Ask any successful individual, entrepreneur, business executive, or busy person for that matter, what’s the one thing that they can have more of? They will almost always agree on one thing.
Everyone has a busy schedule. Literally, almost everything I do goes into my Google calendar. Even for personal things like family and friend gatherings. I’m sure you’re the same.
Think about all the things that take up time in your calendar. Your work-life consists of team meetings, keeping up with industry news, professional networking, and then, actually getting work done. Your personal life consists of friends, family, children, loved ones, significant others, your significant other’s friends and family. It’s easy to see how other things like hobbies and quality “me” time start falling lower on the priority list.
One of the most common things that fall on your priority list is your health. You want to eat healthy but you’re busy so it’s easier to grab something convenient rather than something nourishing. When you’re stressed, you snack. And on days where you’re exhausted from work, you can just hit the gym tomorrow.
Ask any successful person, entrepreneur, executive, or busy professional what they value most besides time? They’ll all undoubtedly say their health. In the world we live in today, it’s truer than ever. Some people still commute, but even with working remote, it seems like each day bleeds into the next. Whether you still have a commute or more time without one – it’s still hard to keep up with a healthy lifestyle.
In his book, “The Power of Habit,” Charles Duhigg describes the process of how habits are created. He shows that creating habits are powerful tools that can be applied to all facets of life, including health. And though we won’t cover how to actually create habits in this article (you can read the book for that), we’ll go over some very simple ways in which you can build healthy habits in your life with ease.
It’s as simple as breaking them down into two very simple rules:
- Don’t get sore from workouts
- Don’t go on diets
Sore muscles are not workout ‘goals’
I know. You’re scratching your head, “But I love being sore after a workout!”
When I teach classes at Intrepid Gym I notice that almost every single member loves the feeling of being sore after workouts. It makes sense. They want to feel sore because it makes them feel like they got a good workout in. But guess what happens after that?
They don’t come back the next day.
And they might not come back for a few days. You might not either. Pavel Tsatsouline, former Soviet Special Forces instructor and author of Power to the People!: Russian Strength Training Secrets for Every American, discusses how being sore is the worst thing you can do. In his book, he mentions that “Muscle failure is more than unnecessary, it’s counterproductive!”
Instead of going all out and feeling so sore you can barely walk the next day, lower the intensity and get after it more consistently. Consistency breeds success, not just in working out. The more volume you put in, the better you’ll become.
Think about it. Who does more work? The person who crushes thirty pullups in a workout and doesn’t come back to the pull up bar for a few days or the person who knocks out ten per day, everyday. Add that up across a year and tell me who does more!
It’s volume and consistency that help you get in shape and keep you there. And if that’s not enough, a 2018 study published in the British Journal of Medicine tracked a group of men for 5 years and showed a decrease in early death by about 17% of the men sampled. *We’re talking as little as 10 minutes a day.*
Diets don’t work (but this does)
I remember running into a friend randomly and they had mentioned that their company had just provided their employees with a nutrition seminar. Given my interest in the topic I naturally asked, “That’s awesome, how did you like it?”
She paused, hesitantly responding with a blanket statement of, “it was good!”. After some back and forth she expressed that although it was a great session, the nutritionist who ran the seminar had mentioned eating six meals a day, which just wasn’t feasible for her. She described her schedule and it dawned on me that my friend was taking in this info in a very prescriptive fashion. Eat this, not that, make sure to eat this many times a day, etc.
That’s not just my one friend. It’s a lot of people who follow “diets”. A word that most often prompts the thought of restricting certain foods versus what one habitually eats. There are two definitions for the word “diet” in the dictionary after all.
It’s easier to just follow a set of instructions instead of thinking about principles. But in reality, six meals a day isn’t feasible for everyone. And this doesn’t mean that what the nutritionist said was wrong, it just didn’t work for my friend.
And certain diets might not work for you.
My schedule is different than yours, which is different than mine, and different from the nutritionist who was recommending that you eat six meals a day. That’s okay. Taking the good principles from any diet and applying it to your lifestyle is the best approach to being consistent.
And though it’s not easy, simple is always the best approach when it comes to diet and even working out. Drink water, eat unprocessed foods, and eat your vegetables. Those are rules that every diet, and health professional, can stand by. Once that’s your foundation, the rest becomes much easier.
With these two simple rules, it’s simpler to eat healthy and be healthy. Even if you think you don’t have the time.
Andrew Kobylarz is a tech executive and author of How Busy People Build Healthy Eating Habits: A Simple Guide to Healthy Eating without Dieting or Calorie Counting. Built around YOUR lifestyle.” After being a trainer and nutrition coach, he was frustrated with how living a healthy lifestyle seemed so complicated to so many people. His goal is to make it easier for everyone to easily live a healthy lifestyle. You can get free resources, exclusive articles, and a video course by signing up for the DeskJob Life newsletter or connect with Andrew on Quora.
© YFS Magazine. All Rights Reserved. Copying prohibited. All material is protected by U.S. and international copyright laws. Unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this material is prohibited. Sharing of this material under Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International terms, listed here, is permitted.