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A 5 Day Wellness Program Anyone Can Follow Right Now for a Better Life

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There are innumerable health maintenance systems out there today. The problem with many of them is that in an effort to appear authoritative, they often become cumbersome. In reality, some of the best programs ever developed have been distilled into a few easily actionable steps that anyone can take with minimal guidance or accountability. 

This is exactly the framework I’ve used in developing my own programs for specialized training like weight loss or recovery. Even when dealing with clients who don’t know where to start, it’s developing the mindset of consistent, daily habits that leads to the greatest long-term success.

This is why I came up with this simple 5-4-3-2-1 pattern for wellness and physical training. It can be implemented by anyone at any time, used as a framework for regular healthy living, and taken as a starting point for virtually any other training initiative. Come back to this pattern in between more complex training cycles, and you’ll see how easy it is to maintain.

5 Times a Week: Internal and Breath Work

Most of us have actually forgotten how to breathe. I know we all have to breathe to live, but we frequently breathe in a very superficial way that actually keeps us in a very outwardly-focused mental state. As a result, we can deplete ourselves of oxygen, stiffen through our ribcage, and keep our stressors front of mind while trying to also cope with reasoning and cognition.

The solution: meditation. I recommend meditation with focused breathing at least 10 minutes a day, five days a week. It can be a guided meditation (YouTube has thousands of great channels devoted to this), or something more intensive like the Wim Hof method. 

Whatever it is, breath work is vital to correcting breathing and getting the physical stresses out of your upper brain and back into the primal brain where they belong. This, in turn, allows your mind to focus better in the moment, improves your circulation, and helps to release stress stored in your body.

“Meditation is like a gym in which you develop the powerful mental muscles of calm and insight.” – Ajahn Brahm

4 Times a Week: Mobility and Internal Energy Work

At least four times a week you should be opening up your fascia, joints, and connective tissues. This type of work is often associated with breathwork and meditation, so it’s a great companion to the first step mentioned above. 

Modalities for internal energy work include yoga, taiji, and qigong. These practices are more gentle, but have a huge (and growing) body of research supporting their use in recovery, trauma, fitness, health maintenance, healthy aging, and a lot more.

The name of the game is coordinating body, mind, and breath into a single, internally focused system that works effectively to enhance oxygenation, circulation, flexibility, and mobility. It doesn’t matter if the training concentrates on prana or qi, or if it’s just plain old stretching coordinated with breathing. Opening up muscles, joints, and connective tissue is the key to undoing a lot of the damage by our modern, desk-bound lifestyles.

3 Times a Week: Resistance Training

You don’t have to be a competitive bodybuilder to train your muscles. In fact, most of us shouldn’t be. But you do need to make your muscles do some work. It isn’t just about being stronger, although that certainly helps. The fact is, muscle is metabolically active tissue, which means you burn more calories just being alive. Training skeletal muscles also puts tension on the bones, which increases bone strength and density. And (one you might not have known) resistance training uses LDL cholesterol (the “bad” kind) to transport protein to the muscles, which lowers your risk of heart disease.

Resistance training doesn’t require you to spend hours in the gym. With the right program, you can get what you need in 30 to 45 minutes, three times a week. It can be done with just your body weight, or using a pair of dumbbells or resistance bands. I even have a few techniques developed from physiotherapy that use dynamic tension (flexing the muscle) to improve tone and function without sacrificing the joints. The most important thing is that you get those muscles working so your body does its job.

2 Times a Week: Cardio Training

The old school of thought was that everyone needs to do at least 30 minutes a day of cardio training. The fact is, this information comes from about 40 years ago, and new research suggests much of it is unnecessary (remember: if you’re doing intense enough resistance training plus breathwork, you’re probably doing enough!). Some may even be harmful to your heart, lungs, and joints. Long, steady-state cardio sessions are also proving to be ineffective for long-term weight loss.

My preferred systems are high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and burst training. Both consist of very short, but very intense, bursts of high output activity (like sprinting) that alternates with longer rest periods (like walking, or even sitting). These types of activity cause your body to burn huge amounts of energy in short spurts, but have the added benefit of keeping the metabolism revved up for as long as 24 hours after the workout has ended, making them a highly effective addition to any weight loss or maintenance plan.

“The resistance that you fight physically in the gym and the resistance that you fight in life can only build a strong character.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger 

1 Time a Week: Play

I mean, if you’re not getting out and enjoying life a little, what are you even doing this for? Get outside at least once a week, and have some fun. Go to the park with the kids. Go for a hike in the woods. Go rollerblading at the beach. Go for a bike ride. Get on a weekend soccer or football team. Whatever. Just have some fun, preferably outside, for at least one day a week.

This is, I believe, the cure-all for most of our indoor blues. We spend so much of our time focusing on fitness goals that we forget the real point: to be able to enjoy ourselves and get the most out of life! I guess I could say, “make it at least an hour,” but that would be restrictive. Instead, no time limit on this one. 

