101 Tips to Get Stronger, Leaner, and Happier – Part 4

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Ryan Day Coaching

We made it! The last installment of the four-part series outlining 101 tips to get stronger, leaner, and happier is finally here.

In case you need a refresher, here are the links for Tips 1 through 25, 26 through 50, and 51 through 75. This week, my favorites are #79, #91, and #100.

If you’ve already started trying some of these out, I’d love to hear about it. 

And now, I am proud to present, *Drumroll*, the final 26 tips! 

76. Follow the two-minute rule.

If something takes two minutes or less to do, just knock it out. Get it done and out of your headspace. Your brain needs room for more important things than worrying about finally putting that cup in the dishwasher.

77. Make sure you enjoy your workouts.

If you don’t enjoy your workouts, you won’t stick with them long term – full stop. Make sure you find some enjoyment in whatever exercise you’re doing. That said, there’s some nuance here for beginners. If you’re just getting started exercising you may not like any workout. In that case, give it a couple months before you decide to totally do away with your current routine.

78. Treat yourself as if you’re somebody you’re responsible for helping.

This is from Dr. Jordan Peterson’s book, The 12 Rules for Life, and it’s gold. If the doctor gives you medicine for your child or aging parent, you would make damn sure that your kid or mom takes that medicine as instructed. Why don’t you do that with yourself? You have a responsibility to show up for yourself the same way you show up as a parent, child, sibling, or friend. In fact, the more you show up for yourself, the more you’re able to show up for other people. 

79. Spend more time outside.

The benefits of spending time in nature are hard to count. Vitamin D from the sun, the calming effect of nature’s sounds, the vision-enhancing effects of viewing things far away instead of stuff on a screen – I could go on. Bottom line: spend time outside every day in some capacity.

80. If it’s not an immediate “yes”, it’s a “no”.

Stop giving away your time to people and activities that don’t deserve it. If something is requested of you, and you flounder on whether or not to accept that request because you know it will interfere with something more important, SAY NO. People will respect that you’re honoring your priorities, and if they don’t, you might consider how much longer you want that person in your life.

81. Use healthier oils.

The evidence on vegetable oils and seed oils is starting to accumulate and suggests these aren’t the best things to be putting in our bodies. While not definitive, you’re probably better off using a healthier alternative like extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, ghee, or beef tallow.

82. Invest in a quality set of resistance bands.

I cannot express to you the value of this. You will always have the ability to get in a quick workout, no matter where you are. Only have ten minutes? Do a quick circuit of movements using resistance bands. Traveling for work and not sure what the hotel gym has? Great, resistance bands take up almost no space in your suitcase. Remember – something is better than nothing, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used my bands to get a quick workout in rather than doing nothing.

83. Stop viewing exercise as a way to burn calories.

Exercise should be used to strengthen your body, increase your energy levels, improve your metabolism, enhance your mental health, improve flexibility, and lower risk of disease. Use your diet to manipulate calories – not exercise.

84. Keep healthy, frozen options in the freezer.

Long day out of the house with kids’ activities? No time to meal prep lunch for the week? Here’s your solution. Having frozen meals on hand at all times makes it easy to choose a healthy option whenever you’re in a crunch for time. Here’s a pro tip: take up all those meal-prep companies on their 50% and 60% off discounts for the first order. Put them in the freezer and reheat them when you need them. It’s cheaper and healthier than any restaurant.

85. Eat your protein first during meals.

This is important for two reasons. First, it ensures you don’t fill up on carbs and fats before getting to your protein. Second, it can help blunt the blood sugar spike that occurs when you eat. 

86. Stop scrolling while you eat.

Mindless eating leads to poor digestion and overconsumption of calories. It’s a lot harder to mindlessly eat a whole bag of chips if all you’re doing is eating. When you start mixing TikTok and eating, it’s easy to overeat or only partially chew your food. Put your phone down while you eat, and focus on the food in front of you. 

87. Supplement where necessary.

There are a lot of vitamins and minerals that we need to be consuming, and most people (including me) just aren’t getting enough of all of them every day. Lucky for us, we live in an age where there are plenty of supplement companies happy to sell us their products. If you know you’re lacking in specific nutrients, supplements can be a great option. Just be sure to check with your doctor first. 

88. Don’t ignore nagging aches and pains.

How many times has a minor ache or pain turned into a bigger issue because you ignored it? If it hasn’t happened yet, it will. Take the time to address those nagging injuries rather than ignoring them until they get worse. You’d much rather spend 3 months addressing a suboptimal pattern in your hip movement to fix a squeaky knee than 12 months rehabbing a torn ACL. Trust me.

