Easy Ways on How to Stay Fit and Healthy and Live Your Life to The Fullest

Typically I’m showing people how to make “cents” of their investments, but today I’m going to do something slightly different. Today, I want to give you some tips and easy ways on how to stay fit and healthy and how you can make it work for you. One disclaimer to that is trying to stay fit and healthy is not an easy thing to do and doesn’t even come naturally to me. It’s something that I’m always having to work on (and some days are a lot harder than others).

Let me first give you some background of what my motivation is or why am I’m always trying to eat healthy and work out and live this healthy lifestyle. The biggest motivating factor for me is the fact that I lost my father to a heart attack not too long ago. My dad was 67 years of age. He was a smoker most of his life and once he stopped smoking he gained weight, didn’t exercise, didn’t eat healthy at all, and had a few different open heart surgeries, several heart attacks, and the last one took his life.

Me and My dad while I was home on leave

My Dad

For me, I didn’t want to follow down that same path. I want to be here playing with my kids when they are older. I want to be that old guy that is running along the side of the road in those little short running shorts, like that 70-80-year-old guy that you see running along the street; that’s what I want to be. I want to be around for a long while, healthy, playing with my kids. That is my motivating factor, and that is why I want to share these tips with you today.

Eat Healthy Consistently

The first tip is no surprise. When it comes to staying fit and healthy it’s not rocket science here. The first tip is to eat healthy, to eat right. One of the things that I try to do is to eat more greens, and that’s either eating more salad, eating more green beans, broccoli, and spinach – just think Popeye.

The biggest objection a lot of people have is that it takes a lot of time; extra effort to cook vegetables. Don’t let that be an excuse! To buy a bagged salad with Romaine lettuce at your grocery store is super easy. Eat that before each meal to help you get a full feeling and also packed with vitamins and nutrients.

Another thing is you can buy bags of frozen vegetables at the grocery store of either green beans, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, etc. You put it in the microwave for 4-5 minutes and then you’ve got hot, healthy, vegetables there as your side dish for dinner or lunch. Don’t let time be an excuse when you can either do the salad or do the frozen vegetables that don’t take you any time at all.

Something is wrong here...
Creative Commons License photo credit: TheBrady

The other aspect is to eat plenty of fruits, whether that be apples, oranges, strawberries, berries, and grapes. Make sure you get plenty of those each and every day. Going to the grocery store and putting them on your grocery shopping list to take them home and have them in your fridge. It’s such an easy, quick thing to grab, whether it be a snack at home or take it to the office and to have that healthy snack throughout the day. I’ll have another tip for that to how you get more fruits in your diet after I address the next point.

The other thing is to never skip breakfast.

This is a hard one for me because I’m a go-go-go-type guy and to actually sit down and have a formal breakfast is hard for me. Actually I don’t do it. I do it on the weekends and typically I’ll have Cheerios, some milk, maybe some toast, etc., but Monday through Friday it’s tough for me. Having two kids, soon to be three, having to get to work, drop them off. I’m sure a lot of you are in that same situation where it’s hard to actually sit down and have a nutritious breakfast.

Tasty Protein Health Shake

One way to get more fruits in my diet and have a healthy breakfast is my health shake. I have a blog post on it, and I’ll have some pictures of the shake here. In my health shake that I make each morning I have milk, non-fat yogurt, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, ground-up flax seed, and some protein powder, all that mixed together so I’m getting my nutritious breakfast that’s filled with all the vitamins and nutrients that you need, fiber, protein, all that good stuff. It takes me about seven minutes each and every morning to make it. The best part about it is not only is it for breakfast, but I’ll also have it as an afternoon snack. When you start having those hunger pangs or hunger cravings later in your day, I just drink the second half of that shake and it gives me that full feeling that I need, gives me that satisfaction that I need to continue with my day.

