How To Stay Fit And Feel Alive (A Guide To Health And Fitness)
“Take care of your body. It’s the only one you get. The only place you have to live.” ~Jim Rohn
We’ve discussed our soul, spirit, and mind and how it contributes to our fulfillment in previous articles. In this article, we focus on our physical body. We’ve already laid a solid foundation, and we can use that to aid in the development of our human form.
Our bodies are critical to our well-being because sickness prevents living a long, happy, healthy life. You must care about the treatment of your body because if you don’t, no one else will. Let’s talk about the importance of your body and three simple ways to feel healthier and more energized today. First, let’s hear from a master in health and fitness and his perspective on your physical being.
“The reality is most of us only begin to value our health once we lose it. Then it’s too late. You’re on your deathbed, or you have diabetes, cancer or something that’s irreversible or much harder to reverse as a result of the choices that you made. That’s the message in all this.” – Michael Morelli Jr.
Michael Morelli Jr. is the owner and creator of Hiitmax, a successful business driven by his passion to inspire people all over the world to live a fit lifestyle. He has over 125,000 customers worldwide, 1 million followers on social media, and has helped thousands of people lose weight and lead a healthier life.
“I was your average kid who played lots of sports growing up. I was overweight and trying to get a six-pack for the longest time. For about a decade, I was working out, doing all the fad diets, cardio one week and whatever the magazine told me to do, without any results to show for it. My diet wasn’t dialed in either.
It wasn’t until about three years ago when my daughter was on the way, and I couldn’t even carry a couple of grocery bags up two flights of stairs without getting winded. It was rough. Bankruptcy. Divorce. I was at my lowest of my low. That’s when I decided I was going to figure this out.
Began to play around with the paleo diet and high intensity interval training, which at the time I didn’t know was high intensity interval training. I started stringing together exercises in my 1,000 square foot apartment, and all of a sudden I started to see results.
Fat started to melt off my body. 113 days later, I lost 27 pounds. I went from about 25% body fat down to 8%. I was healthy. My aerobic capacity was up. Strength was up. Endurance was up. I had a better engine. I had a six pack finally at 30 years old for the first time in my life. That was really cool.
I took that transformation, and I turned it into a business. I knew that I needed to get credible. Nine months later, I had five certifications and a 7-figure business. I went from bankruptcy to a seven figure business in nine months.
I don’t take it for granted. All that I have now can be taken away. We need to appreciate what we have. If you’re in poor health, you can’t perform, you can’t be in business, you can’t do things, and you’re back at square one again. The momentum is key. It’s all about finding the groove and building the momentum. And once you have the momentum and start seeing changes and start to evolve, that’s when the sky’s the limit.
It’s so easy to say, ‘I’m healthy’ and have a bag of cookies or potato chips or pizza, but in reality you’re dying inside. You’re not fueling your body. Think of food as fuel, not as comfort. Because of society’s instant everything — instant coffee, instant rice, instant oatmeal — we live in an instant society so it’s convenient, it’s easy, it’s quick, but there’s ramifications to that. It always catches up to you.
If you look at the statistics for obesity and heart disease, it’s starting with thirteen year old kids. I’ve seen reports of obesity at eight years old. Really? What’s going on in that parent’s life to not be so involved? My kids don’t know junk food. They don’t know sugary cereal. They know what we give them. They eat what we give them.
My daughter is three years old, and she’s taking her spoon and eating avocado. At three years old! Why? Because we eat avocado. We are their example. We need to lead by example. You instill those patterns and those habits, and the brain doesn’t want the garbage.
I call it the processed food fog. People don’t realize it because they’ve eaten garbage for so long. They don’t realize that if they clean things up, the fog disappears. Life is actually different on the other side with healthy foods.
When you’ve cleaned up your diet for 30 to 60 days, and you go back to the garbage, that’s when you feel lethargic. I do tell my followers cheating is ok. It builds resilience. As long as you’re dialed in, you can have some fun. You can cheat a little bit. If you’re truly dialed in, you’re not going to want to cheat for at least another week.
Just like everybody else, I look in the mirror. You try on clothes, and they don’t fit you like they once did. That does something to the mind. Over the last 60 days, I have been in the business working so hard, there have been times when I haven’t been able to get to the gym. I saw myself floundering on the health front. Something wasn’t right. I was battling. I realized mind, body, and spirit are fundamental and so important.
When I’m lean and mean, I have so much confidence. When I’m lean and I see my abs, the confidence piece is unmatched. When you’re dialed in from both a fitness and health perspective and you look the part, you feel like you can conquer the world. You really do. That’s the piece that I love so much.
