As it gets easier and easier to find information with the internet, we are starting to learn that starting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle does not have to be difficult. It is usually our mindset that is keeping us from achieving our fitness goals. This mindset is that if you don’t do it all the way, then don’t do it at all.
Yes this is a good mindset to have when you are performing a task. Don’t half-ass things, do them right the first time. But everyday on social media we see people that have awesome bodies and are always at the gym. We think 2 things.
“Wow, they must have a lot of time to focus on their nutrition and training” or “They must have good genetics”.
We think this because social media is a high light reel. We don’t see all of the work put in to get those results in the picture. We don’t see all of the little changes in that person’s life they had to make, or the days when they weren’t motivated to go to the gym.
We just see the highlights.
This makes us believe that we will never be like them, and since we can’t go all the way, we shouldn’t even start.
This is one of the topics I have been preaching on here at BassFit.com. Health & Fitness is not about counting calories, prepping your meals for 2 weeks, performing 10 sets of chest exercises, or running 25 miles a day.
Health & Fitness is about constantly improving yourself every day, even if it is by the smallest amount. This involves making better choices, setting goals, getting off your ass and moving like we are suppose to as human beings!
If you are having trouble deciding on what areas of your life you should change to start a healthier lifestyle, we have prepared 10 tips to help you.
- Make a grocery list and stick to it
One main problem most Americans (especially millennials) have is that we don’t eat at home enough. The simple art of cooking your own meals has fallen by the wayside as fast food chains and meal delivery services have taken over the world.
If you want to start or maintain a health lifestyle you have to learn how to cook even if it is simple meals!
This is not saying that you must but 10 lbs of chicken, rice, and broccoli and separate it out into equal containers for every meal in a week. It doesn’t have to be that strict!
If you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle, you need to cook at least 2-3 times a week, and save all of your leftovers so you can eat them at times you don’t cook.
When you don’t have a meal prepared, that is when you are going to make unhealthy eating choices and elect to pick up some fast food or frozen dinners. You always want to be prepared and have some healthy food on deck!
2. Perform physical activity everyday
Do not get this confused with work out every day. To maintain a healthy lifestyle, you just need to get your body moving every day.
Our bodies are not meant for sitting around all day staring at screens. Humans are designed to hunt, gather, and provide. If we do the former, our bodies are going to punish us!
As a race, we have become increasingly lazy because of technology. No longer do we have to walk up stairs. No longer do we have to walk to work. Shoot, people will now bring us our food straight to our doors. What’s next, people are going to feed us our food as well?
The combination of unhealthy foods plus laziness caused by technology has made us a population of obese mfers. Not saying all of us are obese, but a growing number of the population is. And the crazy thing is, most of us don’t even get 20 minutes of physical activity per day.
There’s an easy fix to this. Just get moving! Every day. Go find an activity you like to do, and do it a lot! Until you are tired of it. Even if it is as simple as walking the dogs or doing jumping jacks in your living room.
When it comes to living a healthy life, you need to have physical activity every single day. And it helps when your mindset is not “All or nothing” but instead it is “Always something”.
3. Cut out most of the sugar
This one seems simple enough, huh? The only thing is that it is way easier said than done. Sugar is the most addictive substance on the planet, and it is showing through our global obesity rates rising.
As companies become more and more efficient, they look to ways to optimize their products and how they are made. Unfortunately for us consumers, it is way cheaper for huge companies to cut corners and add more sugar and preservatives to food products to get them to taste better, become more addicting, and have longer shelf-lives.
I’m not saying you have to cut out all of your sugar from your day. Just most of it. Start with small changes like not adding sugar to your coffee, or laying off the soft drinks or teas at restaurants. Then start to cut out sugary sweets from your diet.
The key here is to have self-control on most of the days of the week, and then allow your self to indulge in your favorite treats once or twice a week. This is also easier said than done, since most of us want our favorite things every day, and sometimes multiple times a day.
And don’t forget about hidden sugars either. This is a major problem with boxed, processed foods. Even foods you would never think would have sugar in them like salad dressings, crackers, and yogurts, are sometimes loaded with sugar.
A good tip is that when you are buying a product that you are not sure if it has sugar or not (pretty much anything that is not fruit, vegetables, or meats) check the nutritional label. Sugar is easy to spot right under Carbohydrates.
Almost every single second of our day is spent looking at screens. This can’t be healthy for our eyes or our brains. We are constantly bombarded with information, I don’t know how our mind stays focused on anything.
The sad truth is, it doesn’t anymore.
But there is one way a lot of people are building back their power of focus nowadays. It is through meditation.
The most common form of meditation would be to sit down in a quiet place, with no distractions, and perform breathing exercises. This allows your mind to solely focus on your breathing and nothing else. If done right, after a few minutes, you should start to feel relaxed, and your mind will be clear. This will help your mind from racing around all the time.
However, you don’t have to sit down and perform breathing exercises to participate in meditation. You can do it in the shower, while taking a walk, or even performing light exercises. Meditation is basically the act of focusing your mind on one thing (or none) so you can take your mind off of everything.
A lot of people like to pair meditation with Yoga or stretching. This is a great way to improve your mental and physical health, and you feel amazing after. If you want to live a healthier lifestyle, we suggest you make time (at least 10 minutes) for meditation and mind-clearing activities.
5. Eat whole foods
When I say “Eat Whole Foods” it doesn’t necessarily mean “Eat at Whole Foods”. Yes Whole Foods has a wide selection of natural, organic, products for you choose from. But you actually can eat whole foods without ever having to go to Whole Foods.
