What is up everyone?!? Time for the grand finalé. Welcome to part 3 in our journey of Chasing Optimal Health. Hope you’ve enjoyed the first two editions, but in the event you’ve missed them… Check out Chasing Pt. 1 and Chasing Pt. 2.
There it is. Our beautiful map and guide for this journey. We’ve covered Relationships & Mindset, Toxins/Environment, Stress Management & Habits and Sleep. Raise your hand if you’re guilty of overlooking some of those (maybe all of those) as crucial factors to creating a healthy lifestyle (mine is raised). Crazy huh? Well if there is just one goal for this series it has been to just make all of you aware that “Fitness” is more than just lifting heavy shit and crushing macros…
… Did you say lifting heavy shit and crushing macros?! Yes, but this article is not solely based on that. There is so much more!
I guess we should jump into the last two pillars of Optimal Health – Movement & Quality Food.
We have all probably seen this as a motivational tool. Working out for one hour is such a minuscule percentage of our days and the benefits are too long to list. However, what if we look at it from the other perspective? Assuming you do get 8 hours of sleep, what is the deal with the other 15 hours in your day?
Our bodies are essentially programmed to be as comfortable as possible. To that tune, our body is also programmed to be able to adapt quickly. We’re meant to survive right? So under extreme conditions, our body will find a way to evolve and ensure survival. Working out is one of those extreme conditions. Our bodies hate working out so it evolves and grows to consistent stress over time. 4 – 6 weeks is all it takes for our body to adapt to a resistance training program.
Why is this important? Well because we can’t assume that working out for 1 hour is going to be our savior. If we spend the rest of our 15 hours just sitting, lounging or not being active at all. Only moving to go to the fridge or the bathroom, we’re going to find ourselves fighting a losing battle. How many times have you seen a cheat meal come on a “rest day” or even a day where you workout but then just sit around all day (Football Sundays anyone?).
We need to be more mindful of our “movement” outside of work. Check out our article on the important of N.E.A.T. Non. Exercise. Activity. Thermogenesis.
We’ll leave you with this tidbit. Consider taking the stairs over the elevator.
Lets do some quick math? (I hate math btw)
1.5 calories burned per 10 steps climbed.
30 steps climbed in a day
4.5 daily calories burned via stairs.
For the course of 1 year?
4.5 x 365 = 1,642.50
There are 3,500 calories in a pound. So by simply slightly altering your methods, you were able to burn 1/2 a pound for the year. Amazing! Obviously, that is a minuscule example, but I think it really drives the point home. With the advance of technology, social media and everything that makes our lives “easier,” sitting has truly become the new smoking. Which is even further reason why N.E.A.T. is such an important part of our overall health/fitness journey.
Get moving people!
I still have not found this kitchen … have any of you?! All jokes aside, I’m pretty sure we have all heard it at least once – “Abs are made in the kitchen.” And it is so true. You will never outwork a bad diet. But it’s not just about “nailing your macros” or “if it fits your macros.” There’s more.
Food is a foundational piece of life. At its core, we obviously need it to survive (I know, I know – nothing revolutionary with that). Further to that though, food (and I mean quality food) has the ability to provide us with so much more than just survival. It can help with our energy levels, fight off Father Time, give us glowing & radiant skin and so much more.
Aside from crushing your macros (yea! macros) there’s that level of micro nutrients that we need to focus on. Fiber, mineral, vitamins, anti-oxidants and so much more. Every year that goes by, the food that we put into our body matters more. I mean, I used to crush a whole box of pop tarts (maple brown sugar – best flavor ever!) and gushers as a high school kid and be good to go. Chef Boyardee was legit my homie! My hormones were on high alert, I was playing sports non-stop and just starting to lift weights casually. Fast forward to now, Chef Boyardee is excommunicado and pop-tarts just don’t taste the same. But I’m more in tune with my body and understand how quality food affects me.
Don’t get me wrong, donuts are always bae and Shake Shack is pretty incredible but that is all in moderation. For the sake of your health, your pretty muscles and your overall mood, pay close attention to the food you’re eating. Future you will thank you immensely!
And we’re done! Hope you enjoyed this journey down the path of Optimal Health. Hope you all start to do a top down analysis of where you are in that quest and what simple adjustments you can make to get you there. As always, we love to hear from you so don’t be shy and drop us a comment.