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During the month of August, I posted a different ‘lean habit’ each day on our Blast Fitness Facebook page.
Habits are actions that we repeatedly perform over and over until they become unconscious or routine.
It certainly takes some practice and conscious effort to create lasting habits, but the result is living a balanced life without a ton of effort and being happy with your physical and mental results.
1. Recognize that the process of lasting change is slow, back and forth and so worthwhile.
2. Eat carbohydrates from real foods like fruits, vegetables, oats, brown rice, quinoa. Limit processed and packaged carbohydrates like crackers, cookies and breads.
4. Eat leafy greens! Spinach, kale, arugula, lettuce, chard. Put them in stir fries, smoothies, salads.
5. Give up the ‘more is better’ mindset. The most effective workouts are short and sweet with heavy weights and intensity.
6. Choose core exercises that work your entire body (rather than just your ‘abs’) like planks, squats and medicine ball throws.
7. Use the oxygen mask theory. Take care of yourself in order to better serve others. Make your health and fitness a priority.
9. Our relationship with food is a reflection of our outer world. I strive for mine to be peaceful, loving, fulfilling and balanced.
10. Avoid letting the day of the week determine your eating habits. Try eating the same way on Saturday as you do on Monday.
12. Learn to order a healthy meal at a restaurant. Choose tons of veggies with lean protein like a stir fry. Avoid deep-fried appetizers and processed carbohydrates.
13. Find peace in simple beauty. Stop and smell the roses. The little things really are the most important.
14. Fill your lunch and dinner plate half full with leafy greens and fibrous veggies. Cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts and broccoli are all full of fibre.
15. Learn about what stresses you out and find ways to deal with it healthfully. Yoga, meditation and slow walking are effective ways to lower stress rather than complaining, drinking, smoking and worrying.
17. Create mini physical challenges for yourself along the journey to achieve your goals. Pick a certain number of stairs to run up and DO IT!
18. Eat REAL FOOD. Real food looks like it did when it came off the tree or out of the ground. Yes, we have room for dairy, protein powders and a treat, but make the majority of your choices as unprocessed as possible.
19. Lift Heavy! When performing strength training exercises ensure you get to muscular fatigue to see the changes you desire. Benefits of lifting heavy include burning more calories, improved insulin sensitivity, elevated fat burning hormones, feeling stronger mentally and sweating more.
20. Learn to accept the things we cannot change, and have the courage to change the things we can. We cannot change the thoughts of others, but we can change how we deal with them.
21. Have healthy options on hand to deal with sweet cravings. Fresh berries are full of taste, fibre and water and low in sugar.
22. Take ownership of your results. You can have all the plans and workouts in the world, but if you do not DO anything then your results will suffer.
23. Learn what provides you with mental energy and what costs you mental energy. Could be time on your own or time with others. Learn how you are wired.
25. Use ‘big’ muscle groups during strength training sessions. Hello legs! Squats, lunges, deadlifts are our friends for total body fat burning.
26. Have a small treat every couple days to keep you on track and avoid a huge binge! Willpower is exhaustible so manage it by having something that is satisfying and enjoyable every couple days.
27. Perform interval cardio workouts one to two times each week. These should be challenging and sweaty! Get breathless and take active recovery until you are ready to push hard again.
28. Hire a coach. Outsourcing your workout schedule and exercise routine helps to break through plateaus and boredom.
29. Have fun with your physical activities. Avoid being so serious about your physical activity habits. Make it fun! Workouts are much easier to do when we actually look forward to them!
31. You always have a choice. You have a choice how you spend your time, what you put into your mouth and what you make a priority in your life.
I hope you enjoyed The Lean List!