Real health and fitness is a journey not a destination. I don’t think I’ll ever be 100% content. I’m never going to arrive. We don’t ever arrive. I think we’re always striving. If we don’t stay the course and if we don’t stay around like-minded people, we’re going to fall back. Remove all the toxic people from your life.
Momentum can go the opposite the direction. There’s positive momentum, and there’s negative momentum. You have to understand the difference between the two. It can get bad really fast.
People want to get fixated on the details. They want to complicate things. That stems from mindset and some potential mental blocks. Once you get through that, the sky’s the limit. People know how to lose weight. You move more, you eat less. In theory, that’s it in a nutshell. Why do people have such a hard time with that? It’s because of the mental piece.
What I’ve realized after creating all these successful programs and meal plans is that lots of people have had success, and lots of people haven’t. For those who haven’t, they stopped doing the plan due to some fear or mental block.
The mental piece is the most critical component of health and fitness. There are millions of great programs out there, but if you can’t get through the mental barriers and realize that you do deserve better and can have better, there’s no program in the world that’s going to work for you.”
In Michael’s current program called the 100K Challenge, he talks about how important having a support system is. “There’s the support system. They’re supporting each other through setbacks and celebrating successes. If someone has a bad day, they post a message in the Facebook community, and we’re all picking each other up. That is now what I’m after.
We’re writing some new programs, and my goal is to put things in place to help people get through the mental blocks and barriers. To help them hold each other accountable and to continue to motivate each other. There’s plenty of people that have the motivation piece, but they don’t have the health and fitness piece. That’s where the real opportunity lies.
My advice is, don’t get fixated on the details. Get going. You don’t have to go to the gym. You don’t have to do 15 reps and 3 sets of this exercise followed by this exercise. Get moving. Fill your body with whole foods from as close to nature as possible.
Follow a 90/10 rule. 90% of the time you’re dialed in, 10% of the time there’s a little wiggle room, and you can have some fun. We don’t want you to not enjoy yourself. I’ve met so many people who are waiting for a quick answer about a program that is just a minute detail, and their mind’s saying ‘I want one more barrier to get through so I don’t have to start.’ Hit the ground running.
Tomorrow as a beginner, you could do 10 minutes of jumping jacks, eat whole foods for the entire week, and start seeing results. You’re never upset after a workout. At the end of the day, hit the ground running, find your groove, and find the momentum. When you find it, ride it.
Michael has achieved enormous success with his business because he recognizes some key factors. The mental aspect of your life is huge. Your mind affects every part of your life, including your desire to be healthy. He also recognizes the importance of gaining momentum. You have to find the momentum and then ride it. This entire article is about helping you find that momentum so you can start to see positive results in your life.
As a former certified personal trainer, I understand how much taking care of your body is critical to your life. You only get one spirit, one mind, and one body. That’s it. Take care of it, and it will take care of you. Your body is your temple. Nourish it properly.
Think of it this way: if you aren’t in good health, how are you able to do anything else in your life? Without your health, you aren’t able to spend time with loved ones, work on your passion, take care of your family, go on vacations, or participate in anything you love to do.
If you become ill, doing what you enjoy in life becomes a challenge, especially when you have no energy. Caring for yourself means respecting the body you were given. We weren’t built to live sedentary lifestyles and eat processed garbage. Our bodies can’t handle it, and they will eventually start to break.
When you exercise consistently and feed yourself whole foods, your body will thank you. You will have incredible energy, be more mentally alert, and be able to engage in all the things you love in your life. You will feel amazing. You will feel confident.
You won’t have to rely on endless amounts of caffeine to get through the day, nor will you feel lethargic. You will have more focus in everyday activities and this will catapult into every other area of your life. Beyond these benefits, looking more physically fit is a nice added bonus for your self-esteem.
There are numerous decisions you make every day that affect your overall health. It can be the difference between taking the stairs versus the elevator, the difference between having a side of fries or a side salad. You get my point? We must feed our bodies in order to survive; however, we’re busier than ever, and our market is saturated with so many super convenience foods. The problem is these quick and convenient foods lack very little nutritional content and actually poison our bodies.
Being healthy in this market can seem very overwhelming. There are really simple ways to take better care of yourself that entail both nutrition and exercise. This doesn’t mean going on a crash diet and depriving yourself of delicious tasting foods, nor is it killing yourself in the gym for hours a day.
Healthy is a lifestyle choice. It can be simple, exciting, and fun. We will talk about a few simple choices you can make that will help tip you into a healthier lifestyle today.
You are what you eat. Okay, so maybe eating a carrot doesn’t necessarily make you a carrot, but when you eat well, you feel well. Nothing has a bigger impact on your health than what you eat. You’re supposed to eat at least three times a day, every day. If you aren’t consuming nutrient dense foods, how is your body able to function optimally?
