113 Health & Fitness Tips That Work

There’s a lot of hype in the health & fitness industry including smartphone apps and wearables.

This begs the question: what actually works?

I give you 113 proven tips & tricks that get real-world results for my clients. These are not gimmicks or rehashes of the conventional wisdom. Most of my clients lose over 10 lbs of fat and increase their strength by 50%.

Here are my 4 simple tips that can improve your health & fitness by up to 85%.

Fun Fact: Pokemon Go players to move around the real world and rewards them for the amount of activity they do. And that raises an interesting question: has Pokemon Go had a significant impact on the activity levels of the people who play it?

  • The answer? On average, Pokemon Go players increase the number of steps they took each day by 1,473. That’s a 25 percent increase over 30 days. It’s estimated that Pokémon Go has added a total of 144 billion steps to U.S. physical activity levels for players, regardless of their age, sex, or weight.

Minimum Effective Dose

If you haven’t heard about the minimum effective dose, here’s the simplest definition:

The smallest dose that will produce the desired effect or outcome.

You may know this from business school as the Pareto Principle; the observation (not law) that 20% of the effort creates 80% of the results.

The Healthy Executive operates in Green Zone in the chart above. I relentlessly search for optimal health & fitness solutions that give maximum results in minimum time at the lowest cost. (Not So Fun Fact: I used to spend endless hours in the Red Zone as an ultra-distance runner and Ironman triathlete. Dumb me).

Okay, so how does this apply to your health and fitness?

Executive Summary

Here are my top 4 health and fitness tips as measured by actual client results:

  • Productivity: Get a 300% ROI
  • Productivity falls sharply after working more than 55 hours a week due to stress and fatigue.
  • Instead, leverage a fraction of your time to increase your energy to do productive work.
  • 1 hour a week invested in health and fitness can increase your work capacity by 4 hours.
  • That’s a 300% return on investment!
  • Sir Richard Branson claims 1 hour of exercise gives him 4 more productive hours per day!
  • Nutrition: 42 minutes per week
  • Double your protein and vegetables and cut your white carbohydrates in half.
  • 21 meals per week X [1 minute making better food selections +1 minute nutrition logging]
  • Strength: 10 minutes once a week
  • Lean muscle mass and strength are leading predictors of longevity.
  • 5 compound bodyweight exercises x 2 minutes each
  • Stamina: 9 minutes once a week
  • Poor cardiorespiratory efficiency is the greater risk factor for cardiovascular mortality.
  • 3 sets of 6 sprints x 30 seconds each

113 Tips & Tricks That Get Results

Here is my complete list of Healthy Executive tips & tricks distilled from the 16 modules in my coaching program organized as follows:

Getting Started Tips

Now Or Never

  • Can you answer ‘yes’ to these three statements?
  1. Things must change.
  2. I am responsible to change things.
  3. I can do it.
  • If you struggle with motivation, it helps to understand why.

Aim To Sustain

What Gets Measured Gets Done

  • 95% of people who measure their nutrition and exercise achieve their initial goals.
  • If you don’t log, your odds of meeting your initial goal drop to 50%.
  • 90% of people who DO measure on an ongoing basis sustain their results long term.
  • 95% who DON’T measure fail to sustain their results.

Consistency is King

  • Successful people do things consistently that ordinary people only do occasionally.
  • How consistent? I find that getting things right 6 days a week (85% of the time) gets great results.

Know Thyself

  • Even high level executives are capable of self delusion.
  • Power Tip: Be aware of your saboteur (negative) thoughts regarding your health or fitness.
  • Replace it with the following Sage thought instead:
  • “Will my decision move me closer to my stated health & fitness goals?”

