With Father’s Day coming to a close yesterday, I thought it fitting to write about a very important topic: your parents’ health. Being in the health and fitness profession, I sometimes take my parents’ health for granted. It’s hard to be objective and be ‘real’ with them because they’re my parents and “nothing can happen to them.”
Well, this way of thinking is not going to cut it. I’m sure many of my fellow trainers/coaches are in the same boat. Sometimes we don’t see things as they are because we are so close to them. We really need to take a step back to see what is really happening.
If you are in the same boat as I am, I suggest you make a plan of action for your parents to follow. Start with their dietary habits and work toward exercise habits. As you know, Rome was not built in a day, so allow them to make small changes as they progress toward their final goals. Take it day-to-day and, before they know it, they will have made great strides toward a happier, healthier lifestyle.
Get them moving with these steps! (You might be a parent of a fitness professional reading this and, in that case, follow these steps!) 🙂
- WHAT to drink? Drink water in place of all pop, diet pop, beer, iced tea, etc.
- This will easily knock out any extra calorie/sugar consumption that is not really needed. To do this, slowly reduce the number of drinks every few days until you’re down to just water and the occasional drink of choice on a “cheat day.”
- WHAT to eat? Eat “natural” food 80%+ of the time
- We’ve all heard of the 80/20 principle. Stay on top of what you eat “most of the time” to gain better results and keep those results. The best way to do this, in my opinion, is to eat more naturally occurring foods that do not contain all the extra additives in them.
- Basically, if you follow a diet similar to the Paleo/Caveman diet, you can’t go wrong.
- Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint is another great place to start
- WHEN to eat? Smaller portions spread out, or bigger meals less frequently?
- There has been a big debate within inner-circles of the fitness/nutrition community lately on intermittent fasting. I, for one, am definitely for this way of eating. There are many benefits, which can be found on Mark’s site (link above), as well as on Martin Berkhan’s site, Lean Gains.
- Whichever way you choose to eat, try to stick to that pattern most of the time. Again, some days you might have to change it up, but always strive for that 80/20 rule. Consistency will always be an important factor in succeeding in anything you try to accomplish.
- WHAT to do? Try thinking in simpler terms.
- Many people think of exercise and general movement of daily activities as being separate. However, if you think in more simplistic terms, moving more in daily activities will help you reach your exercise goals faster. Don’t think of these two activities as being separate, but one and the same. Take the stairs to your floor; park farther away from the grocery store; walk a little faster wherever you’re going.
- Moving faster increases the intensity of your movement, which will help to burn more calories in the long run.
- If we’re thinking in simple terms, any movement can be considered “exercise” if your body is forced to work a little harder than normal, right? So get out and move around! Increase your heart rate for awhile and enjoy whatever it may be that you choose to do!
- WHEN to do it? Should there be a specific time?
- While there have been studies completed saying that there are optimal times during the day for hormone regulation (growth hormone, testosterone, cortisol, etc.) related to exercise, I think the best recommendation is to just get it done when you can fit it in. This is especially true if your general goal is to be healthy and maybe lose some weight in the process.
- You might even have to split up your one hour training session into two, half hour sessions. The main point is that you completed what you set out to finish. When it comes to strength training, this has been shown to actually be beneficial (multiple, short training sessions per day have worked for competitive weightlifters)
This is just a short list of things that can be changed to take the first step toward a happier, healthier YOU! Please, if I missed anything, let me know. I’ll be more than happy to edit this to bring more information to the masses! Get out and get moving! Oh, and eat something to help fuel and improve that movement!