When I’m operating at what I feel is my peak professionally and as a husband/father/friend, I am usually also diligently navigating towards an athletic goal. But as I get older and responsibilities and stress increase, I find it harder and harder to prioritize time for athletic pursuits. And when I’m not careful, not having an athletic goal can easily lead to an increase in couch time, junk food, and not feeling my best. I’ll spare you the graphic details, but let’s just say it can ugly descent into un-fitness. And when this happens, I need to get back to a baseline of normal healthy living, without necessarily training for something.

Here are 3 things I do to bust out of an un-fitness rut, and start feeling good again.

  1. Every morning, before I dive face first into a mug of coffee, I drink a glass of water. Once I get the water down, I’ll go for a cup of coffee, followed by some Athletic Greens.
  2. When stress is high and activity levels are low, I find it better to skip breakfast, and instead have a protein shake with another 12-20oz of water (no milk). This saves me time from having to prepare breakfast, prevents me from snacking on things like sugar coated lies. By lunch time, I’m usually good and hungry for some simple meat and veggies. Chipotle burrito bowls are my goto if I don’t feel like I have time to cook.
  3. Finally, I have dogs, and they need to be walked. But simply walking around the neighborhood for 20 minutes is not enough exercise for me. So I throw on a GoRuck backpack with anywhere from 20 to 50 pounds of weight depending on how I’m feeling on that given day. After a 20 minute walk around the neighborhood with 50lbs on my back, I’m usually excited to drop that pack in my garage and get on with my day.

After a couple of days of this rut-busting protocol, I’ve generally tackled big objectives that may have been causing emotional stress, and I’m also feeling better physically. And then I can get back to Crossfit, mountain biking, BJJ, or whatever other activity I’d like to enjoy.

But here’s the main point of this post: if you need to break out of an un-fitness rut, you need to do it with simple, positive changes. I really have no excuse not to do the 3 simple things I listed above, and that’s why it works. Whatever 3 things you pick for yourself, make sure they’re simple and that you have no excuse not to do them!