The other thing, which I’ve already addressed is don’t let yourself get hungry. A lot of people skip breakfast, they eat a big lunch and then they’re a zombie the rest of the day, and they come home and eat a really big dinner. When you do that your body is just storing all those calories and it’s not utilizing it. You’ve probably heard of the whole concept of snacking throughout the day or eating smaller meals throughout the day, and that is something that I can attest to.

Typically, I have my shake in the mornings. I’ll have my shake in the afternoon. I’ll have a nice, sensible lunch, typically go to Subway, Quiznos and get a sandwich on whole wheat bread or I head to McDonalds, and they have some great grilled chicken salads there with a light balsamic vinaigrette dressing.

Chocolate chips + fiber = heavean

I’ll have that smaller lunch, then throughout the day I try to snack on Fiber One bars or one of my most coveted snacks. These things are delicious. I’m a chocolate guy. They’ve got a chocolate chip Fiber One bar that I pretty much eat 5-6 days a week, one per day. Over and above that, the fruits also make a good snack to keep those hunger pangs away. Peanuts. Love nuts. Almonds, honey roasted peanuts, pecans, whatever nuts you like, another great snack. Yogurt, lots of cheese, string cheese.

Another tip to eating healthy is not eat too much of this:

In-N-Out Burger is so Good

Unfortunately, it's not the healthiest....but it's so good!

Sweat it up to stay fit

The second part of staying healthy and fit is you’ve got to exercise. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. You can eat healthy and you’ll see a lot of good stuff from that. You might be looking good on the outside, but you have to be good on the inside. You have to have a good heart, good circulatory system and just be in good aerobic shape. You know you have to exercise. For me, one of the things I struggled with was once I started working, when I went from my college days where I could work out twice a day, work part-time, go to class for a few hours a day it was easy to stay in shape. Once you actually go to that 40-hour, 50-hour, or 60-hour-a-week job and you’ve got a family you’re trying to juggle, it’s hard. I was working out still after I graduated, but the diet wasn’t there, and the workouts and intensity really diminished. I really wasn’t working out the same way that I was. I saw myself gaining weight. What actually helped me a lot was whenever I was deployed to Iraq.

Introducing Crossfit

When I was overseas I was introduced to a workout program called CrossFit. CrossFit is one of the best things that I have been introduced to. The cool thing about CrossFit is you can go to the website, they have free workouts that you can do. The website now is a bit extreme. They have some pretty hardcore workouts, but there are some, if you have a CrossFit affiliate local gym in your area (this is Crosffit SoILL, my affiliate gym), they can actually scale those workouts and make them a little bit easier if you’re new. What I love about CrossFit is their short and they’re intense, and you get your butt kicked in 20 minutes or less. That’s what I love, especially for a busy guy like myself. I have to get in there, get my workout, get my butt kicked, and get out and be on the rest of my day.

Me deadlifting 515 pounds at my first Crossfit affiliate competition:

That’s why I love CrossFit. It’s a very intense workout program. If it’s a 20-minute workout, you’re working out the entire 20 minutes. This is not going to the gym, putting some weight on a bench-press, doing 10 reps, resting three minutes, repeat, rinse, repeat, repeat the whole cycle. The whole time you’re really not working out, you’re just doing a few reps on a bench and some bicep curls, etc. CrossFit you’re doing pull-ups and push-ups and power cleans and squats and running, and kettle bell swings and jump rope, and rowing machines, and all this crazy stuff, but it’s an all-body workout. I’m not just talking weight training, I’m talking aerobic training. You get the full package, and that’s why I love it.

To supplement that, what I do sometimes on the weekends is I bought into one of those infomercials, P90X. You’ve probably seen the commercial late at night. That program works too. You need to have some equipment. You need to have some dumb bells, pull-up bar, but that is a good program. I would recommend it to someone to at least test it out. It’s a little bit longer. The workouts take about 45 minutes or so, but it’s a good supplement if you’re looking for something to do at home. The fact of the matter is you’ve got to work out.

