Why Adapting The 4-6 Lifestyle Changed My Workout Routine For the Better

We’ve all heard of working 9 to 5. Or eat 5-8 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. So, you may be wondering what the 4-6 lifestyle is. It is a method I’ve created of setting high and low goals for my weekly workouts. By setting a realistic and an idealistic standard, I can feel accomplished even on the weeks I don’t make it to every workout. Yet I can still push myself to achieve the higher goal. It allows for the flexibility of a hectic lifestyle, and the best part is you get to choose the numbers that are right for you. 

 

How It Works

 

Start by picking a goal number of days a week to workout. Mine is 6(can’t forget to include a rest day). Within those workouts, I rotate between, classes, recreational sports, cardio and weight training. Some weeks, one of those days includes a night out dancing(minus the drinks!) Once you’ve decided a good goal number, the next step is to choose a smaller number.

 

This number is for the weeks your super hectic and don’t have a lot of extra time. When I’m incredibly busy, traveling or during exam time, my number often shrinks to 3 rather than 4. The idea is to pick an achievable number of days to work out. That way, you have a goal to reach, and still, feel accomplished even at your busiest times. 

 

The Benefits Of Adapting This Lifestyle

 

There are a lot of benefits to this lifestyle. My top three are:

1.     Clear Goals

2.     Relaxed Attitude

3.     Setting realistic standards without underestimating your abilities

 

Changing It Up

 

The best part of this lifestyle is finding fun active activities to fill the time with. Well, I keep a regular cardio and weight training routine, with goals on improvement. I also find time during the week to squeeze in activities such as dancing, playing basketball or going for a bike ride. They’re even better when they include friends. 

 

My Number is 4-6

 

What’s your (workout) number?

Why I’m Ditching The Diet

We’ve all been there, counting calories or stressing over every little thing we’ve eaten. I did the starvation diet in high school, and I was quite good at it. I dropped 25 pounds and went down to a size two, but I was a self-conscious wreck. Weighing myself up to 16 times a day, focusing my happiness on whether or not I could lose more weight. It was beyond unhealthy. Combine that with stress and I soon developed constant stomach pain that sent me to the doctor.

Years later and I still struggle with stomach pain from time to time. But I’ve changed my overall mentality and focus on eating healthy and well-balanced meals. I refuse to own a scale and focus on self-love regardless of size. Rather than control how much I eat, I control what I eat. Making sure the food I’m putting in my body is healthy and nourishing. Does that mean I’m perfect 100% of the time? Of course not! But my body is happier because of it!

 

What Healthy Actually Means

 

After watching a few terrifying Netflix documentaries, I realized my understanding of healthy wasn’t actually accurate. I thought that by buying food with labels directed at health, I was giving my body what it needed. A few hours, and some shocking discoveries later, I realized I had been going about it all wrong. Now I focus on buying fresh products, specifically lots of fruits and veggies. I try to buy organic when possible, but do the best I can when staying within a limited budget. The most important things I learned were:

  1. There’s sugar in everything!

Manufacturers add sugar to most products to make them more appealing. We’re over-consuming sugary goods. So I try to avoid them when possible.

  1. Veggies, Veggies and More Veggies

Vegetables are full of micronutrients our bodies need. I swap these out for unhealthy snack ideas and feel so much better.

  1. We Over Eat Because We’re Hungry

If our bodies aren’t getting what we need, we’ll continue to crave food. So making sure we have a well-balanced diet is important. Eating foods rich in fiber also helps!

  1. Meat isn’t the Only Place To Get Protein

We have this idea that we need lots of protein for energy. But overconsumption of foods is leading to disastrous environmental problems. So I try to go meatless at least once a week.

 

My Healthy Eating Plan

 

I try to focus on eating lots of healthy vegetables throughout the day. I’m naturally a big eater(especially when I exercise), so that means I take regular trips to the grocery store to stock up on fresh produce. I add vegetables to everything! I snack prep veggie bags for the week, usually filled with carrots, broccoli, and peppers. Perfect for snacking on the go, and even better with hummus.

