We all know how important it is to save money. Whether you’re saving up for a new car, an island getaway vacation, planning for retirement or simply trying to pay off your debt, every bit of spare change saved goes a long way towards padding your bank account.
The same concept holds true when you’re trying to get in shape. The next time you’re struggling with your health goals, here’s a cool tip: think of fitness as a type of bank account.
Exercising, eating well and getting enough quality sleep is the same as depositing money into your bank account, while every unhealthy action is a withdraw out of your account that can lead to mountains of fitness debt.
Your lifestyle is an investment in you, and once you start thinking of it this way, you’ll begin seeing positive changes, getting in shape and hitting your goals in no time.
Deposit More Than You Withdraw
Just like you would hope to do with your bank account, the goal should be to deposit more than you withdraw. It’s a pretty simple concept, actually.
Think of all of the things that you do throughout a typical day. If you were to assign +1 point to each healthy thing, and -1 point for each unhealthy thing, what would your overall health score be? Hopefully you fall at least somewhere above zero!
Having trouble figuring out what your health score is? Well, stop guessing at it to stay out of fitness debt. Simply spend a minimum of one full week logging and tracking your daily activity. Be sure to stick with your regular routine during this week, and avoid changing things just for the sake of this log.
You should monitor everything from what time you wake up in the morning, how much exercise you complete, what you eat during the day, what time you eat, and how you felt before and after all of these activities.
Here is a simplified, sample day of what you should aim for when tracking your week:
6:00am – Slept 5.5 hours. Woke up to my alarm, feeling rested and ready for the day.
6:30am – Feeling hungry. Ate 4 egg whites, 2 whole eggs and 2 pieces of bacon. Now feeling satisfied and energized.
7:30am – Sat through traffic for 45 minutes, feeling restless.
9:30am – Starting to feel hungry again, had half a bagel with strawberry cream cheese from the breakroom. Feeling a bit guilty.
11:00am – Energy levels starting to dip, looking forward to lunch! Drank 1.5 liters of water so far.
12:30pm – Work got busy, so I ate at my desk. Inhaled my meal of homemade beef stew with rice.
3:00pm – Getting very tired. Work meetings are stressing me out, and I’m running on little sleep.
5:30pm – Off of work! Debating whether or not to go to the gym and exercise.
6:00pm – Forced myself to go to the gym, got a quickie in. Ran on the treadmill for 30 minutes and lifted weights for 45 minutes. Feeling accomplished and glad to have made it in. Now at 3 liters of water.
7:30pm – Drank a whey protein shake and had 3 ounces of lean chicken breast with asparagus. It hit the spot after my workout and I felt content.
8:45pm – Settled in on the couch for some evening television. Felt bored, so I ate a scoop of ice cream.
11:30pm – Finally ready for bed. Feeling exhausted!
Sure, it will take some level of time and effort to do this daily, but it is certainly well worth it. It’s easy to forget about the ice cream you snuck in on Tuesday night, skipping the gym on Wednesday, and the all-nighter you pulled playing video games on the couch Friday night. Imagine what could happen if you turned all of these poor habits into great ones.
Simple Ways To Improve Your Health Score
Once you’ve tracked your activity throughout the week, you can start to take inventory of what is working in your favor, and what is working against you. From there, it becomes easy to start swapping in the good habits in place of the bad.
Here are four quick and easy ideas that you can begin adding in to your daily routine to make an immediate positive impact:
Schedule in regular exercise – Struggling and debating about whether to make time for the gym will get you nowhere. If you were to commit to a schedule and add it to your calendar, it then becomes just as important as any other appointment and your attendance is no longer question. Exercise is just now built in as part of your day. Get off the couch and move!
Eat more veggies – Aside from giving you plenty of vitamins and nutrients, vegetables add more substance to your meals while adding very few calories. This helps you to feel full faster, avoiding overeating, or simply eating the wrong things.
Go for healthier snacks – Get rid of that bag of peanut M&M’s, toss the potato chips, and don’t keep ice cream in the freezer. Processed foods are convenient, but that’s about it. They’re loaded with sodium and sugar, and won’t help you put on muscle. Start keeping cottage cheese, yogurt, fruits and nuts nearby, so that when you’ve got a craving or are feeling bored, you can reach for something that wasn’t made in a lab.
Stow away the electronics – Just like when you’re getting ready for take off at the airport, be sure to turn off and put away all electronics before going to bed. By shutting down, you allow your body to rest and reset, before a slumber. This helps to put the mind at ease and decrease stress levels, which create a much better bodily environment for muscle to grow.
These are just a few of the things that you can do to start cleaning up your act and begin improving your health score. Once you start tracking your activity, it will be easy for you to modify and tailor your actions to better suit your goals.
How Much Is In Your Fitness Bank Account?
Much in the same way how pennies can add up over time, even just a few small healthy changes will result in something much bigger over time.
If you try to go a week and look back on what you’ve done (or what you haven’t done!), it’s difficult to try and remember everything. You might even be surprised by what you find after just one week. That’s why keeping a log will give you a much better picture of where you stand and help you get to where you’d like to be.
When it comes to your fitness bank account, always strive to deposit more than you withdraw, and eventually you’ll come out on top. Remember, fitness is a lifelong journey not a sprint to the finish.
What are some of the things that you’ve discovered are helping you reach your goals, and what are the things that are keeping you from them? Let me know in the comments, I want to hear from you!