There are many fitness and health programs to choose that can fit your lifestyle and schedules. In the core fundamentals, there are several ideas and principles that can make you fit and have a above average longevity. Japanese are known for their health and lifestyle that leads to over 100 years life expectancy. They don’t do cross-fit or follow a complicated fitness regime. However, they stays healthy and live longer than most people around the world according to several studies. The post is not to promote Japanese lifestyle, however I’ve been thinking some good pointers that everyone can follow to have a sustainable lifestyle with less effort that can make your body healthier and less stressful.
I am not a fitness instructor or life couch and not certified for anything related to this topic. Just a guy trying to stay fit and picking it up good healthy methods from people who knows better than me on this subject. I sort of realize that it is more than hitting a gym to have a healthy body and mind. This post is a sanity check of a layman reflecting on fitness and health. It can leads to controversial topics and I am welcome to know your thoughts.
The first mission objective is to move yourself. Do chores, take a walk, walk your dogs, climb a stair and don’t be a couch potato. If you have a lifestyle that locks you into a chair or workstation, a timely reminder to get up and walk for 1 mins or 2.
If you go to gym, good for you. If you exercise outdoor, that’s great. I’ve seen people who willing to sacrifice half hours in the climbing stairs but complaining to use a normal stair. It kind of ironic and open your mind. If you spend 5 hours in a gym, nothing happens. The main thing that matter is your consistency and frequency. Move more. Active more and enjoy what you love to do. A person who hate running, don’t run. Do something you love. It can be a walk, a swim. No time or money to go to gym, you are not the only ones. Explore home exercises and basic movements like push-ups, hanging, plunks and jumping jacks, yoga makes you fitter and stronger day by day.
We eat way too much that we need. It becomes a routine. Breakfast, followed by lunch, snacks and dinner. It’s ok to eat 3 times a day but east less. Imagine that you eat 5000 kcal for day and your body calories surplus at the end of the day is way too high, you will gain weight and it can leads to other complicated issues. Eat slow and stop at 60 to 80% what you normally eat. It’s a pleasure to enjoy a delicious meal and snacks, but eating more than what your body requires is not a healthy choice. Your body will used to it to eat less after you starts practicing in a week or two.
Let’s say in 2000 years ago, I don’t think humans eat 3 times a day to survive. We go hunting and probably a feast and the next time, it can be a empty stomach day. Modern lifestyle leads to continuous eating throughout the day and your body have to burn and process whatevery you put in. No time to rest. I have no breakfast, a lunch and 1 mini-dinner instead of 3 big meals a day for 6 months and still alive. Lose 8 kgs with moderate amount of exercise and feel good. No craving most of the time. It doesn’t imply that everyone should eat 1 meal. Listen to your body and don’t eat when you are not hungry. It’s not a mandatory and your body will damage if you don’t eat. It’s the other way around and make you healthier surprisingly.
If you guys want to give intermittent fasting, give it a go. Have a portion of 7-8 hours as a eating zone and stop eating food after that. Your body generates ketone which helps in fat loss and weight control. Another plus side is you save money and time since you are cutting a meal or two out of your daily routine.
Eat Good Food
I was just done my annual health checkup. The overall result is good but HDL Cholesterol is lower than reference range for my age. From a consulation with doctor, it seems my diet is lack of “good fat”, which can be found in olive oil, purple fruits and omega-3 products like fish oils and fatty fish.
Weight yourself everyday
Invest on a simple scale for measuring your weight everyday. I weigh myself everyday as the first thing when i woke up after #1 and/or 2. It gives you the closest measure of your actual weight and keep you reflect on your food intake and control for today.
Find Your Motivator
When I starts exercising, I am seeking a way to motivate myself for sticking to the exercise routines. It can be anything that helps you motivate to move around and stay active. My motivator is Apple Watch that sets daily goal, challenges with friends and rings. Other motivators can be your gym buddies, trainer and a sensation of outdoor sceneries. Find the motivator and make your activity enjoyable and fun.
However, it is a waste of time on not focusing your activity and carry away with the distractions like playing mobile games during the gym and watching a movie. I don’t see a good outcome in this multi-tasking. Work out with focus and get it done. You can enjoy your movies fullly.
Periodic Medical Checkup
If you are healthy, your appearance and skin tells a part of it. However, we still need to understand how our critical organs are functioning well and what is wrong with our diets and nutrimental requirements reach to the ideal portion. The worst scenario is to spot the diseases in advance and organ failure before it is beyond recovery. The periodic medical checkup is important whether it is cover in your medical insurance or not. Invest on it and compare with historical records to understand your “body performance”.
Monitor your body
Technology advancement makes it possible for us to monitor our heart rate and patterns using wearable devices. Other useful inputs from these devices are sleep monitoring, blood oxygen, Vo2 Max, Fall detection and so on. It’s a good investment to aware of your body and you can even prevent proactively from underlying conditions by observing these references.
Humans do things and stuffs that gives us a mood boost and a way to intoxicate ourselves for fun. Drinking, Smoking and drugs are probably the top 3 candidates. Some people try to quits. If you do, good for you. If you don’t quit, keep moderate amount of your intake and activities on these habits. By comparison, drinking a glass of wine everyday and binge drinking 2 bottles in 1 night, which one can deplete your health in the long run? I think an answer to this question will help you in understanding how body responds to toxic objects. I know people in person and from reading of other stories, there are people live over 90 years with moderate amount of alcohol consumption. So, keep moderate and reflect on yourself.
Meditation or daily reflection
Our mind triggers some bad choices and bad hobbies that leads us to do bad things to ourselves and our health. Imagine an awful day at office and you want to recharge and release your stress at personal time. There are several ways people tend to do such as drinking, socializing, exercising and so on.
One important thing most people don’t consider is a minute or 2 or daily reflection by just thinking deeply on the issue, finding your own resolution and writing it down in the journal.
You might ask yourself “ummn..how that’s gonna help.” All I can say is give it a try. It works or at least make your mind clear on the matters. We have too many thoughts in our mind from small to world-ending matter. It is fragmented and we need to sort it out in a way to make it easier to breakdown.
Final thoughts If you read till this point and get something interesting to improve yourself, that’s awesome. However, execute your improvement points and don’t just leave it as an idea though. Cheers!