Yes, age makes a difference, but no one stays young forever, and eventually your diet catches up to you. There is no greater effect on your health than what you put into your body. Unfortunately, most of the readily available food sold in restaurants and at grocery stores are quite literally poison for your body. Laden with chemicals and harmful toxins, food today is made to taste good rather than nourish the body.
Statistics show that heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide with cancer coming in as the second. Heart disease stems from plaque buildup in the arterial walls, which makes it difficult for blood to flow through them. Where does the majority of this plaque come from? You guessed it — food.
Lowering blood pressure and cholesterol can significantly lower heart disease risk. While nothing is 100% preventable, your diet and exercise routine make a significant impact on preventing heart disease and many other forms of physical ailments. Treat your body the way you want it to treat you.
Fruits and vegetables provide rich nutrients that are important for the proper daily functioning of your entire bodily system. In the British Journal of Health Psychology, a study was conducted on how fruit and vegetable consumption was related to well-being. Beyond greater life satisfaction and happiness, they found fruit and vegetable consumption predicted greater well-being, curiosity, creativity, and positivity.
Fruit and vegetable consumption is related to a broader range of well-being that signals human flourishing. “Young adults who ate more fruits and vegetables reported higher average eudemonic well being, more intense feelings of curiosity, and greater creativity compared with young adults who ate less fruits and vegetables” (Brookie et. al, 413-427). There is growing evidence that a diet rich in these foods leads to a happier more productive life.
This advice is so simple and effective, yet we all fall into temptation of tasty, greasy, unhealthy foods. Consuming more fruits and vegetables is fine and dandy advice, but I want to show you how to actually incorporate this into your diet. The best way to adopt new behaviors is to ease them into your life and be consistent. Depending on what your current eating habits are, this tip is meant to help you eat healthier, whole, natural foods.
Make a large salad at the beginning of each week to keep fresh in the refrigerator for a few days. Start by eating a side salad with lunch and dinner. One of my favorites includes spinach, strawberries, nuts, feta cheese, and balsamic vinegar. If you pre-make a simple salad such as this without the dressing, it will be easy for you to pull it out to eat along with your main course.
This allows you continue eating the foods you love, while still being able to sneak more fruits and vegetables into your day. Remember, this article is on creating momentum to change your life. The end all goal isn’t to only eat a side salad with every meal. The idea behind this tip is to get you used to consuming healthier, whole foods where you may not have consumed much or any before.
Another great rule of thumb is to opt for healthier snack options. Instead of a side of chips, choose an apple or some baby carrots. The more consistently you make these simple swaps for healthy choices, the more aware you will be about what you’re putting into your body.
Be sure to notice how your body feels and operates when you nourish it properly. You will feel more confident about your body, and you will be more likely to choose healthier options long term. This simple act of adding more fruits and vegetables into your diet will show you how easy it is to eat healthy. Find your favorite fruits and vegetables, and stick with eating those. When you enjoy the taste of healthy food, you will reach for it more often.
With the consumption of produce, we need to address the topic of organic. Organic is all the rage today, and marketers have used it as a buzzword on just about any packaged product. What does organic really mean?
Organic produce relates to the amount of harmful chemicals sprayed on produce. Choosing conventional or non-organic produce leads to a higher exposure of Organophosphate pesticides – insecticides sprayed on produce to keep the bugs away. Consuming inorganic produce leads to higher concentration of these toxic pesticides in your body. (Curl et. al, 2015)
While you think you’re doing your body a favor by choosing natural foods grown from the ground, you have to keep in mind the chemicals absorbed during the farming process can be incredibly toxic. Eating organic is therefore important when choosing your fruits and vegetables.
Organic produce is pricier than conventional, but there is a solution if you’re on a budget. The Environmental Working Group shares a “dirty dozen” list every year showing which twelve produce are the most contaminated with pesticides. They also have a “clean fifteen” list naming the cleanest conventional produce of harmful pesticides.
I recommend going to the website and either keeping a hardcopy list of the Dirty Dozen foods in your wallet or keeping a photo on your phone to easily reference when you’re at the grocery store. This will not only be easy on your health but also on your wallet. Items on the dirty dozen as of the writing of this article include strawberries, apples, potatoes, and peaches. Check out the complete updated list at ewg.org.
This is probably one of the simplest tips in the this, so it comes as a surprise that most people do not get drink enough water! Clean water is a resource readily available, and yet so few people drink water.
Your body is made up of 50-75% water. That’s over half your bodyweight! Hydration via water is necessary for your well-being and overall health. In a recent study listed in Appetite, an academic journal, researchers found the amount of water consumed actually affects your mood state. The more you drink, the better mood you are in. What a simple way to increase your mood!
One can survive without food for weeks, but without water for only a few days. Dehydration leads to greater fatigue and decreased alertness. Our bodies thrive best when they are adequately hydrated with enough pure water.