I try to avoid processed food, sugar, and refined carbs. When I can’t avoid entirely, I reduce. I started doing this by drinking less and less sugar in coffee. My taste buds adjusted and the coffee still hit the spot. I avoid dairy as much as possible because of an intolerance, but I’ve found lots of other benefits to reducing my milk products including less bloating.

I changed my diet slowly over an extended period of time. Well, it’s still far from perfect, I feel better, my skin is clearer, and body is much happier with the change. Making a few gradual changes worked for me. By integrating a few changes, my body slowly adjusted to new foods. The more changes I made, the more I started to crave the healthy food. I always try to focus on what foods I should be eating more of, and never restricted myself from eating anything.

 

Ditching the Guilt

 

The last and most important thing I did was ditch the guilt associated with eating. Why are we so hard on ourselves for having a piece of cake? Is it really going to affect our lives that much? Probably not. But having an unhealthy relationship with our bodies will. The more I try not to eat a food, the more I want to eat it. The more I feel guilty for what I ate, the more I fill my mind with self-doubt and hate. So what if I ate the whole box of chocolates. Am I probably going to get a stomach ache? Yes. But am I going to be hard on myself and hate myself because of it? No. I’m choosing not to!

Creating a loving and fun relationship with food and your body is just as important as eating healthy food. If you listen to your body, junk food won’t make you feel as good as healthy food so you may find yourself craving healthier options it naturally. The guilt associated with eating can be crippling, and self-deprecating. Well, I still have to check myself from time to time. As, it’s hard not to fall into the habit of feeling guilty, especially when we are bombarded with constant messages about how we should look. I know that it’s not worth the time and stress. That we need to stop feeling guilty over what we’re eating and start having healthier relationships with the foods we eat and loving our bodies now.

The Happy Fitness Diaries: Getting Started

I’ll always remember Elle Woods Iconic line, “Exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy and happy people don’t kill their husbands.” (Legally Blonde, 2001). Well, Elle Woods fierce determination and peppy attitude might have gotten her to law school. I’m kicking my fitness routine into high gear to change my life.

            

Well, my health and fitness journey started a little over a year ago as some needed therapy after a bad breakup. We’re constantly bombarded with the message that health and fitness are just for losing weight and looking great. Well, those are great motivators this blog is dedicated to living a happier, healthier and fuller life! 

 

Get Fit!

Exercise has been a significant component of the last year of my life, I can tell you the changes aren’t just looking better. I sleep better, have more energy and a new-found determination and self-confidence. Somehow sticking to a half hour on the treadmill helps me push through the hard moments in my life. Or even late night struggles to finish a university paper. 

I would be lying if I didn’t mention the physical changes. My waist is 2.5 inches smaller and continuing to shrink. I have lost weight, although I don’t weigh myself regularly and refuse to own a scale. However, I do measure myself from time to time, to check my progress. Losing weight is just a nice side effect of a healthier lifestyle. 

The Promise  

It’s impossible not to fall off the wagon sometimes (particularly around exam time). I’m dedicating myself to stay on track with my health and fitness. That means dedicating time to working out, trying new things and setting and reaching personal goals. Of course, the main goal is to enjoy the experience so here are some of the way I stay on track. 

 

1.     One fun only fitness day

That means something I love. Dancing, basketball, and hiking are just a few!

2.     Setting Seasonal Challenges!

Setting goals by the seasons give me a clear time marker and pushes me to work harder.

3.     Changing it Up!

Keeping things fresh, keeps me motivated.

4.     Rewarding Myself

My favorite rewards are kale smoothies and buying new clothes!

5.     The 4-6 Rule! 

 More on this later!!

 

The Challenge

 

            Well, I’m challenging myself to fit a healthy lifestyle into a busy and hectic schedule. I challenge you to come along for the run! What fun fearless fitness activity do you want to try first?

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