5 Tips for Total Fitness – How to Get Toned, Improve Mindset, and Thrive 

Surprisingly, there is more to health than building muscle, eating healthy, and working out. You don’t need big biceps, rock-hard abs, or big glutes to be fit. Total Fitness is not about changing the way you look.

person chopping up fruit, total fitness
Total fitness involves mind and body wellbeing – source

Health and fitness is about understanding nutrition, it’s about moving the body in a way that is not punishment, and it’s about mental wellbeing. You may look a certain way on the outside and not be fit. 

This list of 5 total fitness tips is sure to change the way you view health and get you started on a better path to wellness. Practicing these tips can lead to positive changes in your body, mind, happiness levels, and energy levels almost instantly!

1. Nutrition Research

First of all, understand that there is more to food than macros. Macros, or macronutrients, are categories of food: protein, carbohydrates, and fat. There is more to food than this, however. People tend to concentrate on macros, either decreasing or increasing macros to follow a goal.

It’s not enough to get macros in, especially if the nutrients are coming from processed foods. Do your research, and learn about the effects of additives, preservatives, and more. Some additives affect gut health, which in turn affects the whole body. The gut microbiota influences how well you absorb nutrients, your metabolism, your muscle growth, and even your mental wellbeing.

There are even foods that intrinsically improve wellbeing as a part of blue zones. Blue Zones are heavily studied populations of the world that live longer and experience less disease. Check out Blue Zone information here for a quick guide!

2. Move

Exercising and moving your body are vital for total fitness, but that does not mean you need hours in the gym. There are many reasons to work out that have nothing to do with changing the way you look, from heart benefits, mobility benefits, and mental benefits.

There is no one size fits all for exercises. Weighted workouts are an option for building muscle, HIIT workouts are an option for cardio, yoga, running, swimming, dancing, etc., are all options for moving. One is not better than the other, they are all different and beneficial in their own way. The good thing with this is that you can pick and choose which fits into your life and current goals.

Find exercise you enjoy and will continue doing. Try out different kinds and try everything out. You shouldn’t resent working out, you shouldn’t have guilt when you don’t workout. Exercise is about celebrating what the body can do, not punishing your body. Some days might be good for HIIT, and some days you just need a gentle walk.

Still not motivated to get moving (been there!)? Here’s a hack that will trick you into liking exercise.

3. Home-cooked Meals vs Takeout

You don’t have to be a chef to make homemade meals. Take some time to practice some recipes, easy ones with whole food ingredients. Home-cooked meals allow you to know exactly what’s in your food. On the other hand, if you eat out, you have no idea what restaurants are adding to their food to make it more delicious.

Here is a guide to easy healthy meal prep for free! If you still want takeout, remember it’s still ok to treat yourself, and try to find places that are more green, organic, and holistic.

4. Substitutions

Substitutions in this case do not mean trading a meal for a protein shake or switching your yogurt for a ‘light’ version, or anything of the sort. On the contrary, when something is labeled low fat, low calories, diet, etc., it usually means it is filled with chemicals, additives, and fillers that are unhealthy.

Substitutions can simply be using lentil pasta or chickpea pasta instead of normal wheat pasta. It can be replaced with white bread with rye bread or using vegetables in your stir fry instead of meat.

Remember not to heavily restrict though. You can still enjoy your favorite foods, treat yourself to a dessert, eat out, and more. Practice an 80-20 mentality to ensure you’re not restricting, eating well 80% of the time and indulging 20% of the time.

5. Practice Self-Love

Don’t underestimate a shift in mindset when it comes to total fitness. You can’t punish yourself into health. That is not sustainable and will lead to a burnout

Support the body with genuinely healthy foods that make you feel good, taste good and boost your energy levels. Celebrate the movement of your body with exercise you enjoy. Feel gratitude for your body for carrying you through life. Motivation should come from joy from an internal place. Living a long, healthy, happy life comes from within. 

You want to listen to your body. If you’re hungry, eat. If meals cause bloating or lower energy levels, don’t punish yourself by working out over time or skipping meals. Learn what works for you and what does not. Get expert help if needed as it could be an intolerance, an allergy, or anything else. Take care of your body and it will take care of you.

The Takeaway

Take your health into your hands with these tips. Health comes from within. Fuel your body well, learn good, delicious recipes, use substitutions, and try to practice an 80/20 mentality. Don’t restrict yourself heavily, don’t punish your body, and seek professional advice if you have concerns.

Foods are the building blocks for your body to maintain, repair, fuel, and thrive. Move your body through exercise when possible, as a celebration of the body, never a punishment.

Self-love is hard sometimes, but always respect yourself, treat yourself, and practice self-care.

Remember the microbiota health in the gut as well! A balanced microbiome of the human gut can improve muscles, speed up metabolism, and even boost mental wellbeing. There is even a microbiome on the skin that can help boost and support skin health.

Get all the resources you need about microbiota health for free here!

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