Today is my 39th birthday.
I thought I’d share with you 39 things I’ve learned over the years about fitness that will help you live a healthier life.
1.) Have patience-this will help you keep things in perspective and develop the right mindset to reach your goals.
2.) Enjoy the process-fitness is a lifelong process. Enjoy the ride!
3.) Burpees are dumb-they put a ton of stress on your joints and it honestly sounds like disease you contracted:).
4.) Recovery is just as important as training-getting enough sleep, reducing stress, and stretching are vital to helping your body repair itself.
5.) There isn’t a perfect nutrition plan-no matter what the fad, Atkins, Keto, Paleo, etc. The perfect nutrition plan is the one that will fit your lifestyle and that you can stay consistent with.
6.) Surround yourself with positive people-there’s an old saying,”you are who you surround your self with.” When you surround yourself with positive people, they will give you extra encouragement, wisdom, and accountability to help you stay consistent in reaching your goals.
7.) Long Distance Running isn’t a good fat loss solution–it’s not great for your joints, takes a lot of mileage to burn a significant amount of calories, and it’s only good for you if someone is chasing you with a knife and you left your gun at home:).
8.) Make water your #1 beverage of choice-water gives you energy, helps you not overeat, and helps you battle the Texas heat.
9.) Chin-ups are my favorite upper body exercise-this exercise does so many positive things for your body. It makes your back stronger, works you abs a lot, improves your posture, and makes you feel like a superhero:).
10.) Lunge Matrix is my favorite lower body exercise-this exercise I have a love/hate relationship with. I love it for it’s benefits but hate it for how my hamstrings and booty feel afterwards:). If you never done this start with your feet at hip width. Lunge with your right foot at 12 o’clock then return to the starting position. Next lunge with your right foot at 3 o’clock and then return to the starting position. Lastly lunge with your right foot at 5 o’clock (like your are doing a drop step in basketball) and return to the starting position. Do a couple rounds of this and your lower body will call the police to report an assault charge:).
11.) Have a consistency mindset-I’ve fallen into the trap many times over the years that I have to workout this “perfect” way. If I didn’t sleep well, kids are sick, dishwasher flooded, etc. my time
12.) Age is just a number–as I get older I totally understand that saying so much more. I see people my age who can’t move well being as young as they are. On the flip side, I see other people my age who move like they are 21. It’s up to me what I’m able to accomplish and do. The number doesn’t define me, my actions do.
13.) Fail. Often.–Failure is such an awesome thing because it’s a wonderful teaching tool on how to help you get better. Don’t let it derail you into quitting or giving up. Use it to see how you can improve and change.
14.) Constantly challenge yourself-I love challenging myself. When I played basketball in school I would always challenge myself to learn a new shooting drill. Then I would challenge myself to improve my shooting percentage. I would always look for ways to get better. Now I apply the same thing with how I pursue my wife, be a better dad to my kids, and the way I workout. Never stop striving to improve in every area of your life!
15.) Embrace Change-this has been a tough one for me because I’m kind of a control freak:). I’ve learned over the years that I’m not anywhere in control and embrace life as it comes. I know God is going to take care of me and provide for me. He’s shown me in so many situations of my life! When change happens and it will, how will you adapt to it?
16.) Strive for balance in your life-this is a very new one for me that I’m really working on. My work/life balance used to be horrendous. Now I make sure all of my work is done for the day before I head home then I’m just husband and dad. The laptop doesn’t come out unless it’s an emergency. I’m getting more work done now and enjoying my family so much more!
17.) The only thing stopping you from reaching your goals is you-you have the choice on how you want to live your life each day. You get to make the choice today if you are going to life a healthier life or not.
18.) Stop comparing yourself to others-comparison leads to bitterness, ungratefulness, and is the thief of joy. Instead practice gratitude, humility, and a servant’s heart.
19.) Feeling strong is the best feeling-being able to not be limited physically because your joints don’t hurt and you have the strength to accomplish any task feels amazing! Gravity is our enemy and the more we can win daily battles against it the better our life will be!
20.) There’s more than one way to workout-don’t feel like you have to be put in a box that you have to workout one specific way. Find out what works best for you. Seek out a fitness professional (I know of a great one:) to help you find out what works best for you!
21.) Blow up your scale-for most people the scale does more harm than good. All of our fitness goals are held in the electronic reading of what number is going to pop up. That’s garbage. Your weight is one tiny piece of the fitness pie letting you know what your current progress looks like. Instead take out that dress you can’t fit into, those pair of pants that are too tight and hang them up in your bathroom. That’s the first thing you see when you wake up and the last thing you see when you go to bed. Try them on once a month to see how they fit on you. This will give you the best feedback on your progress because you’ll start to feel better in your clothes.
