Did you know that roughly 40% of American adults are obese, and about 18% of American children also suffer from obesity?
Those numbers, from the CDC, are insane, if you really think about it.
The saddest part is that most of these people will suffer from related health conditions and diseases throughout their lives. And, you can bet that their energy isn’t at an optimal level for leading a completely fulfilling life.
If you’re reading this, chances are you work as a real estate investor, entrepreneur, or business owner. Your schedule is probably jam-packed, and you probably work long days.
But I think it’s especially important for us, as busy people, to take the appropriate time to focus on our own physical health and wellbeing.
So I recently talked with my friend, Joey Atlas, to get his advice on how entrepreneurs and busy people, in general, can implement easy lifestyle changes to increase their energy and improve their physical health and wellbeing.
Joey is an exercise physiologist, private wellness coach and fitness consultant, and host of “The Fitness Whisperer” podcast. He focuses on helping his clients create attainable and sustainable fitness goals.
As we chatted, Joey explained his 3-prong approach for helping his clients make impactful, lasting changes to their routine, in order to increase their energy and health.
When it comes to fitness and a healthy diet, a common misconception is that you need an “all or nothing” mentality. In other words, you’re either on a strict no-carb, no-sugar, no-nothing diet and doing high intensity exercise for 90 minutes every day OR you’re a couch potato eating burgers and drinking beer.
But, when Joey works with his clients, he focuses on small but effective lifestyle changes that are not too difficult to maintain. Because, let’s face it: when you’re an entrepreneur/business owner and you have other responsibilities, possibly a family to take care of, and hobbies and interests you’d like to pursue, you don’t have time for 90 minutes of intense exercise every single day. (If you do, please let me know your secret!)
It’s all about developing the right mindset. Don’t think of yourself as a failure if you miss a couple of days at the gym. Instead, do 10 or 15 minutes of planks or sit-ups before bed. Don’t throw away a lifestyle of healthy eating just because you broke all your “rules” at a holiday party. Instead, focusing on eating clean the next day.
Change #2: Your Fitness
Once your “all or nothing” mindset is changed into a realistic view of health and fitness, you can focus on improving your energy through exercise.
Most people have the mindset that if a workout isn’t completely torturing them or putting them on the verge of an injury that it can’t be that effective – which isn’t true. For example, when Joey works with his clients, he helps them discover low- to moderate-intensity exercises that will give them the best results.
For his clients ages 40+ especially, Joey helps them identify strength-building exercises that are low-impact and less likely to cause injury. He also shows them how to focus on staying controlled and slow with the movements, because correct form is more important than churning out 100 reps in record time.
As Joey explains, you need to be mindful of your starting point. If your body isn’t conditioned for intense exercise, don’t do it! Instead, find workouts that are designed to recondition the body in a safe, sustainable way. Then, you can use that as a foundation to get more creative with your exercise in the future.
Change #3: Your Diet
And, speaking of food, that brings us to the third lifestyle change that will bring you increased energy: modifying your diet.
When it comes to the American diet, we’re in pretty rough shape. Portions are out of control, processed and chemical-laden foods are everywhere, and quality is often sacrificed for the sake of convenience. Most times, we don’t even think twice before putting food into our mouth – much less give any critical thought as to where it came from and what it contains.
So, when Joey works with his clients on their diet, he helps them get back to the basics. In other words, your emphasis should be on whole foods – fruits, vegetables, animal proteins, beans, nuts, and all the other foods that are found, in whole form, in nature. Joey also helps people understand what their plates should look like, in terms of portion sizes for fruits, vegetables, proteins, and carbs.
One of the biggest hurdles that most Americans face, in terms of their diet, is overloading on carbohydrates. A big reason for this is convenience. Think about it: when you need something fast to eat, a sandwich, a piece of pizza, or a pre-packaged container of pasta are often the easiest things to grab. But, as Joey explains, too many carbs can wreak havoc on our energy… making it difficult to get through the day.
So, Joey works with his clients to help them identify ways that they can make better food choices. Even if time is limited and you’re in a rush, there are tons of healthy choices out there – you just need to be conscious of what you’re choosing.
If you’re on the road and need to grab a quick lunch, instead of pulling into a gas station for an energy bar or heading to the McDonald’s drive-thru, stop at a grocery store for a pre-packaged salad and container of fresh fruit. Or, grab a protein box at the Starbucks drive-thru. You can make smart decisions even at fast food restaurants, believe it or not!
Where to start
When it comes down to it, none of this is rocket science. But sometimes all it takes is a professional like Joey to help you identify your biggest roadblocks and find achievable, sustainable solutions to improve your health and wellbeing. Plus, having someone hold you accountable to your goals is always helpful too.
Really, it’s all about being mindful of your choices and developing good habits that are do-able, not impossible.
Because life is too short to feel tired and drained of energy all the time – but you also don’t have all the time in the world to focus exclusively on healthy eating and exercise. So finding the balance is the key… and sticking to that balance is essential.