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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. Iโ€™m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything weโ€™ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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November 20, 2008

Staying Healthy and Fit in Different Lifestyles

By Worker Bee
34 Comments

Thanks to Andrew Rubalcava for this Guest Post! Andrew’s site Go Healthy Go Fit is a newcomer in the health and fitness blogosphere having just started a couple months ago. Be sure to drop by and read Andrew’s interview of me if you haven’t already.

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Everyone has got a different schedule these days. Whether you’re a business person working 9 to 5, a college kid with a varying schedule, or anything in between, eating healthy and staying fit poses the same challenge to any lifestyle or schedule. On my site, Go Healthy Go Fit, I break up different lifestyles by categories that encompass a certain type of schedule. This way you can identify what category best matches your current lifestyle and read about the tips. It’s just about tweaking it to fit your particular schedule. So here are a few helpful tips about staying Primal in any lifestyle!


The Business Person

The great thing about having a 9 to 5 job is that it’s consistent. You can build a routine for yourself that allows you to maintain a healthy diet (i.e. getting all your fruits and vegetables, good fats and lean protein). Here are a few points on how to stay healthy throughout the day.

  • Pack a lunch, save some money – As Mark can tell you, nothing substitutes for a good salad! Plus you can always change it up by substituting in different type of nuts (Almonds, Brazil nuts, Walnuts) and berries. Hint: put your dressing in a separate small container
  • Pack small meals for throughout the day – Mark just wrote about 10 steps to Primalize Your Pantry, and in that post he’s got my 3 favorite mid day snacks: Nuts, dried fruits and jerky! You don’t have to refrigerate them and they’re great for when you’re on the go. Make sure you pack an appropriate amount so that you won’t binge out on these.
  • Get a sturdy water bottle – Keeping water handy is a really smart idea. Sometimes if you’re working, you’ll just forget to drink water for long periods of time. If you buy a strong, reusable water bottle you can refill it often and cut down on waste.

As for staying fit, this may be easier than you might imagine. Only you are able to make the decision about when to go to the gym. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of your time at the office.

  • Wireless headset – If a big part of your day is spent on the phone, get a wireless headset and make a habit of walking while you talk. It might not sound like a workout, but as the Primal Blueprint has shown us, walking is a very important part of sound health. So why not maximize the time you have to simply walk around?
  • Get a grip – You can use a stress ball, grip exerciser, etc. to exercise your grip while you’re pacing around on your wireless headset. These days, a lot of people tend to forget about working out their grip, but it’s a key component in the amount of weight you can lift.
  • Join a weekend sports league – This is a great way to satisfy your inner need to play, exercise, get some sun. By joining a league, you create a commitment to others and thus are more likely to honor that commitment.

The College Kid

You can substitute blogger, business owner, or independent personal trainer in for this title. This category is basically for those of us whose schedule requires a self-starter mentality. We don’t necessarily have a set schedule, however, time can fly when you are constantly moving from one thing to another.

  • Set reminders – Set an alarm on your phone or computer to remind you to eat. This doesn’t have to include every meal or be the same every day, as intermittent fasting has shown us, but it can be a reminder that it’s been too long since you last ate.
  • Cook your meals – This is key. If you work from home, take advantage and make your own meals. It’s a much healthier alternative and it doesn’t have to take up your whole day. Check out Mark’s tips for quick cooking in 15 Minutes Or Less.
  • Take a cooler – If you are always out and about, think about bringing a cooler with you. It will take away the temptation of fast food on the go.

While the consistency for the 9 to 5’er is a plus, the inconsistency for those with dynamic schedules is also just as much of a plus (I always like to look on the bright side!).

  • Switch it up – Since you make up your own schedule, go to the gym at different times of the day. It will help you get better results if you workout in different ways and at different times of the day. Mark talks about why mixing it up is important for your fitness progress as well. It will make visits to the gym more fun as you’ll see different faces. Simply by exercising your freedom to go to the gym whenever you want can be rewarding in and of itself.
  • Go for a walk – Please, if you don’t have to be confined by a cubicle, take advantage of it and go for a walk. You’ll get some sun, a Primal exercise and you’ll put a smile on your face in the process!

Those are just a few tips to incorporate living a healthier, more Primal existence under different types of lifestyles. The key is to find out what works for you. I want to give a big thanks to Mark for asking me to write this guest post and to all of the faithful readers of MDA!! I look forward to hearing your comments on how you incorporate leading a healthy lifestyle into your schedule.

mathowie and marttj Flickr Photos (CC)

Other Guest Posts:

Fitness Black Book: Shake Your Gym Addiction. The Outside World is Waiting For You

10 Questions with MizFit from MizFitOnline

Modern Forager: The Tropical Oils

The IF Life: Building Muscle 101

Health Hackers: Conquer Restless Nights with This Simple Sleep Cure

Almost Vegetarian: Almost Vegetarian and Kitchen Geology

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29 Comments on "Staying Healthy and Fit in Different Lifestyles"

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Son of Grok
8 years 20 days ago
One thing that I disagree with here Andrew is the pack small meals throughout the day. As an 8-5 business man, you have enough going on with your crazy workday without having to manage a gajillion individual small meals. That is also a lot of prep work and time wasted preparing individual meals. Time is the businessman’s most valuable commodity. I think those that practice IF will agree with me here that it is much easier and much less to manage to just hit your big meals and make them healthy. I find that personally, avoiding eating while I am… Read more »
Liz Turtle
8 years 20 days ago

Hi, Andrew! I really like the fact that you realize that different tips suit different lifestyles. I’m pretty sure, for instance, that what works for me (an unmarried 8 – 5 office employee) may be quite different from what works for a stay-at-home mom or dad or a college student.

Andrew R
8 years 20 days ago

SoG,

I definitely agree with you there! I should have added the sentence “If you are going to be bouncing from meeting to meeting all day long…” because that is really what that recommendation is meant for. I know that IF tells us you don’t need those pesky little meals throughout the day, but if you forget to eat breakfast and lunch isn’t an option, it’s nice to have a little something just in case.

Thanks for the comment!

All the Best,

Andrew R

Andrew R
8 years 20 days ago

Hey Liz,

You’re absolutely right! And even if you have the exact same schedule as someone else, the way in which you work may be completely different. That’s why I always encourage questions of a personal nature on my site, so that I can help guide each and every individual person through their unique lifestyle!

Thanks for the comment!

All the Best,

Andrew R

MizFit
8 years 20 days ago

great post. and I echo the planning and packing of the meals.
Id echo the mix it up sentiment but I keep forgetting to do that.
andrew? will you come here and berate me please until I do??

Curtis Ludlow
8 years 20 days ago

Great tips.

I haven’t heard the wireless headset tip before.

I like to workout at the same exact time everyday, however. If I don’t get it over with first thing in the a.m. it just doesn’t get done – usually.

Steve
Steve
8 years 20 days ago

“Cook your own meals” So true. I’m in college, and it seems my health/weight tends to directly correlate with how many meals I cook per week. More cooked meals = more Primal = healthier. More food carts = less Primal = chubbier.

Andrew R
8 years 20 days ago

Miz: I will be your own personal mix it up drill sergeant anytime!

Curtis Ludlow: I’m pretty much the same way too. My workout buddy usually likes to workout at the same time every night, so that usually dictates when I’m gonna go to the gym

Steve: Those look like some sound equations to me! I was the same way in college.

Thanks for the comments!

All the Best,

Andrew R

Cortney
8 years 20 days ago

Am I the only one who is waiting for Mark to patent the “Primal Bluetooth”? ๐Ÿ™‚

Jane
Jane
8 years 20 days ago

Thanks for the guest post Andrew! Quite fitting as I am currently transitioning from being a college student to being in the “working world” and trying to figure out how to deal with the whole sitting at my desk for 8 hrs a day versus running all over campus.

Donna
Donna
8 years 20 days ago
Great Post Andrew! Many years ago i’d stay so busy i’d actually skip lunch and not realize it. At the end of my day i was just so hungry and didn’t feel right. I knew i had to change this and that’s when i started making a day to day schedule. Every day i make a what to do list because every day is different for me and different things to do. I had to get a grip on not getting overloaded and making a list just makes everything less stressful for me. I always eat breakfast, but skipping lunch… Read more »
Benjamin Teal
8 years 20 days ago
Andrew, this is an excellent post. I think the benefit of the 9 to 5 er is definitely the routine. Consistency is key, and a schedule really helps with that. That said, the lack of consistency in a college schedule is really tough to navigate. You advocate the scheduled approach to eating with the alarm. For the workout side, I would overemphasize the need to put the workout in your schedule. Even though it may be at a different time each day based on classes, creating a schedule and a plan is half the battle… otherwise, there would be nothing… Read more »
Andrew R
8 years 20 days ago

Cortney: It might look something like this…

Jane: I hear you, I miss running around the beautiful campus of ASU! Good times… but that doesn’t mean you can’t run around the office! Forget those interoffice envelopes and just take items or papers directly to people! It never hurts.

Donna: Thank you! Making a list is a great idea by the way! I try to write everything down otherwise I tend to forget stuff.

Benjamin Teal: Thanks bud! I’m glad you enjoyed it! Making a plan is half the battle, and sometimes it can be the tougher half.

emergefit
8 years 20 days ago
I agree whole-heartedly on all poitns, great post! I will add though, that just one hour (or even 30 minutes), dedicated on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, for the express purpose of meal time preparation for the rest of the week, can be (and in my case is) the foundation of a whole lot of success. Whether it’s pre-preparing SoG’s larger, more intermittent healthy meals, or many small meals, having them pre-made and able to grab on your way out the door with no prep time a is huge advantage — especially when running late! Correct me if I’m wrong… Read more »
Son of Grok
8 years 20 days ago

I do agree with you there emergefit. As we discussed before, I always have a big bowl of tuna or egg salad in the fridge available to scoop a meal out of.

The SoG

Andrew R
8 years 20 days ago

emergefit: Great idea on the mealtime prep! And you’re right, I have come around to the idea of less meals, IF style. However, while you are running around and using your mental faculties as well, you do use quite a bit of energy. So I look at it now as having a little snack as an emergency backup plan! Just in case…

All the Best,

Andrew R

John Campbell
John Campbell
8 years 20 days ago
Son of Grok nails it – IF is the greatest thing after the PB although I guess it is part and parcel too. I am to the point where I almost never eat breakfast and lunch only occasionally. I sometimes snack on nuts or a hunk of meat – a boiled egg or leftovers would be perfect too. My energy is so stable throughout the day thanks to the PB that I am rarely hungry to the point of any discomfort. Snacking around 4 or 5 pm is nice, but optional for me and it is great to look forward… Read more »
Andrew R
8 years 20 days ago

John Campbell: Glad you liked it! You’re right, our focus should always be on eating better as opposed to meal frequency.

All the Best,

Andrew R

Evan
Evan
8 years 20 days ago

On the exercise side of things, if you’ve got room at your desk you can do push-ups, chair dips, one-legged squats and more throughout the day… if you don’t mind the stares.

Andrew R
8 years 20 days ago

Evan: Great suggestions! I’ve already scheduled these to my video tutorial section on my site

Thanks for the comment!

All the Best,

Andrew R

Tom Parker - Free Fitness Tips
Cooking your own meals is definitely the most valuable thing I did for my health during college. It is a good habit I have stuck with into my working life. One tip I would like to share with people who complain that they don’t have the time to cook is take advantage of your freezer. I generally cook in batches, freeze the portions and then get them out when I plan to eat them. Once you have cooked a few batches you have lots of different food choices at your disposal which just need to be defrosted and heated up.
Jo-Anne
Jo-Anne
4 years 7 months ago

I agree…the freezer is under used. I purpose bought a dozen or so tupperware containers that hold a just over 1/2 cup and I use them for any left over freezable protein. I also use them for the left over rice for Paul who is not Primal [yet…]. I can never say there is nothing to eat when I am tired or rushed or hungry between meals………of course I add the meat to fresh cooked vegetables or salad which is always best or just have it alone if the ‘carb demon’ has visited.

Andrew R
8 years 19 days ago

Tom Parker: Great observation! I feel like sometimes I just forget that my freezer is there (except for my frozen vegetables, which are always stocked up).

Thanks for the comment!

All the Best,

Andrew R

Robertas
Robertas
8 years 19 days ago

You know the tips for the college kid are really effective ๐Ÿ™‚

Once I start to work on a project I forget about everything (that includes eating;) and the tip about setting up a reminder is great.

I’ve got this thing running on my PC, but I never thought about such a obvious thing like setting up an reminder that would sound like “Rob, stop doing ur work – go have something to eat” ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks,

Rob

http://thefitweek.com/blog/

Pilates Fitness Trends
8 years 19 days ago

Hi,

Adopting a healthier lifestyle along with a perfect fitness routine is the key to a happy and healthy life.

-Nancy

Ricardo Carvalho
7 years 11 months ago

Dear Mark, the WHO wants us to eat “bread, grains, pasta, rice or potatoes several times per day”. Are they trying to kill us? http://www.euro.who.int/nutrition/20030321_1

Staying Fit
7 years 8 months ago

This is a really great site. Thanks for all the info. I will be back for more.

Timothy
6 years 2 days ago

Keeping an exercise routine going with a busy or erratic schedule is tough.
Some ideas that helped me were:

As corny as it sounds… walking, biking or skating to work. But how many people actually do it

Remember to pack an extra set of clothesfor a quick change, if necessary.

Make use of your lunch break. Make a speedy gym visit, or take a brisk walk (use some light hand weights for a bonus workout).

Stretch at your desk. This reduces muscle tension, gets your circulation moving and prepares you for more strenuous activity later.

Holly
Holly
4 years 2 months ago
My husband and I have been doing the paleo/primal thing for sometime and prior to pregnancy I was quite happy but since the baby and the lack of sleep and stress I am finding that my weight loss efforts are stalled. I have about 15 pounds to go pre pregnancy and hike with my baby and dog everyday as well as crossfit 2-3 times a week when the schedule permits. I can’t do anything about the lack of sleep and I admit my coffee is up to about 3 cups a day with either organic cream or almond milk steamed… Read more »
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