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5 Essentials of Healthy Living

Updated: Oct 19, 2023


We are all different people with individual fitness and nutrition needs. However, there are five habits I refer to as the "baseline essentials".


They are the bedrock to health and fitness. They are the foundation to human health.


Regardless if you are an experienced fitness professional or just now starting your fitness journey - focusing on these five essentials will yield positive results.


In fact, I coach my personal training and nutrition clients with these habits as the building block to their program. And those who apply them, see the results they want.


Get Enough of the Right Food - Protein


Losing weight, building muscle. Both are easier with protein. Recovering from an injury, post surgery. Both heal faster with protein. Blood sugar problems, cancer, and burns. All require extra protein.


Everyone's daily requirements may be a little different. Age, lifestyle, and various medical conditions are just a few examples of what could change your daily needs. But protein is essential. It is well worth your time to find out how much protein you need to eat everyday and then do so.


Our recommendations:

Sedentary: .86 gram per body pound


Active: Exercising several times per week, 1 gram of protein per body weight.


Athlete: Training 5 - 6 days per week, 1.5 - 2 grams of protein per body weight


For ideas on how to get enough protein in your diet here is 10 Hacks to Meet Your protein Goals.



Move More


Movement doesn't need to be in the gym.


In fact, if you only move in the gym - your body likely needs more.


One way to increase your movement is set a goal to get 10 - 12k steps everyday.
  • park farther at the grocery store

  • take a walk at lunch time

  • take your furry friends for a walk


Another suggestion is to start tackling the chores you have been putting off.


  • clean out the garage

  • clean out the closet

  • spend your weekend landscaping

  • wash your car

You can also take up new hobbies that get you out of your daily routine.


  • hiking

  • cycling

  • rock climbing

  • organize a morning walking group


The point - as important as traditional exercise is, it isn't the only movement our bodies crave and respond to.


Moving in normal, everyday functions boosts our metabolism naturally and often without increasing your appetite - which traditional exercise can.


Strength Over Cardio


Strength training is paramount for a healthy metabolism, to protect bones, and to maintain normal strength.


It improves cardiovascular function, stabilizes joints, reduces body fat and improves mental health.


This list here is quick and easy to write, because there are so many more benefits to choose from.


It is so important, yet cardio seems to be the initial go to for many who have fitness goals. Strength training should be done before you do cardio during your workout. And if you do not have time for both - do your strength training.


Strength training is essential to your health. To learn more about why read my blog #1 Mistake My Female Clients Used to Make.


Rest and Recovery


Placing importance on your rest and recovery will go along way towards improving your health. You need sleep. That is when your body repairs, repairs and resets. It is when joints, muscles, ligaments, and organs rejuvenate and regenerate.


But you also need at least one true rest day every week free of strenuous physical work.


If you have an office job, you may want to consider still getting steps in through walking. In my recent blog 5 Surprising Reasons You Should Walk , I shared several reasons for walking.


But specifically for this topic, walking engages the parasympathetic nervous system. It actually promotes recovery and healing. If you have been sitting all week, chances are you have had enough rest.


A few ideas to help get calm and relaxed

  • meditation

  • reading

  • light hearted movies

  • lunch with a friend


Water


Getting enough water is a game changer in how you feel, think, move, look, and metabolize.

  • water removes toxins from your body

  • soften hardened fat cells

  • keeps your organs and muscle hydrated

  • boosts energy

  • improves brain functions

Water is the most essential consumable that keeps our body alive, let alone healthy. Yet many are chronically dehydrated. Put a renewed energy towards water. It will pay out in dividends.


Our recommendations:

You should drink half your body weight in ounces everyday. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you want to drink 75 ounces daily.

Electrolytes. If you are consuming enough water, but are urinating frequently and your mouth is dry, you may need to add some sugar free electrolytes to your drink once or twice a day. I add electrolytes to my water twice a day in the Arizona summer and once a day the rest of the year.



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