I recently spoke on a panel of experts about how to optimize your your health and fitness during all this COVID craziness. While I can’t share the actual presentation, I figured I’d share my notes. If one person gets something of use out of this, it was worth the share!

Top 5 Tips For Optimizing Health and Fitness During A Pandemic

  1. Realize and understand ALL aspects of your health are synergistic.

  • You can’t expect to accelerate with one foot always on the brake
  • _______ affects ________ which affects ___________ which affects ___________
    • Fill in the blanks: sleep, diet, stress, exercise (really no incorrect answer)
  • Sleep 7-9 hours every night
  • Veggies and protein at every meal
  • Appropriately manage stress
  • Exercise 30 min daily

2. Set goals! ….but manage expectations.

  • Goals help with motivation, accountability, purpose
    • if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there
  • However, given the times it might not be the best time to accomplish certain goals
    • record levels of stress and depression —> maybe six pack isn’t all that important right now given what it takes to get it
    • lack of equipment —> not the best time to work towards a 400lb deadlift
  • Make sure goals are doable and realistic
    • Baseline goal: damage control, don’t regress
      • adjust calorie intake, increase NEAT (non exercise activity thermogenesis… fancy talk for general activity), don’t skip on sleep, etc…
    • Good goal: establish consistency
      • diet, sleep, walking, exercise
    • Great goal: make improvements
      • can sleep be improved?
      • can I make adjustments to my diet?
      • can I take steps to alleviate stress?
      • can I continue to push my workouts given my knowledge, space, equipment, etc?
        • Focus on one at a time
          • Which area needs the most work?

3. Effective change = thinking small, starting even smaller.

  • You will fail if you bite off more than you can chew… probably.
    • “I want to lose 25lbs this month”
    • “I want to go from 0 days per week of exercise to 7 days per week”
  • You will fail if you try to change too many things at once… definitely.
    • “I want to start eating only organic foods, cut sugar, increase sleep by 1.5 hours every night, lift weights 4x per week, and start a gratitude journal.”
  • Create “laughably” small goals
    • so easy you laugh at the idea of them being challenging
      • when accomplished, leaves you feeling confident you can accomplish more tomorrow
        • helps create consistency and sustainability
          • want to start running? Put your shoes by the front door.
          • want to stop drinking soda? replace one sip with water at dinner and only dinner
          • want to start strength training? do one set of ten squats
            • do juuuuust a little more the next day
  • No such thing as instant gratification when it comes to sustainable, long term behavior change
    • How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time

4. Find and create ANY opportunity to introduce low levels of activity into your daily routine.

  • General activity that is NOT a dedicated workout is one of the biggest contributing factors to healthy body compositions
    • compound interest of the fitness world
  • ANYTHING is better than nothing
    • watching TV? foam roll, mobility routines, simple stretches, simple bodyweight exercises
  • Take the stairs, park far away, set reminders to get up, always return your cart to the corral, get a standing desk, sit on the floor more often, get a “movement accountability buddy”, daily walk, play with kids

5. Get strong or die tryin’.

  • Should be #1 priority for everyone, especially after 30 years of age
    • strength training benefits outweigh all other forms of exercise in terms of “bang for your buck”
      • increased bone density, increased lean muscle mass, increased muscle strength, increased tendon strength, increased resting metabolism, increased joint health and integrity, improved mobility, improved balance and body awareness, decreased body fat, enhanced injury prevention, and believe it or not can positively affect your very DNA itself
  • After 30, it’s all downhill…. unless you do something about it
    • strength training is the most effective way to slow down the natural aging process and every ‘negative’ thing that comes with it
  • Don’t overthink or overcomplicate it
    • Squat
    • Hinge
    • Lunge
    • Push
    • Pull
    • Carry
  • No equipment? No problem. You can always adjust….
    • Tempo (perform reps slower)
    • Reps
    • Sets
    • Rest
    • Supersets, tri sets, giant sets
    • Power (perform reps explosively)
    • Range of motion
    • Pauses (like at the bottom of a movement, ie: squat)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment