Ten Fitness Principles From Chappaqua Personal Trainer | Mike Cola Fitness

I want to provide everyone with a summary of my 10 fitness principles. If you follow these health and fitness concepts you’ll be on your way to living a more active healthy lifestyle. When reading these principles, it is more important to understand the overall philosophy of them as opposed to following them to the letter. You can read the full article about each principle by clicking the highlighted links.

Ten Fitness Principles

1- Don’t control your weight with exercise

Trying to control your weight with a lot of exercise is a losing battle. Eventually you will wind up burned out, unhealthy and have a number of over use injuries. You have to learn how to control your weight with your diet.

2- Avoid processed foods

I can confidently say that if you eat heavily processed foods on a regular basis you will be shortening your life. Research has found that being over weight is responsible for 216,000 premature deaths each year and the over consumption of processed foods are a major contributor to the obesity epidemic in the US.

3- Live an active lifestyle

If I had to choose between working out in the gym for an hour a day and them sitting behind a desk as opposed to living an active lifestyle by moving around all day long, I would pick an active lifestyle hands down for good health.

4- Hard work should be short in duration

I’ve been telling my personal training clients for years that “when you workout hard it should be short and when you workout long it should be easy”. Yet this is a common sense concept that most fitness enthusiasts can’t accept. One of the biggest mistakes you can make with your exercise program is to have the mind set that more or harder is always better.

5- Eat lots of vegetables with some protein and fat

The best way to eat everyday is to consume lots of vegetables, a couple of fruits, some animal protein, an egg or two, some nuts and seeds, and plenty of healthy fat. I know there are so many schools of thought when it comes to the ideal diet. The last 20 years could not be any more confusing for the average person looking to lose some weight and eat healthy. After studying nutrition in school, then reading just about every best selling diet book that was published and finally using my experience working with a few hundred personal training clients over the years, I have concluded that eating whole natural foods are the way to go.

6- Do easy aerobics on a regular basis

Besides doing your short hard strength and interval work-outs you need to do easy longer aerobic work-outs on a regular basis. This principle can blend into living an active lifestyle (Principle #3) but an active lifestyle can be stop and go, while easy aerobics should be continuous.

7- Get adequate sleep

We all know how important it is to get adequate sleep but so few of us do get enough. Your body can’t function at an optimal level if you are always sleep deprived because many important reactions happen to our bodies when you are asleep. Vital hormones are released when you are asleep that help your brain function, immune system and can even help you to lose weight. Check out this article I wrote called Lack of Sleep Leads to Weight Gain.

8- Lift weights

We all need some form of weight lifting for good health. It can be your own body weight, free weights or any type of resistance that makes you push, pull and just work hard. I’m not that concerned what type of resistance you choose as long as you workout relatively hard and keep it short in duration.

9- Cut down on sodium

You have to cut down on sodium to have a healthy diet. Most people in America eat an average of 3,400 mg of sodium a day while the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) is less than 2,400 mg which is just about a teaspoon of table salt. I recommend you limit your sodium to no more than 1,500 mg per day and even less, if you have high blood pressure. I try to eat less than 1,000 mg of sodium per day.

10- Have outdoor play time

The older we get the less time we seem to spend outside. When we were kids all we wanted to do was go outside and have some fun. We would play hopscotch or get a ball game going with some of our friends or just run around. I think we all miss that now. One of the unhealthiest things you can do as an adult is spend all day inside.

Give these principles a try. They don’t involve spending 6 or 7 days in the gym overtraining. They’re just based on a lifestyle philosophy that involves being active, eating right and training smart. You can have that great body and feel years younger if you follow these principles.

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Best-Mike