In today’s image obsessed society, we’re in danger of missing the big picture. Sure, many of us are eating right, getting in plenty of exercise and generally living a healthy lifestyle, but when you see those very same guys putting in 100% at the gym knocking back beers in the bar on Friday night, it’s safe to say that they’re more interested in the superficial aspects of their health than what’s going on beneath the surface. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t strive to achieve a fit, healthy, toned body. Far from it! This outward sign of physical health can also bring great confidence, self esteem and a sense of achievement. All I’m saying is that we shouldn’t neglect the less visible aspects of our health in the pursuit of looking great.
Ultimately, the goal for each and every one of us should be to live a long and healthy life, not just for ourselves but for the benefit of those who love us and rely upon us. We owe it to those we love to look after our bodies as much as we owe it to them to protect, love and nurture them. Follow these steps and you’ll most likely live longer… It really is as simple as that…
Master portion control and hitting those macros
We’re so preoccupied with what we should and shouldn’t be eating that we forget the importance of how much we eat. While what we do and don’t include in our diet is hugely important, and of course all calories are not created equal, that doesn’t mean that we should neglect portion control. A 2008 study showed that eating a little less and putting down the fork when you’re 80% full can lower T3, a thyroid hormone that accelerates the aging process.
I should write a whole article covering macros and just how important it is to know what you’re eating and what it contains. Simply put if you consume more calories than you burn (through exercise) then you will gain weight, conversely eating less than you burn in a day will lead to weight loss. Your macros are split into carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Start with a TDEE (Total daily energy expenditure) Calculator and find out how many calories you burn in a day and either add +300 kcals for weight gain or -500 if you’re looking to drop weight.
Remember that no man is an island
From Beowulf to batman, we’ve been conditioned by our pop culture or folklore to idolize loners who eschew human contact. But even The Dark Knight has his faithful butler and his kid sidekick by his side. Being social and relying on others in our time of need can make our lives a little easier. Sure, get focused and into your new healthy lifestyle but be sure not to exclude your social life from this new lifestyle.
Be careful with who/what you trust
You shouldn’t journey through life a bitter and jaded cynic, but you should certainly guard against trusting those who appear to be negligent, incompetent or simply a liability. Friends, colleagues and even service providers can endanger our very lives if we let them. The internet is plagued with information, though some of it may be very useful and indeed life-changing for some, there certainly is a vast array of BS out there and blindly following ill-advice may lead to health repercussions. You don’t want your relatives to have to call The Abelson Law Firm to make a wrongful death claim just so that you could try out something new. Make sure you speak to your doctor/GP before starting any new exercise plan / diet!
Get up, get out, get busy
The modern lifestyle is increasingly sedentary, and while this may be fine for many, all that sitting is ruining our health in a number of ways. Try and find an excuse to get up and go for a walk at least once an hour, even if it’s just a trip to the water cooler at work. There is nothing more depressing than sitting in for multiple days in a row, ask friends to meet-up! I will be getting a lot of socialising done over summer with a few holidays booked, plenty going on at work and lot of birthday nights out to be celebrated! Just remember to keep your diet (relatively) clean.
Your body will thank you for it!