Sunday, March 3, 2013

Living a Healthy Lifestyle doesn't have to Suck

Me getting some on a climbing wall
Survival by definition is continuing to live or exist. Dying from something that you could have prevented is a bummer to say the least. It's also not really considered surviving then right? Many people that call themselves "survivalist" don't really put as much emphasis into themselves as they do the gear that they own.

I'm a firm believer that you should enjoy life, however some sacrifices must be made to enjoy a long healthy life. Many people's vision of a healthy lifestyle is eating salads and running 3 miles a day. I'd have to say that would suck, but introducing healthy habits doesn't have to be that extreme.

Start off by eliminating any bad habits you may have like smoking (your wallet will thank me) and drinking sugary drinks like sodas. If your hooked on sodas, try adding a water in between each soda you have throughout the day. Weening off of caffeine will be tough, but in the end you will have more sustained energy without it.  Go buy a Nalgene or Kleen Kanteen to have water with you at all times. You need one anyway for your survival kit.

When it comes to healthy meal habits, apply a slow weekly integration method like this:

  • 1st week 20% Healthy, 80% Regular
  • 2nd week 30% Healthy, 70% Regular
  • 3rd week 40% Healthy, 60% Regular
  • and so on
Also understand your not going to get too many healthy meals from drive-thru's. Meal prep is fundamental in fighting this battle. Every Sunday and Wednesday night I cook my meals for the week. I do this to make it more convenient, inconvenience makes way for the easy way out. The easy way out usually something with a side of fries. Start planning your meals for the week with my integration method above. It will help with gaps and also eliminate any food  being wasted during the week.

Google search the web for recipes, there are tons of delicious healthy options out there. Stay away from the popular fast diets out there, people tend to gain all the weight back once their off of them. What I'm talking about is healthy "eating habits" and not "diets". If you have trouble finding recipes I can point you in the right direction. 

Now getting active. I train 6 days a week, varying from weightlifting, cardio, and other stuff (mountain biking, etc.). I'm able to do this because of a flexible schedule and I have no children in the house. I know that's not a reality for many of you out there. Some sacrifices will have to be made to get active, like a little less television and web-surfing. Getting active can be mountain biking, take up a martial art, joining a gym, rock-climbing, playing a sport with the kids, or running around the neighborhood after work. The list is really endless, and it can be as enjoyable as you make it. If you have a partner, make this a joint effort. You will motivate each other and enjoy the time together. 

If you do decide to join a gym, do yourself a favor and get a trainer. I see so many people in the gym daily that lift weights incorrectly and really just seem confused. This will eventually lead to them not getting the desired results, injured, or giving up. 

Motivation is key to making a change. Make goals for yourself, go buy new gym clothes/shoes, or enter in a 5k road race 3 months out, or to be a better survivalist. 

I mentioned kids and I feel getting active with them and being an example to them will also help them understand the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Something that's lacking in our society today. 

The benefits of a healthy lifestyle are endless: less visits to the doctor, more energy, greater self-worth, confidence, and being a better survivalist to name a few. This was just a primer and in the future I'll go over a more in-depth approach. If you have any questions feel free to email me or drop a comment in the box below. If I can't answer your question I'll point you in the right direction. Cheers to a long healthy life.

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