Try Using Your Hips

If those are a little bit too intense for you, I can use my mom as another case study. My mom, she’s a little Filipino woman, and she used to run a lot and somewhere along the way she fell out of it. She stopped working out. She stopped eating right. She gained a bunch of weight. Then finally something triggered in her where she wanted to get back into it. She started going to the gym. One of the things she started doing was Zumba.

I have never done Zumba.  I have seen some people at the old gym I used to go to doing this dance workout routine. She actually won’t shut up about it, but it works. She tells me she’s in there for an hour doing this Zumba, moving her hips, whatever their doing, but she’s sweating her butt off, and you can see it. She has lost, I think 20 pounds or more. That’s, for my mom, whose about 4 foot 11, to lose 20 pounds, that’s a lot of weight for a little woman.

CrossFit, P90X, that would be a little bit too extreme for her, but she found a workout program that fits her, that works. She loves it; she enjoys it. The best part, she’s losing weight and enjoying it at the same time.

Get some ZZZZZ’s (Beauty Sleep is a Must!)

Another one is you have to get plenty of sleep. You’ve heard it from your doctor. You’ve heard it from on the news, watching whatever on TV. You have to get your eight hours of sleep. This is something that is a struggle for me because I’m a bit of a work-a-holic. Whether I’m doing videos or working my blog or spending time with my family, sleep is something is I guess I have to do, but it prevents me from doing a lot of these other activities. I have to wind down. You have to let your body wind down. Take a good siesta to just let your body recoup from that day.

Eight hours of sleep is what’s recommended. As a confession, I think I probably average about 6-7 hours of sleep. For me, if I get my six hours I’m good. I know I probably should be getting more, but that’s all I need to operate. My wife on the other hand, she needs her eight hours plus, and that’s good. I’m glad that she gets it because she deserves it as much as she does for our family and our kids and everything that she does. So get plenty of sleep.

Reduce Your Stress

Another tip that I will say is to reduce your stress levels, another one that is tough for me because as much as I’ve got going on there’s always a lot of pressure with my business, with my blog, with my videos, with my family to just keep at it, to keep on it. I’m always challenging myself. One of the few ways I have found to help reduce those stress levels is to sit down and just take a break and read something. Read a book. I’ve been reading the Bible and that has helped me immensely just to get away from everything, just to get away from the job, get away from the website, get away from any struggles that are going on in my life. Just to take 10-15 minutes of separation from my daily activities and just go into the Bible or go into that book that you’re reading and just take you away. That has helped immensely.

Meditation Does a Body Good

Another tip that someone shared with me as far as reducing stress, which kind of goes along those same lines is meditation. I say it and it still sounds weird to say it, but in prayer, in reading the Bible, and reading a book, you’re just taking a minute to close your eyes, just clear your mind, clear your conscious of all the things that are going on and just let it all go. My gosh, if you can actually do that for 10 minutes a day. Think about setting aside 10 minutes per day to sit there and just clear your mind and how much that would help reduce your stress levels. If you haven’t done it, I suggest you try it. I promise you it will help you in reducing some of those stress levels.

Hey Doc, How am I Doing?

The final thing I’ll say as far as staying fit and healthy is you have to keep up on your body. The way you do that is having your health checkup or having your annual checkup with your doctor. I can’t stress this enough. You have to go in for that annual checkup just to see what’s going on. You think you might be good and you’re working out and you’re eating right, but you never know what could be going on inside your body that you can’t see that only a doctor can see. As I’m filming this video, I’m getting ready to schedule my annual checkup with my doctor. Since heart disease runs in my family, it’s a really big concern of mine. I just want to check the ole ticker to make sure everything’s on the up and up, everything’s good and everything else is working the way it should.

I hope these tips were helpful in helping you stay fit and healthy. I have some other articles on the blog that can help address some of those. I will have some links and some graphs with those, but I have articles talking about one way I lost 20 pounds in 90 days, how to get over 40 grams of fiber in your diet a day, and some other good articles on the blog as well. Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll have more information to come. We’ll see you next time.

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