Losing Fat Tips

  • 70–80% of losing weight is the result of proper nutrition and a negative calorie balance. It Ain’t Rocket Surgery.
  • Slow Down: Losing 2 lbs (1 kg) a week is feasible but requires constant diligence and is stressful. Losing 1 lb a week is doable but you will feel hungry. A sustainable rate of fat loss is 0.5 lb per week.
  • For instance, many of my clients start in January with goal of a beach body by June. This takes 20+ weeks and is very doable.
  • Losing faster than this is not productive for creating long-term sustainable lifestyle habits.
  • Tip: Consider slowing down.
  • Losing 2 lbs a week is at the upper end. What does that mean in practice? 1500 cal/day for an adult male basically means 0 snacks, and hunger pangs for 2 hours prior or every meal.
  • Instead, consider losing 1 lb a week. This will take longer, but 2000 calories a day means more snacks and less hunger. Losing weight is not race, it’s about cultivating enjoyable and sustainable long-term habits.
  • Double Your Protein
  • Lean protein like chicken and seafood is optimal, but steaks, eggs, and bacon are fine too
  • Protein shakes, cottage cheese and natural yogurt are good breakfast options
  • Protein shakes should contain 20–25 grams of protein per serving, with less than 4 grams of carbs and less than 4 grams of fat.
  • Double Your Vegetables
  • Every day play the Red/White/Green game: one red vegetable (i,e tomato), one green (i.e cucumber), and one white (i.e onion)
  • Use greens powder or capsules IN CONJUNCTION with eating real food (less than 14% of men ages 35–49 eat five daily serving of veggies)
  • Power Tip: Juice bars almost always offer veggie or greens blends, such as Kale
  • Power Tip: Most restaurants will gladly double your vegetables in exchange for 1 side (ie fries or potatoes)
  • Cut Your Carbs In Half
  • Avoid white carbs. Memory tip: “the whiter the bread, the sooner you will be dead”
  • This means things like, breads, flours, wheat, oats, cake, tortillas, rice, pasta, whole grains, potatoes
  • This includes sugar, corn syrup, sucrose, fructose, dextrose (avoid stuff that ends in — ose)
Healthy Executive Food
  • Relax and aim for getting this 85% right
  • 1 cheat day a week is fine
  • Eat and move well for 6 days, indulge yourself on the 7th day.
  • Not only is that something to look forwards to, it prevents your metabolism from slowing down.
  • Tip: Never tell yourself, “No, I can’t have that.” Instead, tell yourself, “I’m going to have that on cheat day!”
  • As strange as this will sound, don’t be a keener and skip your cheat day. At the hormonal level, a cheat day is required to prevent leptin from up-regulating fat-storage mode in your body.
  • Tip: Previously I mentioned one good way to lose weight is to cut your carb intake by half. A simple way to do this is eliminate all the white carbs from your diet (sugar, bread, potatoes, tortillas, naan, rice, etc) . I motivate myself by rhyming “the whiter the the bread, the closer to dead”.
  • Tip: Lose weight on autopilot using “repeatable” meals. This means I shop, cook, and eat out only a dozen specific foods I know will keep me within my targets.
  • Tip: Breakfast foods I favor include eggs, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, and turkey bacon (for example the Starbucks reduced fat turkey bacon sandwich).
  • Tip: Lunch foods I favor include ceviche, shrimp , burgers without buns (for example Carl’s Jr original low carb burger), steak salads, and tuna sandwiches.
  • Tip: Dinner foods I favor include sushi (sashimi style), meatballs in marinara sauce (no pasta) or white meats (chicken, turkey, fish).
  • Tip: Dill pickles are a flavorful low calorie snack food. I use them between 6pm (dinner) and 6am (breakfast) to prevent binge eating.
  • Tip: Buy expensive wine. Instead of drinking a daily glass of vin de pays, I switched to drinking an exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon once a week.
Coffee Protein Shake
  • Tip: Caffeine can help with weight loss, but sugar and cream can add a lot of calories to coffee. Try this instead: Add chocolate or vanilla protein shakes as a sugar/cream substitute. It’s the best of both worlds (more protein and less calories) and tastes good too.
  • Tip: Adding muscle while losing weight requires boosting protein from 100g to 150g a day. If you try to meet that protein target solely using red meat or diary, you will exceed recommended fat and carb macro targets. Here are two easy solutions:
  • Add one high protein shake to your daily routine. Try it with coffee.
  • Increase your intake of white meats; particularly shrimp, chicken, and turkey.
  • Skip the Supplements: 1 Red + 1 White + 1 GreenThis simply means eat 1 vegetable every day that is red, white, or green. This approach is shown in a TEDx video by a doctor to reverse her Multiple Sclerosis!
  • Tip: Due to their calorie density, it’s almost almost impossible to overeat vegetables.
  • Fresh salsa goes good with almost anything!
  • Tip: Spread your veg:
  • For breakfast, eat a veggie omelette.
  • For lunch, stir fry’s are a good choice.
  • For dinner, broccoli and steak is a great combo.
  • Tip: In a hurry? Want to keep things simple? Eat a salad for lunch.
  • Be careful of dressings — they contain oil (1 tablespoon of oil = 150 calories).
  • Tip: Hungry between meals? Snack on vegetables.
  • Pickles are one of my favorites (they are just cucumbers in vinegar).
  • Tip: Hate eating vegetables? Try a green shake or smoothie instead.
  • NASA claims 1g of spirulina is equivalent to eating 2 lbs (1kg) of assorted fruits and vegtables.
  • Tip: Drink your vegetables Part II: Admittedly it’s a stretch, but occasionally I will count a Bloody Mary as vegetable or a glass of wine as a fruit.
  • Trick: Here is my The Healthy Executive Heuristic when looking at MyFitnessPal Nutrition reports:
  • Identify your HIGH CARB foods
  • Look for any single serving that is > 25g in Carbohydrates or Sugar
  • Generally this will be breads, rice, potatoes, pasta
  • Look for lower Carb alternatives or substitutes
  • Mnemonic : “The Whiter The Bread, The Closer To Dead”
  • Identify your LOW PROTEIN foods
  • Look for any single serving < 10g in Protein
  • Protein shakes are a great shortcut BUT
  • Make sure they are ISOLATES with little or no added sugars (i.e. LOW CARB)
  • Tip: Switch from Metamucil to 100% natural psyllium husks fiber.

