2020: 5 Keys to the Healthiest Year of Your Life!

Welcome to the next decade. Welcome to 2020! If you truly want more success in a fitness program, lifestyle change, or quest to live longer you must follow a path of evolution over perfection. There are 5 things you must address if you want to have better health, fitness, and increased longevity.

  1. Exercise 20%
  2. Diet 20%
  3. Water 20%
  4. Stress 20%
  5. Sleep 20%

Each of these items represents 20% of what you need to do to improve. Optimal results will require attention to all five of these items. Many experts will argue back and forth about what is the most important but we feel as though everything is important and it all works together to create progress. Here are some thoughts based upon research and experience.

Exercise:

  • 2-4 days of strength training 30-45 minutes2 days of intervals 10-20 minutes of 65-90% max heart rate.
  • 2 days of steady state cardio 30-60 minutes of 60-70% max heart rate.
  • Stretching and foam rolling daily.

These combined will have you in the gym about 3 days per week for just over an hour at a time.

Diet:

  • Aim for more fruits and vegetables (5-7 servings per day)
  • Align your carbohydrates with your activity level. (If you sit all day you do not need many carbs, if you swim 3 hours a day you need more carbohydrates)
  • Organic is always slightly better
  • Protein consumption remains moderate 60-100g per day except on weight training days where I suggest 25-50g of added protein surrounding your workout to aid in recovery.

Water: The simplest thing which people struggle with. Consume 1/2 your body weight in ounces and add 16oz for each extrahour of exercise activity. If you experience headaches, muscle pain, or joint pain, one of the greatest things you can do first is to make sure you are consuming enough water and many times the issue will relieve itself without pharmaceutical intervention.

Stress: Minimize stress and negativity in your life as much as possible. Also consider meditation, deep breathing, massage, contrast showers, and yoga as a way to reduce stress. Many of these methods will allow you to slow down and be more thoughtful or mindful in your day-to-day. It can also be helpful to do a daily journal with focus on gratitude.

Sleep: 7-9 hours of sleep per day is extremely important but the total varies from person to person. Shoot for 7 first and see how you feel and then add 15 minutes per week until you find the window of sleep which you feel your best. Naps are also great 20-30 minutes per day. Sleeping is the time where your body can shut down, reduce cortisol, and repair and rejuvenate.

If you are just now embarking on a new fitness, health, or wellness journey it is important to note that you will not make these changes at one time rather it is important to use this as the road map to add new things to keep improving your life weekly, monthly, quarterly, and even yearly. Keep moving in the right direction with thoughtful actions and micro adjustments and you can make sure that you will begin to separate yourself from the pack. If you find yourself struggling to make these changes we recommend finding a great personal trainer who has the experience to assist you in improving your plan. It is our hope at Formal Fitness Training that you have an ever improving life of health, wealth, success, happiness, and great relationships with fitness and nutrition being the drivers of improvement.

Onward and upward always!
Mike

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