If there’s one type of question I get all the time as a kinesiologist, it usually revolves around ‘trendy health tips’ or ‘the best thing to do for wellbeing’. It’s been 5 years since I began this fitness journey, so I’ve had plenty of time to rehearse my answer. Fortunately for you, I thought it was time to put all of that advice into one convenient location.
I’ve worked or volunteered in almost every fitness environment imaginable. From a heart and stroke recovery center to youth camps, and from a chiropractic clinic to training with national wheelchair athletes. Each population has given me a wide lens for what healthy living truly means. Even though we’re all uniquely wired, I strongly believe this list applies to every one of us.
The internet is saturated with every type of health advice under the sun. Some of it is great, while other bits are biased and un-researched. My number one priority is to be a voice in this field that leads with integrity and proficiency. Every tip below has either been confirmed in the literature or has been consistently impactful from an anecdotal perspective. It brings me great joy to see how these simple reminders have transformed my in-person clients, and I hope the same for you as well.
To respect your time, I’ve shrunken each point into the absolute essentials. This is all about giving you high-yield information quickly and clearly. If you’re interested in diving deeper into each topic please feel free to reach out to me or hit the links provided.
Here’s to enhancing your health and wellness!
Ten Tips for a Happier and Healthier Life
Please note that this list is heavily based on my personal experience and education. If you have any hesitation around applying any advice, please contact your health professional before making significant changes to your life. It should also be stated that this list is in no particular order, and is not supposed to act as an exhaustive list (we’re only scratching the surface here).
Without further ado, let’s dive in!
1) Before you listen to any health advice, whether online or in person, check the credentials. Ideally, back it up with another reliable source before taking action.
2) The most underrated stress reliever is learning how to breathe horizontally. Inhale from the diaphragm and ensure you’re moving the ribcage out and not just up. 4 seconds in, 4 seconds out.
3) Stop setting goals, start creating systems. Build routines that require the least amount of motivation out of you. Find a gym buddy, go to the grocery store while you’re full…you get the point.
4) Weight loss goals are awful. Find something deeper that motivates you than the view in your mirror. As a professional, it’s unbelievable how much of a difference this small shift will make.
5) You have more control over pain than you may think. 9 times out of 10 physical activity can be a part of your solution. On the other hand… 9 times out of 10 rest and immobility is not what you need.
6) If you’re asking yourself whether exercise or nutrition is more important, the answer is virtually always going to be sleep.
7) If you’re going to do one resistance exercise for the rest of your life, heavily consider the side plank. It may be the best / most efficient way to expose some major imbalances many of us have.
8) The most frustrating gym mistake I see is people failing to lower their weights with control. There is a vast number of benefits to the eccentric part of resistance training. Please actively control both phases of your lift.
9) The root of every habit can be simplified into a trigger, behavior, and reward. The most powerful weapon against bad habits is curiosity. When triggered, simply ask yourself what's really going on.
10) Your muscles may be ready, but your joints could not be. As much as you’re lifting weights, ensure you take time to perform mobility and stability exercises to boost joint health.
11) Yes, I know there wasn’t supposed to be an 11...but hear me out. Please remember to find healthy choices that are fun and fulfilling. Life is far too short to not be happy.
Five More Rapid-Fire Tips:
- Foam rolling does not perform myofascial release.
- Spot reduction doesn’t exist. You can’t perform crunches to shed belly fat.
- Static stretching isn’t all that useful. Do a dynamic warm-up instead.
- Rolling your IT band will aggravate it. Try training your glutes instead.
- R.I.C.E. is a bad strategy for injury relief. We must take an active approach.
Bonus: The Health Quote That Changed My Life
Between a stimulus and a response there is a space. In that space is the power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom. — Victor Frankl
There you have it, 10 simple tips that can truly transform your life if you choose to hold onto them. The beautiful thing about health and wellness is that this list will continue to mold and mature as we push the envelope further. My biggest takeaway from 5 bustling years in this industry is that health is a journey. As cliché as that sounds, there is no such thing as arriving at an optimal state. Your best self is the one that’s always striving to be better than the day before.
Wishing you all the best in that journey!
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