Getting Stronger Tips

Tip — Speed Up Fitness: If your body was a car and you drove it faster you would get to your destination faster. In the same way you can use my tips to accelerate your fitness and strength.

  1. Really Good News: Extensive research and scientific studies show that you can build lean muscle mass (and hence your longevity) in just 1 strength session per week.
  • More than 1 session a week has been shown to produce diminishing returns.
  1. Even Better News: Science shows you can make the most strength gains in just 1 set per session.
  • More than 1 set per session has been shown to produce diminishing returns.
  1. Excellent News: You can improve 80% of your muscle mass in just 3 basic compound movements:
  • Pushups, Pull-Ups, Sqauts
  1. Amazing News: You can build your lean muscle mass in as little as 6 minutes of strength training.
  • As a busy executive I know your time is at a premium, so my strength system is designed to take this into account.
  1. Here’s How:
  • Do as many reps as you are able in 2 minutes (stop and rest as required)
  1. Push-ups
  2. Pull-ups
  3. Squats
  • Can you do more than this?
  • Its 100% voluntary, but if desired you can build additional muscle mass and strength…
  • How? Simply do 2 sets of each exercise in each weekly session
  1. Tip: On days where I do a lot of desk work, it’s actually pretty enjoyable to step away from my desk and go for a short walk break.
  2. Tip: Have lots of meetings? Consider pedaconferencing. Like Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg (FaceBook) and Jack Doresy (Square) are believers in walking meetings. I prefer to do business on the hiking trail instead of the golf course.
  3. Tip: For weeks when I travel, it feels pretty good to walk after arriving at my destination and get the kinks out of my legs after sitting in the plane or car. If my schedule is really tight, I may miss a day or two, and simply make it up on the weekend. If I know my travel schedule in advance, I may walk a little longer the weekend before and “bank” a walk for the upcoming travel day.
  4. Tip: I make my walks productive. Typically I’ll grab the dog, throw on my headphones, and meditate on a business problem. Other times I will use text-to-speech on my smartphone to dictate notes to my journal or to tackle important but not urgent emails.
  5. Tip: Eat Half Your Exercise. If you burn 400 calories running, eat 200 calories more at your next meal to support the grow of muscle, and “keep” a 200 calorie deficit towards your fat loss goal.
Healthy Executive Pull-Up

Why Bodyweight Exercises For Fitness?

  • They produce functional strength that matches real-life activities
  • Compound bodyweight movements provide a full range of motion
  • They activate 40% more muscle than machines
  • They improve your overall flexibity
  • It’s cheap
  • It’s portable
  • It’s takes no time (6 minutes)
  • It’s easy to schedule (once a week)
  • It’s expedient (I do it in airports or car rentals or hotel rooms)
  • It’s consistent (don’t you hate figuring different machines in different gyms?)
  • It’s scalable (I can give you over 10 levels of strength training)

What Is HIIT?

If you increase the intensity of exercise, you can achieve the same level of fitness in less time. If your body was a car, you can get there sooner by driving faster, right? Here is a brief summary of the benefits of high intensity interval training (aka HIIT):

  1. Fast & Convenient
  • HIIT only needs to be done once every 7–10 days.
  • HIIT sessions rarely exceed 12 minutes in length.
  1. Fat Loss
  • HIIT increases your metabolic rate for upward of 24 hours after exercise.
  • HIIT increases catecholamine levels (leading to higher levels of fat mobilization and oxidation) and exercise post oxygen consumption (EPOC).
  1. Longevity
  • HIIT reduces your chances of a cardiovascular event (aka heart attack).
  • HIIT triggers metabolic pathways that regular cardio doesn’t.
  1. Stamina
  • HIIT increases your aerobic capacity (VO2 max)..
  • HIIT spike growth hormone levels which builds lean muscle mass (strength).
  1. Training Tip: I personally DON’T use my watch or HRM when sprinting hard.
  • Its too distracting and I don’t want to lose concentration and twist my ankle or wipe out. (also, HRMs ‘lag’ on reporting pulse).
  • Instead I do it by distance (like you said) and words per breath.
  • If I can only get 1 swear word out at the end my spring, I’m golden.
  • If you can get out “Hallelujah” (4 syllables) your RPE is 7 at best :)
Healthy nutrition and activity

Tips To Sustain Healthy Habits

Here are my top tips I use daily to sustain my health and fitness motivation:

  • Tip — Ask yourself, will eating a donut or skipping exercise moving me closer or farther from my goal? Self-awareness and self-honesty leads to better decisions, and better decisions increase your self-respect.
  • Tip — There are 2 of ‘you’: One of you wants a donut (enjoy yourself now, pay the price later). The other you wants 6-pack abs (pay now, enjoy yourself later). You can’t win a battle you can’t see, so recognize these 2 ‘you’s’.
  • Tip — Be compassionate with yourself: We all mistakes, stress eat, or skip a workout. That’s actually perfectly normal. Perfection is abnormal. Forgive yourself, take countermeasures, and move forwards.
  • Tip — Either way, its easy: What’s easy to do is also easy not to do. Being healthy is really pretty simple. But it’s also pretty easy to put it off. You can’t solve a problem you can’t see, so understand this psychological tendency.
  • Tip — Eat on autopilot:. You eat 21 meals a week. Aim to make as many of those meals as repeatable and healthy as possible (for instance breakfast). If you plan your menu now, you will not struggle with food decisions later.
  • Tip — Compress time: If you can walk 15–20 minutes every day that’s great. But if you are crunched for time, then compress all of it into one 12 minute sprint a week (here’s why and how).
  • Tip — Round up: That means lifting 1 more repetition, sprinting 1 more second, or walking an extra tenth of a mile. If you use an app to measure calories, keep going until you reach the next even 50 or 100. If you are timing yourself, keep going to the next even 5, 10 , or 15 minutes.
  • Tip — Be realistic: If we aim too high too fast, the result is frustration and burnout. If we aim too low and progress too slow, the result is discouragement or boredom. Instead, make one small eating improvement at at time, like walk an extra 10 minutes a day. Aim to incorporate small changes into your everyday routine before tackling a new one.
  • Tip — Cheat day: The truth is, losing weight means temporarily restricting calories and occasionally being hungry. It can even make you feel grumpy. One cheat day a week is something to look forward to, improves your mood by boosting serotonin, and stops the leptin hormone from making you feel starving.
  • Tip — What gets measured gets done: Here are the health and fitness apps I find helpful. Sticky notes, spreadsheets, or carrier pigeons are fine if they work for you.
  • Tip — Delegate accountability: Consider using an online health coach to guide you and hold you accountable as you work together to shift your mindset and habits.
  • Tip — Don’t eat your miles: To burn off an extra 100 calories, you have to walk a mile at a 20 minute pace. It’s a lot less time and effort to not eat a donut (195 calories) than it is to spend 40 minutes walking 2 miles to burn it off.
  • Tip — Enlist your kids as the “food police” to hold you accountable for what you eat. A shared goal is a powerful goal. And of course, your kids will want to defend their snacks :)
  • Tip — Lead Stronger: There are issues specific to leaders that can make health harder to achieve. In this podcast on executive health I talk about these challenges and offer detailed and practical solutions.

