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Do You Make This One Common Mistake When it Comes to Your Health?

Do You Make This One Common Mistake When it Comes to Your Health?

Answer the following question truthfully: Are you in control of your health? Or do you let it control you?

For most folks, it’s the latter. If you fall into that category, it’s okay, because I’ll show you how to take control of your health starting with just 15 minutes of your time a day.

A Population Out of Control

The stats indicate many people struggle to control their health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • More than 1 out of every 3 adults in the United States is obese.
  • More than 2 out of every 3 adults in the United States is either overweight or obese.
  • Over 17 percent of kids ages 2-19 are obese.
  • Medical costs associated with obesity are around $147 billion per year.
  • Medical costs for people who are obese are $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.

Obesity is triggered by a number of factors, such as your genetics, socioeconomic issues, age, medical issues, etc. But guess what the number one cause of obesity is?

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Lifestyle factors.

This means what you eat, how much you exercise, whether or not you smoke, how much you sleep, etc. You probably knew this already. The reason I bring it up to you again is to prove a point: if you’re struggling with your weight and are unhappy with your current state of health, you can make a change.

Here’s how.

How to Take Control of Your Health

First, you have to want to change, so sit down and really think about the reasons why you want to get healthier. Maybe you’re sick of feeling embarrassed every time you go out to eat, or you want to look better in a bathing suit, or you want to increase your chances of being around longer so you can watch your kids grow up. Whatever your reasons are, write them down. This will serve as motivation down the road when you get a little off track (which you inevitably will). Once you decide you’re ready, talk to your doctor. When you make changes to your health, especially major ones, you need to get the green light from a healthcare professional.

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Next, map out your health goals. And by “map out”, I mean write them down. Be specific. Don’t say, “I want to lose weight.” Say, “I want to lose 10 pounds by August 1st.”

Sounds easy enough, right? So the next step is to take the goals you wrote down and place them in every spot where you spend a lot of time. This means in your bedroom, your family room, your office at work, in your car… you get the drift. The idea is to ensure that your goals are always on your mind. This helps you stick with them and stay motivated.

Commit to spending at least 15 minutes each day on healthy behaviors for the first week or two, and track those behaviors each day. These “healthy behaviors” will be highly individualized, but here are some ideas to get you thinking in the right mindset.

10 Ways to Take Control of Your Health in 15 Minutes or Less

1. Keep a food diary outlining your daily calorie counts.

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2. Spend 15 minutes walking or biking.

3. Cook a healthy dinner for yourself or your family.

4. Take a 15-minute walk on your lunch break at work.

5. Make a healthy smoothie for breakfast in the morning.

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6. Pack a salad for lunch instead of going out to eat.

7. Spend 15 minutes doing yoga or stretching.

8. Eat 5-7 servings of vegetables.

9. Take your dog for a quick walk.

10. Try to go a day without drinking any soda, juice, or other sugary drinks.

Taking Control for the Long-term

Once you spend a week or two commiting to at least 15 minutes a day, increase that number to 30 minutes a day, and continue to track your progress. According to research it takes 66 days to form a healthy habit, so if you continue these healthy behaviors every day for 8 weeks or so, you’ll be much more likely to experience long term success so you can take control of your health once and for all.

More by this author

Scott Christ

Scott Christ is a writer, entrepreneur, and founder of Pure Food Company.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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