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Fit For Life: Better Yourself on a Daily Basis

Sunday, February 18, 2018

 

As many of you already know, I am on a mission to get better every day. Whether it be a coach, leader, or businessman, I know there are always ways to improve and sharpen my skills.

I spend a lot of time and money on personal development, and I am not planning to stop anytime soon. I travel across the country several times a year to learn from the best, so I can come back and share my knowledge with the folks that come to my gym, read my articles, and trust me with their health and fitness.

Part of getting better is managing myself on a daily basis and create positive habits that will take me steps closer to where I want to be. I am going to share a few things I have learned and implemented over the years, so you can apply them to your daily routines too. Remember, if you implement a lot of small daily habits to your routine, it will help you on all levels from physical strength to mental clarity.

The way you start your day is probably the most important time to adhere to good practices. If you find yourself scrambling in the morning and always running behind, try setting your alarm clock 15 minutes earlier, and AVOID hitting the snooze button. I kicked this habit a couple years ago, and it’s been a game changer. When you hit snooze, you are wasting valuable time, and you are not getting quality sleep anyway. Think about what you can accomplish in 9 extra minutes (most cycles on alarm clocks??) in the morning. You could make coffee and or eggs, get in a few stretches, make a list for the day, or possibly read a few pages of a book.

Get your workouts in!! To some this may not be possible due to work schedules, but if you can I strongly recommend it. There is nothing better than getting it done first thing in the morning. I am not a morning person, but since I started scheduling my workouts in the am a couple years ago, I never miss a workout. There are the few times when I coach or travel that I put it off til later, and when I do, it’s a chore to get them in due to distractions, and a busy schedule. The am works best and it energizes your day when you accomplish something first thing in the morning.

Prepare your meals or plan healthy places you can eat. When you wing it, two things happen; either you go too long without eating, or you make bad choices. The term “if you fail to plan than plan to fail” holds true more with your nutrition than anything else. When you eat quality food, it not only makes you healthy physically, but enhances mental clarity. When you are hungry or eat processed crap during the day it throws off your thinking and energy levels, so dialing in your nutrition should be high on your priority list.

Avoid gossip, and energy vampires. These are the negative people in your life that like to talk about others and complain about everything. Just like the news on tv, they rarely have anything positive to offer you. When you surround yourself with these people they bring you down the whirlpool with them and drain you. One of my mentors has a good saying: If you want success out of life, hang with thoroughbreds and avoid the donkeys. You become a product of who is around you. If you want to be a high performer, surround yourself with high performers. These people don’t waste their time or energy being negative, or wasting time gossiping, they are looking for ways to get better.

Get to bed on time. Figure out if you need 7 or 8 hours sleep and get it! This is important if you want to have a productive day. When you wake well rested, you won’t need the snooze button in the morning, nor will you need more than one cup of coffee to make through the day. I have reached a point where I don’t need coffee anymore. I drink it because I like it, but I test myself and can go all day without it if I choose to. You won’t feel physically drained, or mentally foggy when you get the required sleep. This should be a non-negotiable habit. Not only is it good for your energy levels, but a lot of healing goes on inside the body when we are sleeping. Trust me, watching the late show isn’t a good sacrifice for your rest.

So, there are a few simple habits you can do to improve on a daily basis. All those items equal more productivity, and when you are more productive, you become more successful at accomplishing your important daily tasks.

Matt Espeut, GoLocal's Health & Lifestyle Contributor has been a personal trainer and health & fitnesss consultant for over 25 years. He is the owner of Fitness Profiles, a one on one, and small group personal training company, as well as Providence Fit Body Boot Camp, located at 1284 North Main St., on the Providence/Pawtucket line. You can reach Matt at (401) 453-3200; on Facebook at "Matt Espeut", and on Twitter at @MattEspeut. "We’re all in this life together – let’s make it a healthy one.

 

Related Slideshow: The 7 Best Health and Fitness Apps

Here is a list of some of the most obsession worthy health apps.

Prev Next

MapMyRun

MapMyRun is the number one selling running app for a reason:  it is easy to use, offers community support if you want it, and tracks and stores your exact routes for you.  If you are training for a race or a serious runner, users say that the extra perks in the upgraded paid version are well worth it. 

Made for iPhone, Android and Blackberry 

Prev Next

MyFitnessPal

MyFitnessPal seems to be the clear favorite amongst everyone polled.  It is helpful not only for the fitness tracking aspect, but everyone polled mentioned how much they loved the food/diet aspect as well. From carb counting for diabetics to recipe ideas to complement your fitness goals, users love this app. 

Made for iPhone and Android

Prev Next

JeFit

JeFit is another fitness app that has rave reviews.  It not only tracks progress for you, but offers a huge database of workouts.  While many apps offer community support, JeFit allows you to sync workouts with friends who use the app, offering a (real) virtual buddy system.

Made for iPhone and Android

Prev Next

Strava

Strava gets the highest mark of all the cycling apps.  While it is also great for runners, the cyclers seem particularly inclined towards the fierce competition that can be ignited by this app.  You can track all of your rides via GPS, then you can compare your efforts to those logged by others in the community on the same stretch of road.  You can also join ongoing challenges that can net you great prizes (in addition to bragging rights). 

Made for iPhone and Android

Prev Next

YogaStudio

YogaStudio gets the top vote for Yoga apps.  It has a lengthy collection of full class-length videos available at your fingertips.  Unlike many other apps, this one also allows you to customize your own video yoga class.  All of the poses are done by qualified yoga instructors, and you can find classes suitable for all levels of yogis.

Made for iPhone only

Prev Next

SimplyBeing

SimplyBeing meditation app offers the best of both worlds.  You can choose to run this app as a background for your meditation with soothing music or natural sounds that run for a set amount of time.  Conversely, for those of you who have trouble focusing during meditation, you can choose a soothing voice-guided meditation. 

Made for iPhone and Android

Prev Next

Fooducate

Fooducate is an app all about educating people so that they make healthier food choices.  Although not perfect, this app is easy to use (you can even take pictures of bar codes to instantly find foods in their database).  It gives food a letter grade, tells you the pluses and minuses, and gives you better ranked alternatives.  You can also use it as a weight loss tool by tracking your daily calories. 

Made for iPhone and Android

 
 

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