Here are my positive psychology tips and tricks I use as well as traps to avoid:

  • Tip #1: Use the scales every day.
  • The conventional wisdom is to only weigh yourself once a week. And that might be good advice when you are at your goal weight and in maintenance mode. But when I am in loss mode I do weigh myself every day. Here’s why. If I am above my target, this motivates me to make better food choices and make sure I hit my exercise goals. If I am below my target, this motivates me to keep making good decisions in order to keep my hard-won gains.
  • Trap #1: I’m doing really well, I should reward myself.
  • It turns out your brain can hijack your success to derail your progress. If I lose an extra pound, it’s very tempting to reward myself with a doughnut (or two….see the problem?). My mind urging me to sabotage myself isn’t my only struggle. If I don’t keep a close watch, my mind will try and “crowd out” my health goals by becoming over-run with too many urgent but not important tasks.
  • Tip #2: Think like an astronaut.
  • Astronauts mentally pre-rehearse difficult situations in advance. Why? It turns out that anticipating problems in advance makes them easier to deal with when they actually arise. When I know that I will occasionally get hungry due to temporary calorie restriction, then I am much less likely to give in and much more successful at waiting to my next snack or meal.
  • Trap #2: Obsessing about mastery.
  • Don’t get caught up on what kind gear or esoteric techniques your favorite role model uses. Remember that pros were once beginners, and that they too started with the fundamentals. Reading about the “newest” or “latest” is really a disguised search for “easier”. This is just wishful thinking that you can skip over doing the basics.
  • Tip #3: Well begun is half done (proverb).
  • Start of your week right and get a longer walk in on Sunday. It sets up a positive mindset for your week, and it feels way better to “race from the front” instead of “coming from behind”. For the same reason, don’t put off exercise till the end of day when one is prone to be tired, demotivated, or distracted.
family and friends eating

Restaurant & Eating Out Tips

if you eat out five times a week, you could gain up to 10 pounds a year (its estimated that every meal away from home increases an adult’s average daily calorie count by 135 calories). Even if you only eat out twice a week, that still comes out to an extra four extra pounds a year.

