I think exercise. I think workouts and calories burned. I think of making my heart healthy, so I go for runs. I think of making my body strong, so I lift weights and throw a med ball around. And I think injury prevention, so I stretch out after I run or workout. But maybe you’ve caught the weakness in my routine. Nutrition.
Excellent fitness starts with two components – physical activity and nutrition. You can workout all you want but if you’re not fueling your body with good products, your either working backwards or at best you’re working inefficiently. The interesting thing about nutrition is that old habits die hard. I can get a person to add four workouts per week but I can’t get them to get soda out of their diet. Or less chips. Or fast food. It absolutely amazes me how poorly people eat. I am very blessed because since I got married I’ve had wonderful, delicious and healthy meals for me by my wife. I’ve been fortunate to not have to worry about this aspect of my health. But you may be in a different situation.
My entire philosophy of training revolves around progressions. Baby steps are essential for moving towards an ambitious goal, especially if it involves a lifestyle change. Here’s three keys to get you started on a healthier fueling plan.
- Don’t go on a diet. They don’t work. Let me be a little more clear: “They don’t work.” Diets go extreme and they set you up to fail. We think it’s a system and it’s perfect and it will work me. But you need to work the diet, and you got in this position by bad choices and a diet is not going to change that. Eventually you’ll regress. Instead be more strategic about a few food choices.
- Add fruit. Go to the store on Saturday and buy four apples, four oranges, and a bunch of bananas. This is an excellent addition to your fuel source. Add a piece to your lunch and either a mid-morning or afternoon snack – maybe both!
- Buy a water bottle. Sometime it takes a new piece of gear to get you into a new habit. Carry this bottle like a badge of honor. You’re an athlete. This is your tool. Water is an essential element and if you’re working out like you’re supposed to be, you’ll need the hydration.