When you attempt to lose weight, you do so through 1 of 3 methods – eat different, exercise more, or some combination of the two.
For me, the choice was diet.
I’m a firm believer that if you don’t address the food you eat, you may use exercise as an excuse to eat unhealthy.
On top of that, the food you ingest gives you precious energy, and the higher the quality, the better performance you will see.
If you decide to tackle both diet and exercise, it may become too difficult to change two habits at once to really sustain long-term success.
To make a long story short, put me on the side that believes what you put into your body is the #1 factor towards optimal health.
Having said that, there is a balance that must be achieved with exercise and burning calories.
Here’s a few things I know about myself:
- I dislike running for the sake of running
- I enjoy exercising through sports
- I like hiking and nature-related activities
- I’m not interested in hours of strenuous exercise daily
- I want to get the maximum results from the minimum effort
My vision for a “perfect” active lifestyle would look like this…
It seems simple, but many people don’t do it often enough during the day. Especially those working in an office cubicle.
You can count me as someone who would spend hours at a time sitting at the computer.
As soon as I moved out of my parents house and into my own place, I wanted to setup my office the right way – with a standing desk.
This gave me the option to use my leg muscles more without thinking about it.
And believe me, after a couple days of standing at work, you’ll notice by how tired your legs are!
You get used to it, and you’ll be better for it.
My Apple Watch notifies me every hour if I didn’t stand, and it tracks my goal of standing in 12 different hours throughout the day.
Between the standing desk and this handy notification, I’m easily on my feet 3-4x more than I was a few years ago.
Another easy activity that gets thrown to the wayside.
Even though watching after my sister’s dog is time consuming, one of the main benefits are the built-in daily walks in the morning and evening.
It’s impossible to not feel better after a brisk 2 mile stroll, especially knowing that your puppy friend is getting to sniff all sorts of new shit, literally and figuratively.
They are a handful, yet if you have a dog, use it as an excuse to go out 1 more time per day and walk around. Even if it’s only in your backyard.
If not, find some interesting trails or nature walks near you.
While I don’t get out often enough, I’m an avid hiker and thoroughly enjoy visiting state and national parks along the east coast.
I’d be lying if I said golf wasn’t a main factor for me trying the keto diet.
Watching Tiger Woods’ decline has been interesting for me, because he is my favorite golfer and a major reason why I ever picked up a club in high school.
It made two things painfully obvious:
#1) Even though golf is a “forever” game, your best golf is during your prime athletic years
#2) If I want to achieve a long-time goal of breaking 80, I better do it during my 30’s!
I could go on for hours about why golf is the best game out there.
But at it’s core, it’s simple why it speaks to me – healthy long walks, connection with nature, humbling for your ego, and respect for the process of perfecting your swing (which will never happen).
If it were possible, I’d golf every single day. That’s my end goal.
File this under something I despised until I took up gardening as an interest.
My yard was 100% grass when I moved in, and the first summer I encountered a problem literally every time I attempted to mow the lawn or use the trimmer.
It was a nightmare.
That put me on a mission to make use of the space in my yard instead of keeping it grass, which is frankly nothing but maintenance with absolutely no pay off.
I wanted to put in raised beds to grow my own organic food, and also hardscape several areas so I had a place to put a grill and other outdoor furniture.
I’m happy to say 12-18 months later, I’m 80% done with what I envisioned.
And my vision involved a lot of manual labor, transporting 10+ tons of rocks, breaking ground, etc.
Over several months, I exercised way more than normal because of my ideas for the yard.
It actually became therapeutic instead of something I despised and dreaded. Plus it got me outdoors more than normal.
Wins all around.
You don’t need a gym membership to get healthy.
This goes back to my idea of minimal input, maximum output.
There are plenty of ways to get in shape around your home, work or outdoors.
That said, there is one weight that is worth buying because it gives you the most bang for your buck – the kettlebell.
The kettlebell swing is a great all-in-one kind of exercise that works your legs, core and arms.
It doesn’t take long to do them, I usually do 3 sets of 20-30 each with a 35 lb kettlebell.
This just feels good for your muscles, and even though I’ve yet to build it into my daily routine, I still do it before exercise or lengthy activity.
If you are into yoga, this is right up your alley.
All I have is one stretch band. That’s all you need, along with 10-15 minutes.
Here’s a link to a resistance band set with almost 5,000 positive reviews!
Like most other goals, I’m getting there one step at a time. I incorporate many of these things into my life, but not to the level that I truly want.
It will come with time.
I encourage you to think about what you enjoy most, and see what types of exercise keep you interested for the long-haul.
In terms of the keto diet, it’s known that you may lose some of the “top end” speed or strength compared to a person on a carb-heavy diet. And I’m OK with that. Most of the activities listed above lend themselves to long, slow energy burning vs. short bursts of high-intensity energy.
This all goes back to finding the correct long-term healthy eating habits for YOU! The keto diet may not be the best option to pair with your favorite exercise. Only you can figure out what keeps you running at full energy.