  1. Eat healthy snacks before you go out for social eating events, especially buffets .
  2. Use displacement control: eat your veggies and proteins first, leave carbs for last.
  3. Carry 1–2 protein bars when traveling in the event of closed restaurants, missed in-flight meals, etc.
  4. Healthy appetizer selections include edamame, shrimp cocktail and stuffed mushroom caps.
  5. Avoid soups made with a cream base, like most bisques and chowders. Healthy choices include broth-based soups, barley and lentil soups, and even chilis.
  6. Ask for extra salad or veggies instead of french fries or chips.
  7. Instead of creamy dressings, try using a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon, sea salt and cracked black pepper.
  8. Stay away from anything “refried” (which usually describes beans, in which case the beans are mashed then fried again, often in melted lard),
  9. Avoid “scalloped” (which usually describes potatoes, in which case the potatoes are thinly sliced, cooked in cream and butter and topped with cheese).
  10. Watch out for “smothered” (which generally means covered in a heavy sauce or cheese).
  11. “Sautéed” usually implies a heavy use of butter, oil or fat.
  12. Avoid fried foods (often disguised on menus as “crispy” or “breaded”) like french fries, chicken wings and chicken strips.
  13. Buerre blanc and bearnaise are butter-based sauces that are high in calories and in saturated fats.
  14. Carbonara and “white” sauce are cream-based sauces that pack a high-fat high-calorie punch.
  15. Other sauces to be wary of are hollandaise, remoulade and roux.
  16. Healthier sauces include marinara, primavera, pesto, or even a little olive oil, garlic and lemon.
  17. Substitute cottage cheese for toast, biscuits, pancakes, or potatoes.
  18. Toss half (or both) buns with burgers. Better yet, ask for a lettuce wrap.
  19. Nuts and avocado are nutrient-dense, but also calorie-dense, so have them in moderation.
  20. Don’t drink your calories — red wine is preferable to beer or sweet wines (Rieslings or champagne). Even better: wine spritzer, a vodka soda with lime, a simple martini, or hard liquor with diet soda.
  21. Trade wine for dessert — enjoy one or the other but not both.
  22. Call for your check early, get your leftovers boxed
  23. Go for a social walk right after eating (again, move away from your plate).
  24. Power Tip: When traveling I would store my leftovers from the night before in the hotel mini-fridge and and eat them for breakfast. Saves time and money.

Good Restaurant Choices

  • Asian (avoid lo mein, noodles, and rice)
  • Sushi (shasimi preferable to nigiri)
  • Seafood
  • BBQ
  • Mediterranean
  • Greek
  • Middle Eastern
  • Mexican (fajitas are great, avoid tortillas and chips)
  • Steakhouses
  • Brazilian

Avoid or Save for Cheat Day

  • Italian (seafood dishes ok in a pinch)
  • Pizza (no good choices, so make it your Cheat Day :)
  • Bakeries (mostly sugar and white carbs)
Social Media for Health

Social Support Tips

Friends and family play a major role in the success of your health goals. Social support can help you stick to your goals and stay on track when your own motivation or confidence wanes. But the people around you can have a negative impact as well.

  • Support Tip: Share your health goals with your friends and family. They may not show much interest or support in the beginning, but if you work to improve your health they will come around over time.
  • Support Tip: An office weight loss challenge can be a fun and motivating way to lose weight in a group. You and your colleagues can offer each other friendly competition and bragging rights that can turn a humdrum health or fitness program into a fun team activity.
  • Support Tip: Add nutrition, recipes, fitness, exercise or weight loss tips to your regular social media feeds. Join an online support group on FaceBook or Google+. Subscribe to health blogs that inspire you like CEO Advisor at The Healthy Executive.
  • Support Tip: If you travel a lot but still want 7x24 peer support, find out if an online health coach might be right for you.
  • Support Tip: You can read more about how social media can help you lose weight at Psychology Today.

14 Body Tuneup Tips

Our bodies share a LOT of similarities with cars, and maintenance is cheaper (and smarter) than major repairs. With that in mind, here is your 14-point tune-up to maintain your body in great running condition.

