You don't need some elaborate, complicated training and nutrition plan to see positive results in terms of your physical and mental health. In fact, simplifying your approach to health and wellness can improve your adherence and motivation to your plan.
So, make it simple with these three easy-to-remember rules that you can start implementing TODAY.
3 Simple Rules to Optimize Your Physical and Mental Well-Being
1. Move More
Elaborate training plans are great and you should certainly stick to them, but you can also take immediate, less structured action toward living a life with purpose every day. If you're intimidated by the idea of jumping into (and obsessing over) a crazy-intense workout plan, start with just focusing on moving your body more each day.
If you can believe it, there was a time when humans didn't need to try to move more — they just did it to survive. And there are certainly still places on earth where humans hunt, gather, and build shelter to survive. But if you're living a common, sedentary, first-world life, making a conscious, dedicated effort to move more is something that you need to do.
But that doesn't mean you need to make it harder than it is. Non-exercise activity can actually account for hundreds of calories burned per day, so whether you accomplish that through getting a standing desk, taking multiple walks throughout the day, or cleaning and gardening more, you'll be set.
Here are some hacks to help you move more throughout the day:
- Push and pull your body any chance you have during the day. This doesn’t need to be at the gym. (ex. push-ups, walking, stretching)
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. It's a free workout.
- Walk to walking-distance locations. You can even play around with discovering what’s in running-distance.
- Pick up a heavy object over and over. (Maybe that object is your baby or dog!)
- When you can, drop and do burpees.
2. Recover Smarter
This rule is all about the simple parts of recovery: sleep, stretching, and rest days.
Long gone are the days where "sleep is for the weak" is a believable sentiment. Your body requires seven to nine hours of quality sleep to protect against fat gain and promote adequate recovery. Think of leaving out sleep as leaving out training. (Plus, there's no shame in a 30-minute power nap if time allows during the day.)
Stretch like you care. Not just like you have to. Aspire to be more flexible and mobile. Take it as seriously as you take your miles and your reps.
And when in doubt, leave your training out. You should be hungry to train, and that means that you're rested and ready. Know when to take an off day. If you have a really negative feeling or suspicion that you are overtrained, you probably are.
3. Eat Cleaner and Greener
Eating fresh, green, leafy vegetables can be tough as hell, and it can be frustrating buying expensive, organic fruit and vegetables and then having them go bad before you even get to eat them. (Or even worse, falling into the trap of spending a fortune on expensive pressed juice drinks, which are often loaded with sugar.)
Restricting certain foods or food groups can also lead to overall dissatisfaction, low adherence to your meal plan, and binging, so it's best to focus on primarily whole foods about 80% of the time. If that's something you struggle with, start with our whole-food detox challenge and go from there.