HERE'S OUR BEST TIPS FOR OPTIMIZING YOUR ACTIVE LIFESTYLE
With the exception of a select few motivated individuals, the idea of sweating it out in a gym seems like a punishment. In fact, most people will do absolutely anything to avoid having to exercise.
However, as more and more research comes out showing the incredible benefits that exercise can provide for our physical, mental, emotional, and overall health; the fact hasn’t changed that we all need to incorporate physical activity into our daily lives.
The good news is: you don’t have to participate in an exercise class or go to the gym every day to reap the benefits of physical activity and exercise. There are many ways to achieve the benefits of an active lifestyle, and it can be as simple as going for a leisurely walk a few times a week.
In this article, we will outline 10 of the top tips for living a more active lifestyle including some of the best nutritional supplements that can help you get to where you want to be.
Prioritize Protein Intake
While a healthy balanced diet is, of course, the best recommendation for everyone regardless of their goal; protein supplementation is an essential step for folks who want to increase their activity level. This can be done through your normal diet, however, oftentimes it is difficult to achieve optimum protein levels through food alone (0.8g/kg body weight for the average person and up to 1.2g/kg body weight for extremely active individuals). Therefore, protein supplementation is usually a good option when one is pursuing a more active lifestyle.
Protein supplements come in myriad flavors and types including whey, casein, vegan, and others. Then there are the different forms you can get your protein in such as isolates, concentrates, and hydrolysates.
I know, it sounds really confusing, right? Trust me, it really isn’t.
Essentially, whey and casein are both proteins that come from milk. The difference between the two of them is how they are absorbed and what some studies have pointed to as being the major areas of health that each is most effective at targeting. Vegan protein is simply any protein that comes from a vegan nutritional source such as tofu, chickpeas, etc…
When we start talking about the forms that protein comes in, it is equally as straightforward. Each form of protein is simply the way the protein has been processed for your consumption. Isolates provide higher levels of raw protein whereas concentrates contain more fat and carbs, supplying considerably less raw protein than isolates. Hydrolysates are more quickly absorbed into your body than either of the other two forms.
If you talk to ten different people, you’ll probably get ten different answers as to which type or form of protein is best. Do some light research on the topic and come to your own conclusion as to which combination is going to work best to meet your needs.
Regardless of the type of protein you take, it is all beneficial and is a critical building block to a more active lifestyle.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
The general dietary recommendation out today is: if you feel thirsty, drink something. However, it should be noted that drinks containing caffeine or sugar (such as coffee and tea) and more obviously alcohol, have a dehydrating effect.
So, if you opt for something other than water to keep yourself hydrated, we recommend a flavored sports electrolyte drink that is low in sugar. Something that gives you the flavor that you are wanting while keeping you hydrated and replenishing your electrolytes as you sweat.
Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and veggies are packed full of vitamins and minerals that are essential for maintaining many of the various processes that occur in our bodies. If you find yourself in a situation, for whatever reason, where it is difficult to get more fruit and veggies into your daily diet, you could instead begin incorporating a multivitamin into your daily diet.
Supplements such as these don’t have all of the benefits inherent in fruits and vegetables but they do provide many of the same vitamins and minerals that are found in these foods.
Get More Sleep
Conflicting research over the years has given recommendations on optimal sleep that range anywhere from 6 hours per night to a whopping 10 hours per night. While the jury may still be out on the optimal amount of sleep our bodies need to function, it is clear that when we increase our activity, we tend to require more sleep.
So, if you find yourself feeling more groggy every morning after recently starting a new exercise regimen, try getting a little extra sleep to see if that does the trick.
If you find yourself having trouble falling asleep, consider a natural supplement such as melatonin to assist you in getting more rest.
Avoid the Temptation of “Quick Fixes”
When it comes to your health and living a balanced lifestyle, there are no quick fixes that are sustainable.
And as sad as it is, scammers will attempt to take advantage of anyone they can. This includes those who are attempting to implement healthy lifestyle changes. In factm the internet is full of snake oil salesmen.
Therefore, if you’re searching the internet for ideas on how to increase your activity levels, stay far away from any article whose author claims he or she has a “quick fix” or those products that provide “immediate results”.
Real, sustainable change takes time and effort, but you can get there, one step at a time.
Having someone to whom you are accountable is essential. For some folks, they may be able to be accountable to themselves.
However, for the vast majority, it may be a good idea to hire a coach or undergo a lifestyle change with a partner such as a family member or friend there to coach you through it and encourage you to keep pushing toward your goal even if it is difficult or less than fun.
Make Use of Apps
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of apps that are focused on healthy living and goal tracking available for your smartphone. It may take a little bit of time to determine which one of these are legit and may actually be a useful tool to incorporate into your daily routine but when you do… it can be an absolute game-changer.
And if you have a smartwatch, all the better! Start up your built-in activity tracker, sync to your smartphone, and start logging and comparing those goal completions every week.
If you are the type of person who cannot live without their lists (guilty here!), now is your time to shine! Put those list-building skills to use and bust out the calendar or journaling app and create a plan for the next month.
Leverage all the technology available and let it go to work for you!
Make Small Changes
Keep in mind that it doesn’t have to happen all at once. As a matter of fact, it will not happen all at once.
To make the largest impact on your lifestyle, it is going to require patience and persistence because you are going to be optimizing for long-term gains not just one-off bursts of productivity. Even a small change of adding in 20 minutes of walking once per week will make a huge impact so long as you stick to it.
Last but not most certainly not least… if you fall off the health wagon, dust yourself off and start again. Resist the temptation to allow it to negatively impact you emotionally, understand that it happens to all of us from time to time and that you can easily just hit the reset button.
Change is hard for just about everyone, especially the kind of change that takes time to create.
So, take your time, implement small changes, and sooner than you can imagine, you’ll be living a much healthier and more active lifes