Pick your day, and have some fun. Unplug from work, bills, social media, the news, family drama, meal plans, and all that other crap. Take your strength, fitness, breathing, stamina, and flexibility, and put them to work. Lose yourself in how amazing the world is for one day a week, and everything else that bothers you will seem so much easier to manage.

How do you motivate yourself to keep your physical and mental fitness at its highest levels? Share your advice with us below!

Steve Baric is an ISSA Elite Trainer, Nutritionist, and Transformation Specialist, as well as a certified Master Life Coach. As the founder of the Man Under Construction Project, he helps men recover from the trauma and confusion of divorce. His annual fall fitness challenge, Your Personal Reset Button, helps busy moms and dads shed extra pounds and reset their metabolic hormones in the privacy of their own homes.

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A Simple but Effective Technique to Be More Confident

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Many people want to learn how to be confident in different situations, but it’s not always easy. Maybe we’re too addicted to comparing ourselves or maybe social media has brainwashed us to believe that we should all be rich, famous, and in incredible shape. (more…)

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Knowing Your Message vs Delivering Your Message

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Have you ever sent a text message only to have it misinterpreted by the person reading it? Happens all the time. Have you ever given a presentation that you were totally prepared for only to have it fall flat? Happens all the time. Have you ever had someone ask you something like, “Why are you mad?” when you were not at all mad? Happens all the time. (more…)

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The 3 Most Important Things I Learned About Personal Growth

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When you look back on your life, what do you want to think about? Do you plan to reminisce on all of the good things that have happened and how they shaped who you are today? Or would you rather remember all of the bad decisions, challenging experiences, and mistakes made that hurt or wasted a portion of your life?

In my opinion, I think it is important to reflect on both. While it’s important to remember the hardships we’ve been through in our lives – without them we wouldn’t be where we are now. There are 3 very specific areas that I feel have helped me grow in a personal sense more than anything else in my life so far. 

These aren’t simple lessons in a book or a lecture that you can just absorb and apply to your life. These are things that I’ve learned through experience and reflection, and I’m still learning and growing today.

1. We determine how much we’re worth by what we think about ourselves, others, and life in general.

This might seem like a pretty obvious lesson in life but it’s actually one of the most important because we can determine our own worth by how we think about ourselves and the world around us. If you’re looking for success in any kind of business or social setting (dating), then I’ll tell you right now that it doesn’t matter if you have 10 billion dollars or not – people are still going to judge you based on your thoughts and beliefs alone.

What determines our value isn’t necessarily what we do with our lives (which is often based on luck) but whether or not we believe that ‘our work’ is worthy or not in some sort of grand scheme or universe. We may not always be able to control what happens in our lives, but we can always control how we value ourselves and others.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou

2. You don’t have to change your habits or personality just because someone else doesn’t like it – their opinions are THEIRS alone.

This is another one of those lessons that people tend to pick up on a little bit late in life, but if anything that makes its importance even worse! Basically, there’s going to come a time when you’re going to meet someone who has certain expectations of you as a person…but these expectations might not be realistic due to their motivations and personal beliefs. For example, sometimes parents might expect you to be a lawyer or doctor because that’s what they believe is best for their child.

However, this isn’t the case for everyone and so maybe your passion lies in music or writing novels. In this example, if you were also pressured into becoming a doctor – then there would obviously be some kind of conflict going on within yourself as a person. You should never have to give up something that you want to do just because someone else doesn’t like it! The reason why we’re put onto this Earth is to make our own choices and go after our OWN dreams instead of letting others determine what we can and cannot do with our lives .

3. You can’t change your life until you accept that you need to make a change.

When I was younger, I thought that this lesson would be pretty obvious – but as I got older, it really made me appreciate the fact that there are always different ways of perceiving our lives. For example, if someone wants to become rich and famous one day – their mind might simply overshadow any other possibility in their head because they feel like this is what they NEED to do right now.

However, this isn’t always true within our own lives because we think about things too literally instead of having an open mind. If you want to achieve success in any kind of business or social setting (dating) then you should be willing to try out different things instead of staying in your comfort zone. If you want something, then it’s up to YOU to actually go after it – nobody else is going to give it to you!

The three lessons above are some of the main things I want to pass on to everyone because they’ve come at an important time in my life where I need to start thinking about others instead of only myself. It’s great if we can learn to love ourselves first before anything else, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect everyone around you even though they might be your friends and family members!

If you enjoyed this article on the 3 most important things I learned about personal growth, then please share it with your friends and family! Also, check out my other articles on success & motivation as well as life lessons that could help people who are struggling with their life right now on lifengoal.com. Thanks for reading!

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​​4 Boss Level Growth Strategies That Create an Optimized Life

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Building a business is about more than sales, marketing, and flexing on social media. While those things tend to draw attention, they attract the wrong type of clients and are not how you build a sustainable and freedom-focused business. (more…)

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