  1. Check your idiot lights: Are you experiencing any warning signs about your health? Are you overweight? Tired all the time? Out of breath performing simple tasks? Extended headache? Sudden rash? If so, take the following step.
  2. See your mechanic: Have you seen your doctor in the last 3 years? Blood tests for cholesterol, fasting blood sugar, kidney and liver function, and a urinalysis will give a broad picture of general health. A physical exam by the doctor will include a review of family health history and, based on that, certain early screening tests might be considered.
  3. Read your owner’s manual: Following the five Basic Maintenance Steps outlined in this manual should result in years of trouble-free body operations. At the very least do an online Health Risk Assesment (registration required).
  4. Use higher octane fuel: Food is very much the most basic tool in preventive health care. At a minimum observe these nutrition basics from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention.
  5. Check your oil filter: Excess amounts of junk food and can cause liver damage in just one month, scientists claim. In addition to cirrhosis, 3 drinks of alcohol a day has been clearly linked to liver cancer as well.
  6. Lower your RPMs: A faster running engine wears out sooner. Manage your stress levels by sleeping better and moving more frequently. Consider meditation or a yoga class.
  7. Clean out your garage: You can’t eat what you don’t have. Audit your pantry for unhealthy foods and consider donating them to a food bank. If stress-eating is an issue, consider these 33 countermeasures.
  8. Fuel additives: The best source of essential nutrients is from natural foods, especially fruits and vegetables. Counter to the decades-old conventional wisdom, massive amounts of research demonstrate that supplemental vitamins are not required.
check your air filter
  1. check your air filter
  2. Check your air filter: However bad you thought smoking was, it’s even worse. In addition to the well-known hazards of lung cancer, artery disease, heart attacks, chronic lung disease and stroke, the latest research finds that smoking is linked to significantly increased risks of infection, kidney disease, intestinal disease caused by inadequate blood flow, and heart and lung ailments not previously attributed to tobacco. The jury is still out on e-cigarettes.
  3. Take off the parking brake: Too much sitting (as distinct from too little exercise) has been linked to increased premature mortality risk. Take a 5–10 standing or walking break for every 60 minutes of TV viewing, computer and game-console use, workplace sitting, or time spent in automobiles.
  4. Timing belt replacement: The most common excuse for not exercising? “No time”. New research revealed on a BBC TV Horizon programme, suggests it is possible to improve some measures of fitness with just 3 minutes of exercise a week. Consider shifting your mindset and habits plus High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
  5. Check your coolant system: Water assists your circulatory functions. It alleviates fluid retention and converts fat into energy. It also helps rid the body of toxins and waste, and increases energy levels. Optimal body hydration is a surprisingly complex topic. But a comprehensive review of research papers does indicate that even mild dehydration of 2–2.6% can impair physical and mental performance.[AMA Popkin BM, D’Anci KE, Rosenberg IH. Water, Hydration and Health. Nutrition reviews. 2010;68(8):439–458. doi:10.1111/j.1753–4887.2010.00304.x]
  6. Put your transmission in Drive: Training for a 5K run, a charity walkathon, or an office weight loss challenge is a great way to boost your motivation and keep focused fitness. Surprisingly, 30 minutes a day of exercise is more beneficial than 60 minutes a day for weight loss accord to this WebMD study.
  7. Check and rotate your tires: Running shoes can wear out in 300–500 miles (5 months for average runners) and increase your risk of overuse injuries. Check this guide to see if you are due for a new pair.
Celebreties Use Health Coaches

Expert Level Tips

Some executives are already healthy and strong but are looking for an extra performance edge, such as Tony K.

Here are some expert tips for the elite few who are inspired to achieve the highest levels of performance, health and fitness.

  1. If you are highly stressed with elevated cortisol levels and can’t lose weight even though you are eating and exercising properly.
  2. You need to lose a lot of weight AND are willing to go “cold turkey” to break bad nutrition habits. This is especially true for those who have tried an incremental or gradualist approach without success.
  3. You need to lose that “last 5” pounds but can’t seem to get there no matter what. Bodybuilders do this all the time for competition, and their body of accumulated evidence is persuasive.
  4. If you can sustain your target weight a reverse diet can help sort out the underlying issues.

If you made it this far and you want to learn more about personal self-mastery, please read my Evidence-Based Methodology or my Online Health Coach FAQ.


photo credits: Body Shop via photopin (license).

Originally published at The Healthy Executive.

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