Ever wished you knew what the best healthy habits were that would have the biggest impact on your health?
It’s been a couple of weeks since my annual fitness conference here in Toronto, Canada and I’m slowly digesting all of the new information I gleaned. The keynote presenter was Harley Pasternak, a celebrity fitness trainer who has trained Lady Gaga, Halle Berry, Megan Fox, and Katy Perry, to name just a few.
He spoke to us about 5 healthy habits that we should do everyday. I loved his message because it was simple and easy to follow. He did not list a series of complicated exercise or diet plans that would cost you a ton of time and money. His focus was on small lifestyle changes that could potentially have a big impact on your health and weight.
I’ve taken his message and slightly adopted it, and I believe that if we can do these things every day they will have a major impact on our lives.
Here’s his list:
1. Walk 10,000 steps a day
The average person walks around 3,000-4,000 steps per day which is very low, and studies now tell us that inactivity is as dangerous for us as smoking!
Our goal should be 10,000 steps which is equivalent to 5 miles per day for the average person. It can be challenging for many of us. The key is to find creative ways to include it into your daily activity, so look for ways to sneak it in wherever you can.
My Fitbit buzzes every hour to remind me to get up and move. If you don’t have a Fitbit, try setting an alarm to remind yourself.
As you plan your day, you can also try to look for a few areas where you can include activity into your day.
2. Get your beauty rest
You should aim for 7 hours of sleep per night. Unfortunately the majority of women I talk to struggle with sleep. Studies show that if you don’t get enough sleep, you will eat 20% more food the next day.
When we’re tired, we usually burn fewer calories, and we also upset our hunger hormones leptin and ghrelin.
I know many of you struggle with sleep, but it’s worth the time and effort to do what you have to to ensure you get a proper night’s sleep.
3. Protein and fibre 5x per day
Harley’s third manageable and simple tips pertained to our diets. Here are his diet recommendations:
- Consume 3 meals and 2 snacks per day;
- Protein the size of the palm of your hand at each meal;
- Eat one serving of vegetables a breakfast, 2 at lunch, and 2 at dinner for a total of 5 servings per day.
Harley also recommended tracking your food and mentioned that “People who keep track of their diets are 85% more successful than those who don’t.” That’s why I love Myfitnesspal.
4. Resistance exercise
In addition to 10,000 steps per day, Harley recommends at least 5 minutes of resistance exercise per day. He states that “Resistance exercises burn calories, boost metabolism, develop and protect bones, sharpen focus, manage pain, and can help you lose up to 40% more fat.”
Try training just one muscle group a day. For example: On Mondays, do some leg extensions or squats; Tuesdays, do some push ups; Wednesdays, core exercises, etc. Five minutes is all it takes.
His last point is to unplug—to disconnect from technology for one hour a day. I’m going to take this point a bit farther and recommend not only that we disconnect from technology, but spend that time connecting with our Creator. Harley Pasternak is an amazing trainer to the stars and therefore when he speaks, people listen, but this sage advice is from our Heavenly Father. God encourages us to seek Him, to find rest in Him (Matt 11:28), and to take time each day to recharge. (Mark 6:31)
Adding all five of these healthy habits at once can seem overwhelming, and chances are you may not be able to sustain them all, so be patient with yourself. Spend time in prayer and pray for the desire and the strength to incorporate them in your life. Ask God to show you which of these healthy habits you should do first and then set out a realistic plan to get started.
I’ve been working on adding 5 minutes of resistance exercise to my daily healthy habits. I think this will help with my consistency and discipline. Please share which ones you’re already doing and which one’s you will add to your healthy habits.
If you need help getting started, check out our 10-Day Challenge.