of recipes for super tasty, delicious meals. And you can be creative too. Add your favorite spices, favorite sources of food, customize your cultural dishes to a healthier option and enjoy it.
And here is a perfect place to add something that I will be diving deeper into another blog, and that is the restriction part. Rather than restricting, learn how to not overindulge. In other words, when a colleague of yours asks you to go to the bakery for some chocolate dessert, instead of saying “I can't have it”, learn to say I don’t want it, because…. There is time and place for everything, and everything in excess is bad.
There is no doubt at the phrase: Movement provides energy. When we move, every single cell in our body moves too and creates electrical current signals. Have you ever felt sleepy and after a friend forced you to move or to stand up, you instantly get excited and the tiredness went away? Do a little test. Next time you are doing something stationary for longer and you feel tired, just count to 3, stand up and do some movements. Jumping, squatting, push-ups, or even a short walk. It is simple. If we don’t move, we do not provide electricity, without electricity we have no energy, without energy, there is no life.
There is the other end of the movement, where people move so much, usually by training, so they overtrain. See, our body recovers at a certain state, with a certain speed, and has a limit to it. if we exceed the ability of our body to recover, in other words, on a regular basis, we damage more than we recover, we will end up degenerating.
I am going to dive deeper into another blog, but I want to quickly address the activity dislikes.
Activity does not have to be at the gym, lifting for the sake of it, or running on the track, because your neighbor does it and he had managed to drop 20 kg for 1 year. The activity must be your preferred way of movement. There are so many sports that you can practice. Swimming, jumping rope, climbing, running, walking, cycling, dancing, moving objects, doing exercises with your body weight. The list is so long. Try stuff, find your own thing and be active, because you like it, in order to be healthy. Fall in love with the process. Get better at that craft. Live happily.
4. Be happy.
If you don’t know what makes you happy, how are you going to know when happiness arrives.
Today`s days we are constantly running. Running towards stuff that we are thought to believe will give us happiness. We believe that more money, more possessions, more success will give us what we have ultimately wanted.
The sad truth is that most of the time we are fouled by our ego. See every time we are insulted, being laughed at, criticized, or even simply teased by someone, the ego kicks in.
It is the ultimate motivator. It is the voice in the back of our head saying “I will prove them wrong. It is, when your friend teased you, about how bad a bartender you are, so you spent the next 4 years becoming the best bartender in the area, instead of following your true desire – psychology. Sound familiar?
And what changed? We are so drowned in what we should, and should not do, where we should stay in society, so we forget our own needs and believes. We push and push hard to prove someone, or ourselves and when we get to the destination, we suddenly realize that nothing changed. Everything Is the same, people still judge us, but now about something else. The only thing that changed – 4 years gone.
The point I am trying to make is that we should really take a step back, slow down and assess, what we truly want. Dance, sing, climb, study java script…, whatever. Reassessing the core values in our life which have been the bricks for the house we have been building.
We are constantly searching for the happiness, we truly desire, but are we pursuing the right one?
5. Be aware of your body needs.
Last, but not least is to be aware. To be present. To be able to know the reason for the condition we are in. Why am I feeling this way? Why do I have this pain, why am I bloated, why do I have no energy, why am I so moody today.
Almost all our health problems are the result of the way we live. We are so drowned in today`s modern life, that we simply live on autopilot. We do not listen to our bodies. And the beauty of it is to learn to differentiate the signals. What does my body want? What does my body need?
If your grandma made your favorite cream dessert, which makes your mouth wet, just by thinking of it. Well, maybe you can just taste a small piece and leave another one for tomorrow, instead of eating half of it and feeling heavy, bloated, and tired the next day.
If your hips and lower back are fried from the heave deadlifts yesterday, but you just watched the legend Ronnie Coleman squatting for reps with 800 lb (360 kg), you get super motivated and want to go and smash your next PB. Well, maybe that is not exactly what your body needs. You can do some hips and lower back mobility instead.
Being aware, simply mean being accountable. This is where growth happens and therefore permanent life changes.
Instead of blaming the situation, the people around, the government, god, the universe. Have a look at the way you live your life. There might be room for improvement.
Fit Life Has a podcast now, where I break the subjects I write about in more detail and try to provide more digestible information. Check out episode 01 of Fit Life Radio: