First, Happy Father’s Day to all of you Dads out there. Here is a Top 5 list for each of you that will help improve the way you look and feel. The only requirement needed is you have to start immediately following Father’s Day. Print the list and keep it where you can see it and more importantly do it for at least two to three weeks until you have it “ingrained in the brain” and it becomes a habit.
(1) Sit Less: Be aware of how much you’re sitting during the day and start standing more. Become more active during the day and try to track it if possible (think pedometer). If you are currently wearing a pedometer start adding 500 steps to your daily goal of trying to reach 10,000 steps a day. (note: sedentary individuals are around 1,300 steps a day and highly active are at 12,500…where are you in that mix?)
(2) Watch Added Sugar: If you do nothing else on the nutrition side at least be aware of the amount of added sugar you’re consuming on a daily basis. I’m not talking about natural sugars found in fruits but rather anything that comes out of a box, package etc. You should be taking in less than 150 calories a day and that comes to roughly 38 grams a day. If you follow this one tip and stay active, you’ll notice and feel a change around that waist of yours. While you’re at it you might even want to take a quick waist measurement.
(3) Activate Your Metabolism: During the next few weeks, keep the word metabolism in the forefront of your mind. As you continue to age your metabolism is taking a hit for a multitude of reasons like loss of muscle tissue, low testosterone, poor diet, less activity – you get the picture. Start by getting serious about strength training and start to drink more water. One research study showed drinking 16 oz of water can increase metabolism by 30% for a few hours.
(4) Importance of Protein: Start eating more protein with each meal and/or snack. This helps with, among other things, strength training, metabolism and satiety. In regard to metabolism, and luckily for you, your body needs about 30% of the total calories from a protein-based meal or snack to help digest, absorb and transport that “fuel” and the demand for carbohydrate and fat are minimal compared to protein. Think of it this way – that 150 calorie high quality protein snack that you eat post workout equals about 105 calories when it’s all said and done!
(5) Exercise with your Kids: Talk about a great way to spend time with the family and end up with the by-product of calories expended or increased steps on that pedometer of yours. If you do not have kids, workout with a spouse, girlfriend or friend at least once a week and plan and then make the time for it. Try hiking, biking, swimming, basketball, kayaking, SUP, road race, exercise class, yoga class or if they are old enough, Koko FitClub.