22.) Be active daily-as life gets busier, this gets harder. Having 3 kids, 2 Labrador retrievers (it’s like having to extra hairy 2 yr olds:), and be a business owner, my time is limited. I have to make time to be active and move daily. My health depends on it!
23.) Be an avid reader-just like your body needs to get stronger, so does your mind. This will help you have a better mindset, learn new things, and help you become a more well rounded person.
24.) Play a lot-this is something that I forgot for a while. Every day I’m making a point to play catch with my sons. We are also starting to play basketball together. I want to be as active as I possible can until God calls me home.
25.) Get rid of the excuses-the only thing stopping me from living a healthier life is me (refer to #17). Excuses are just me voicing how I’m not taking ownership for what I should be doing.
26.) Do the type of exercise you enjoy-I love the variety of exercise. Some days I’ll workout for 10-15 min doing a couple of resistance training exercises when my time is limited. Other days I’ll workout for a hard 30 minutes and play baseball with my sons for hours. Exercise can and should be fun!!!
27.) Focus on healthy living instead of fat loss-this is something I help my clients with everyday. Your goal should be to live a healthier life. Fat loss is a by product of becoming a healthier you. It shouldn’t be the driving force. When you make your focus on healthy living you start to appreciate other by products like more energy, greater patience, pain relief, healthier eating, and just feeling better!
28.) Have a training program that fits your lifestyle-as busy adults or lives are constantly changing. If you are working 60 hours a week with 2 kids at home, will working out for an hour 5x/week be sustainable? For most of you, probably not. At my gym, all of my clients have training programs that fit their lifestyle because their goal is to be able to have consistency. Consistency + accountability = your fitness goals!
29.) Listen to your body when you workout-it’s okay to step off the accelerator on your workouts from time to time. All of my clients are busy adults with demanding careers. Many times they’ve only gotten 4 hours of sleep, kids are sick, joints hurt etc., Their programs are tweaked for that day so we can meet them where they are at. My goal is to always have them feeling better when they leave a training session than when they showed up regardless of their circumstances. The purpose is to train for life not crushing it in every workout!
30.) Good shoes are a must-having the proper footwear will protect you from your joints from excessive wear and tear. Don’t buy shoes that have the anti-pronation in soles that will help you create an arch. It’s a one size fits all strategy. One size all strategy never works, if you don’t believe google the failures of communism:).
31.) Movement instead of isolation-our bodies never move in isolation. If your right foot takes a step, the rest of your body creates a chain reaction and responds to what your foots doing. Doing lots of isolation exercises especially with machines causes a lot of stress on your body. Also there’s not a good carry over to daily life. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen really fit looking guys get severe low back pain from bending down to pick up something off of the ground. Their bodies don’t know how to properly move anymore.
32.) Make sleep a priority-this is such a huge habit for all of us to master. Getting enough sleep helps us not overeat, reduce stress, help our muscles repair, and improve our attention and focus.
33.) Exercise like life depends on it-our life does depend on exercise. Our heart health, joint health, bone density, getting sick, etc. depends on our exercise routine. Our quality of life can massively improve if we adhere to a consistent exercise regime.
34.) If you have to sit a lot, make stretching your new best friend-this is something I’ve gotten more in tune with as I’ve gotten older. Stretching has made such a big difference in how much better my joints feel!
35.) Eat colorful veggies at every meal-I used to hate vegetables except carrots and broccoli. Now I freaking love brussel sprouts! We have been grilling our veggies and also cooking them in the oven. That has made a huge difference in my relationship with veggies. I can’t get enough of them now.
36.) Stay away from influences that hurt your mindset-if being on social media, reading magazines, watching specific tv shows leads you to start comparing yourself to others, turn it off or get rid of it. Influences that tell you that you only have worth if you look a particular way, have a certain income, etc. is garbage.
37.) Effort-I heard a great quote from Jon Gruden. He said, “you can lead the league in effort because it takes no talent. It’s just a decision you make.” Living a healthier life isn’t based on your genetics, income level, access to a particular gym, etc. It’s based on the effort you are going to put into it, day in and day out.
38.) Have perspective-don’t think you are going to have six pack abs in 8 weeks, lose 20 lbs by drinking apple cider vinegar, or any other bogus social media scam. Find out what your why is for living a healthier life. My why is to be around for a long time for my family and enjoy life to the fullest!
39.) Don’t quit-if you don’t quit, you will achieve your goals. Patience, gratitude, consistency are all recipes for success. Quitting results in 100% failure!