Without getting into too much of the science, water is essential for your cells to function properly. Not to mention water helps control calories, energizes your muscles, and smooths out your skin tone. All in all, water adds more life to your body. We love water!
I’m sure you’ve heard of the eight glasses a day rule. I don’t believe in a one size fits all approach, so I have a better solution that will match your water needs more specifically. A good rule of thumb for how much your body needs at rest is 1 ounce for every kilogram of body weight. You can determine your kilograms by taking your weight and dividing it by 2.2 (there are 2.2 pounds in one kilogram).
For example, a 150 pound person is about 68 kilograms and should therefore drink 68 ounces of water per day for optimal health. Now if this person exercises and does other strenuous activity, they will need to drink more than 68 ounces based on how much water they’ve lost to sweat.
A great habit to get into is to drink a glass of water first thing in the morning before you consume anything else. Water in the morning awakens your organs and helps break the water fast during sleep. It will also increase your cravings for more water throughout the day. Keep a filled water bottle by your bed to make it convenient in the morning.
Get a water bottle that is easy to carry around and has a measuring dial to track how much water you’ve consumed for the day. Thermos sells an inexpensive 24 ounce bottle that has a measurement dial on the lid.
Let’s say you need to drink 72 ounces of water based on your body weight. With the 24 oz thermos, you simply need to drink 3 full bottles per day. After you drink one full bottle, you can turn the dial from 1 to 2 so you know you’re on the second bottle for the day. This is an extremely simple and measurable way to track your water consumption.
Try it out for a week, and notice the changes in the way you feel. It’s important to note that you will be using the restroom more frequently, but this is a great thing! Water consumption increases blood filtration, and more toxins are flushed out of your body.
Make sure to drink clean, purified drinking water. Swap out soda, juice, or other beverages at least once per day for a glass of water. Adopting these 2 simple habits will get you drinking more water today and for the rest of your waking life!
You either love it or hate it. We all know we should work out, but most people are tired and would rather sleep or relax on the couch after a long day. If you think back to uncivilized times without technology, humans were not adept to sitting all day. They were hunters and gatherers and constantly running around.
Today, with the rise of technology and cubicle jobs, it is too easy to go from your car to your desk to your couch and back into bed. We are constantly sitting. You can virtually do almost everything from your smart phone. With our modern day lifestyles and convenient technologies, it is far too easy to fall into the sedentary trap and never get your blood flowing or your muscles working.
The easy route is to succumb to modern technologies to make your life more convenient. This route isn’t so easy, however, when you are constantly tired and in the hospital for sickness. Exercise is critical to your health, and there are an enormous amount of benefits; it is absolutely vital that you incorporate physical activity into your lifestyle.
When you work out consistently, you lose weight, have tons more energy and alertness, stronger heart and muscles, younger complexion, increased metabolism, decreased risk of health problems, decreased unhealthy food cravings, and so much more that I could write a whole book on this topic alone.
Too often do we associate exercise with hard and painful work, but the truth is working out feels amazing when done correctly. Consistently putting in just a few minutes of day of exercise can significantly improve not only your fitness level but also your mood.
Apart from the typical running and cardio machines that may seem redundant or boring, it is surprisingly simple to incorporate exercise into your lifestyle.
The International Journal of Public Health showcased a study on the effect of a four week fitness program on satisfaction with health and life. The participants engaged in a four week fitness program comprised of six strength training exercises twice a week for 30 minutes. Only one hour a week! The results after this simple exercise regimen were outstanding. “Physical performance improved significantly among the participants and the reported level of satisfaction with life and health was substantially higher.”
The study concluded that measurable improvements in health and well-being can be seen in as little as four weeks. Therefore one does not need to spend countless hours of their week exercising. Time efficient exercise programs are sufficient for an increase in overall health and life satisfaction. This is wonderful news!
I want to keep it as simple as possible for you to incorporate exercise into your current lifestyle. I recommend beginning with exercising three times per week for 15 – 20 minutes, right from the comfort of your own home. You are certainly welcome to go to the gym if you are a member, but if you are new to working out and may be limited on time, fit it into your schedule just three times per week.
If you don’t know where to start and need a great way to kick start your new workout habit, I recommend trainer Michael Morelli. His personally developed HIITMAX exercise program is for all levels of fitness that incorporates simple workouts you can do from your own home in under 20 minutes. The best part – the current 60 day program is ridiculously affordable.
Follow him on instagram at hiitmax.com/instagram to learn more about his fitness program and how easy it is for you to start developing a workout habit and getting in great shape! I’ve completed his 60 day program and have nothing but positive feedback. Go check it out on instagram and his website www.morellifit.com. Start caring about your health right now!