Eating a balanced meal is only one part of a healthy lifestyle. To get the maximum benefits from your fruits and vegetables, you need to pair them with exercise and activity. Our friends at Rhone, makers of premium men’s fitness wear, put together a roadmap for fitting more activity into your life using the same steps you already follow for cooking.
Plan the Meal
For any great dinner, you start by planning what to cook and what ingredients to buy. After all, you don’t want to buy ingredients you have on hand, right? You survey your pantry the same way you should survey your interests for a great workout. If your pantry of interests doesn’t include yoga because it seems too slow or sedentary for you, then you’ll want to plan for a more high energy activity like boxing, aerobics, or basketball. If you’re big on trying new recipes, you could branch out to racquetball or a dance class.
However, if you want to kick-start your active lifestyle, make sure you plan out what you’re going to need to accomplish the activity. Basics for a great workout could include gym shorts, workout shirts, supportive shoes, and a strong water bottle. Then you’ll need to look at necessary gear for your activity in question. Rock climbing might be alluring, but you’ll want to make sure you have a harness, specialty shoes, ropes, and carabiners before you head out.
When you’ve decided on ingredients you head to the grocery store to pick them up. Just like you plan what store to go to, when to stop by, and the route you’ll follow when you get there, you’ll need to plan where to workout, when to workout, and what routine to follow when you get there. Maybe you’ll go to the gym for a weightlifting circuit targeting your back, maybe you’ll head to the local park for a nature jog, or maybe you’ve got a basketball hoop in your driveway you’d like to take advantage of. Whatever your chosen activity, you’ll need to decide when and where.
When you’ve got an activity and place ready to go, you can plan your regimen. For a basketball workout do you want to start with free throws, running the court, or just moving your shoulders? And then what? A workout is much easier to start and stick to if you’ve already planned the next step. Think about what aspects of the activity keep you active, entertained, and grind towards the results you want. If you want stronger biceps you shouldn’t stick solely to running. But if you love running, you should include that as one part of your overall wellness routine.
Time is something the everyday man needs more of. From cooking to working out, it can be enticing to take the easy road and pick up pre-made food or ignore the workout shoes in your closet for another day. Setting aside enough time to really accomplish your cooking or activity needs plays a huge role in your activity follow through.
Time can also affect the activity you choose. If you live in a busy city and have very little time to spare, it doesn’t make sense to take a full day to drive to the best mountain biking trails. But living right next to great trails doesn’t always make mountain biking the best option either. Think about how long your endurance will last and don’t pick a 50-mile run if you’ve never run more than two. Be realistic with your time available and your endurance for the activity in question.
If a walk around the office in between client calls is what fits your schedule, you should start there. Choose work clothes that allow you to transition seamlessly from the desk to the gym. Fashionable athletic pants allow you to add a little more activity into your life, without needing to take time to pack extra clothes or find a locker room to change. Remember that walk around the office is still more than you did yesterday. The pursuit of excellence starts with a couple of steps.
Following the Recipe
Now you’ve got your ingredients, you’ve set aside your time, and you’re in the kitchen, it’s time to get cooking. But you can’t just start throwing everything in a pan and call it a meal, you have to follow the outline of the recipe. You wouldn’t mix your pasta sauce in with uncooked noodles, and you don’t want to pull a cold muscle because you started with weight instead of heat.
Your workout should always start with a warm-up to get your blood moving and your muscles warm to ensure they can take on the activity at hand. You can jog in place, ride a stationary bike for a few minutes, jump rope, or do jumping jacks to get your body moving. Some people prefer to wear long pants or long sleeve shirts to retain body heat and keep their muscles warm through their full workout. After you’re warmed up you can dive into your full activity of choice. And if you’ve correctly accounted for your time and grocery shopped, you’ve got a routine ready to follow.
To plate your workout perfectly, you’ll want to end with a cool down. Similar to your warm-up you should do simple activities that keep you moving without a lot of exertion. As you cool down you can get slower and less intense with your movement and transition into stretching. Stretching allows you to release lactic acid buildup from the workout and helps prevent sore muscles. Think of your cool down like your kitchen clean-up. Now that you’ve had your entreé it’s time to clean up so you can be ready to cook again tomorrow.
The only thing worse than the feeling of overeating is being hungry. Trust us when we say your co-workers don’t love the hangry version of you. You’ve been perfecting the balance of eating the right amount your whole life, and now it’s time to perfect that with working out. To get the most out of your workout, you want to ensure you are working hard enough to get your desired effects, but not pushing too hard that you strain a muscle or hurt yourself. Along with a proper warm-up and cool down, you’ll want to match your intensity to your ability. This will provide the best results for feeling and looking great.
Pay attention to your body. It’s okay to feel out of breath from long cardio or have jello legs after a couple of sets of squats, but you shouldn’t feel pain or need a break in between every rep. Figuring out your balance will come as you continue to bring activity into your regular life. At first, you may need longer breaks or fewer reps, but over time you’ll learn your body well enough to know how far to push.
You wouldn’t attempt a 5-star foreign recipe on your first night in the kitchen, so don’t be afraid to start small with your exercise and work your way up to expert.
Just like great cookware can help turn your grilled-cheese kitchen into a chef’s restaurant, great tools are needed for working out. Check out Rhone’s premium activewear to take your workout to the next level. Check out athletic bottoms, comfort t-shirts, constant new arrivals, and our best sellers. Rhone makes it possible for all men to up their workout from an at-home routine to a full athlete regime.
Now that you have all the steps to get moving, just rinse and repeat. You wouldn’t stop making dinner after one meal, right?