89. Don’t use exercise to punish yourself.

Workout because you love yourself, not because you hate yourself. You are worthy of being healthy, and your workouts should reflect that. Working out to punish yourself for bad food decisions is a very unhealthy way to approach exercise. Workout because you love yourself and want to be healthy.

90. Become a student of health.

The more you know about health, the more you can use that information to improve yours. Read about the nutrients in the food you’re eating and why they’re beneficial. Look up videos on proper exercise techniques. Or hire a good coach to teach you these things. 😉 

91. The best experiment is the one on yourself.

Every single person is different, and you can never know how your body will respond to a certain food, exercise, or supplement until you try it for yourself. I don’t care how much research there is supporting creatine use – if it makes you feel nauseous every time you take it, don’t take creatine!! Become familiar with your body’s signals so you can determine how new foods or activities affect it.

92. Have one or two go-to, at-home workouts.

Another great tip for people who commonly find themselves in a time crunch. Having a solid, at-home workout routine serves as a great backup option on those days it’s just impossible to make it to the gym. And I know I sound like a broken record, but something is better than nothing. So don’t feel like you have to do either the whole routine or nothing at all. You’re allowed to only do a few sets and get on with your day.

93. Create an environment that promotes healthy behaviors.

For all my math people out there, Lewin’s equation states that behavior is a function of a person in their environment, or B = f(P+E). For my non-math people, set up your environment to encourage healthy behaviors. For exercise, this might look like putting a walking pad in your office or keeping resistance bands in different areas of the house so you can always do a quick set. For food, this might mean only having healthy snacks at home or meal prepping. All of these create an environment that is conducive to healthy behaviors because healthy behavior is the most convenient choice.

94. Eat before going to the grocery store.

This one changed my life. Going into the grocery store hungry is a disaster for my health and my wallet. Everything looks good in there when you’re hungry. Going in full? Totally different story. Try eating before you go to the grocery store AND go in there with a list. These two things make sure the impulse buys and unhealthy choices are limited.

95. Dedicate time to relaxing.

Relaxing is hard for some people and easy for others. If you’re in the first category, literally schedule time in your calendar for relaxing – whether it’s reading, watching TV, listening to music, or whatever else is relaxing for you. Relaxing every now and then is really important for giving your body and mind time to breathe and process. Unfortunately, if you’re a busybody and don’t schedule it, you probably won’t do it.

96. Know your family health history.

Another place where information is king. A lot of health factors are hereditary, but knowing your family health history can help you and your doctor develop an appropriate plan to help you live a longer, healthier life. 

97. Establish a sleep routine.

Sleep is overlooked by the majority of the population, but many experts argue it’s just as important as exercise and diet. Create a routine to wind down every night to tell your body it’s time for bed. Some things you might include: powering down electronics an hour before bed, drinking a cup of non-caffeinated tea, a meditation of some sort, or maybe reading.

98. Have a sense of purpose in your life.

This might seem silly or arbitrary, but it’s really important. Some people find purpose in their work, some find it in their family, some find it in their passion projects. Whatever it is, having a sense of purpose contributes greatly to living a meaningful, healthy life. Somebody once told me, “Think back to when you were a kid. What activities did you gravitate to the most and couldn’t wait to do? Your purpose probably lies somewhere close to that.” 

99. Be true to yourself.

You are the only you on this planet. You have a very unique set of talents, life experiences, and preferences that nobody else has. Just because somebody on the internet said you should live a certain way doesn’t mean you need to live that way if it’s not who you are. Shoot, I put together this list because I believe it can improve lives, but if this isn’t your cup of tea, don’t listen to me. Find the things that bring you joy and meaning and pursue those FOR YOU. You don’t have to subscribe to a particular way of life because Instagram told you to.

100. Be honest with yourself.

This is going to sound harsh. You know good and well whether the actions you’re taking align with the person you hope to become. Accept responsibility for your actions instead of making excuses for yourself. You know in the back of your mind that you’re lying to yourself, and that’s not doing you any good. If you don’t feel like exercising today, just say that and own it.  Nobody’s holding it against you. But don’t tell yourself you didn’t have time if you spent two hours on Facebook. That’s a lie and you know it.

101. Never, and I mean ever, give up on your health.

The only way to truly fail in the pursuit of health is when the pursuit stops. The reality of life is that there are going to be days you don’t feel like showing up. It’s part of the human experience. For most people, 80% of days you feel pretty normal, 10% of days you feel like crap, and the other 10% you feel ready to conquer the world. How you show up during the middle 80% is what matters. Don’t let the 10% of days you feel rough start to affect the middle 80%. You have one body while you’re here on Earth – try to treat it well as often as you can.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading along with these over the last four weeks. If you liked these, I’ve included a one-stop, downloadable version of all of them here. Thanks for your support.

Ryan