Whole foods are foods that are considered natural. Here are some examples of whole foods:
-corn on the cob
If you want to live a healthier lifestyle, your diet should include a plethora of these types of foods. Every single meal you eat should have some type of whole food in it, if not all of it.
Eat nothing but whole foods for the entire day, and your body will reward you greatly. You will feel better than you ever have, and have more energy than you ever have.
Combine these whole foods with a clean source of protein (chicken, beef, turkey, fish, etc) and you have one helluva meal.
6. Drink less alcohol
There is no doubt that alcohol is fun, and it is also a great social lubricant. If you like drinking alcohol you do not have to cut it out of your diet if you want to live a healthier lifestyle.
Just drink less of it.
Save it for the weekends. Or special occasions. In college, we used to drink every single night. This led to us eating fast food almost every day, having hangovers that discouraged us from hitting the gym, and just killed our energy levels.
If you are really on a mission to live a healthy life, you can limit your alcohol consumption to one day a week. And if you do decide to drink more than that, than just have a couple drinks. You don’t have to get absolutely hammered every time you pick up a drink (Frank the Tank). You can have a couple drinks and still feel the effects of alcohol.
7. Get Outside Everyday
Stepping outside everyday is one of the best things you can do for your mental and physical health.
First of all, sunlight that hits your skin carries Vitamin D with it, a mineral that most human beings are lacking. Vitamin D has been proven to be a natural serotonin inhibitor. And serotonin is the chemical in your brain that controls your level of happiness. So basically, the more sunlight you receive, the happier you will be.
Not only is sunlight a great source of Vitamin D, but going outside encourages movement and activity. Unless you go outside to sit on the grass or a lawn chair, you are probably walking around or running.
Outside physical activity has so many benefits. Vitamin D, humidity causes more sweat, the uneven ground causes your calf muscles to work harder which burns more calories, and much more. It just feels good to be outside and not feel as if you are locked inside for the entire day.
Start heading outside at least once a day and getting a nice walk in or playing with your kids/pets. I promise you will start to see positive results from this simple change.
8. Always have healthy snacks around
The times where we eat the most unhealthy in our lives is in between or after meals when we are still hungry. This is the snacking epidemic that the world faces today.
This epidemic can be combatted, though. There are plenty of simple, healthy, and tasty snacks you can eat between or after meals that will definitely hit the spot. Some of these include:
-yogurt and fruit
-apples and peanut butter
-carrots and hummus
There is no excuse now for you to buy unhealthy snacks at the grocery. If you only buy healthy snacks, and don’t even have the sugary, unhealthy snacks around your house, then guess what, you won’t eat them.
The problem lies, however, when you run out of unhealthy snacks in your house. When you run out of unhealthy snacks, your mind tells itself that it now has the freedom to eat whatever it wants. Its a weird psychological trick it plays on you.
Your mind tells you that you can now go eat fast food, or go get some sugary snacks from the gas station.
There’s only one way to stop your mind from tricking you like this.
ALWAYS HAVE HEALTHY SNACKS AROUND.
Buy enough healthy snacks that you have to throw away the last little bit that is left over because you have so many. It is better to have too many healthy snacks, than to not have enough.
So our advice is: Get a shit ton of healthy snacks and always have them around the house. So when hunger strikes, you know where to turn.
9. Eat slower and drink water between bites
This is one tip that is overlooked in the fitness world. Everything nowadays is so fast paced and instant, that we have to change our habits to adapt to the world around us.
One thing that we changed for the worse is the pace at which we eat our food. We eat very fast. This has a huge impact on the amount of food we eat.
We scarf down our meals, barely breathing, and end up over eating because our stomach doesn’t get the chance to tell our brains that we are too full until we are TOO FULL.
You should eat a bite, set down your fork or spoon, drink some water or talk to your eating partner, and then pick up the fork/spoon to take another bite.
Why are we always in a rush to get our food down our stomachs so fast?
Is it because we are afraid we might miss something if we are still eating? Or is it because we are so hungry because we did not eat enough during the day that our primal instincts kick in and we devour our meals?
It is probably both. But both questions can be answered.
- You are not going to miss out on anything that is happening while you eat. In the extra 15 minutes that it would take you to eat slower, you were probably not going to do anything in those 15 minutes anyways. This is just how our brains think now with all of this instant gratification technology.
- Eat more and drink more water during the day, so when it comes meal time, you are not starving. This way, your primal instincts don’t kick in and you don’t look like a wild cave man eating his first kill.
One more added benefit of eating slower is that we actually get to taste our food. We take our food for granted so much that we don’t even taste a lot of it. Be grateful for your food, and enjoy its taste.
10. Listen to EDM while you workout/run/hike/walk
The main point of BassFit.com is to create a community of people who love fitness and EDM, usually together. We believe so strongly in this concept because the two seem to go hand in hand.
EDM is all about energy. Whether it be a hardcore, dubstep energy or a more chill, vibey energy, there is always energy created by EDM.
So why not use this energy to help us improve our bodies?
Humans created dumbbells and barbells as a tool to improve our bodies and reach our fitness goals. I believe Electronic Dance Music can be used the same way dumbbells and barbells are used. As tools to help us.
When it comes to progression in fitness, it is 99% mental. You have to have motivation, will-power, and self-discipline to be able to change your body.
Creating a mental tool to help us reach our maximum mental state, such as EDM, is going to be huge for the future of the fitness world. And BassFit.com is going to start the revolution!