I’m a big believer in living a fit lifestyle 365-days a year and that means more than just cranking out a workout every day and eating right.
For me, it’s about getting up and being active whenever possible. It’s about being mindful in awareness on a daily basis. It’s about setting up routines and healthful habits that lead to long-term success.
I tend to get a lot of questions about my daily routines and practices that allow me to stay in such awesome shape throughout the year. So, I figured this would be a great time to journal a day in the life of yours truly.
And this Saturday was perfect weather for it, too. It was Summer Solstice time, a.k.a. the longest day of the year OR the official start bikini season. In New York City, the warmer months mean finally breaking free of the jackets, coats and sweaters and enjoying the fresh air (alright, not-so fresh … but we take what we can get here, okay) and getting some natural Vitamin D.
But first things first. We begin from the beginning. By hopping out of bed and getting right to it.
7:30 a.m. – Wake up time. I’m up fairly early every day. Sleep is extremely important to living a healthful lifestyle and keeping a regular sleeping pattern is crucial to long-term success. I wake up every weekday morning at 6:30 and every weekday at 7:30 a.m. No exceptions. Time to tackle the day ahead.
7:45 a.m. – Upon waking up, it was right to work. I don’t encourage everyone to work on the weekends, but sometimes it needs to happen (especially for us entrepreneurs). For me, it was on to the gym floor, err … my living room … to shoot a quick workout video for my Private Facebook coaching group. Took a few more takes than I planned. Guess I’m a little rusty from my TV News days in front of the camera
8:30 a.m. – Time to do nothing. Absolutely nothing. If you have not discovered the benefits and practice of meditation, you are doing yourself a great injustice. I spend 10-15 minutes every morning clearing my mind and just being alone with my thoughts. It makes me stronger, more creative, more positive and just a better overall person, trainer, voiceover actor and husband. I highly encourage it. Check out getsomeheadspace.com for a cool guided meditation app.
8:45 a.m. – Coffee. I love the stuff. I just love the taste of it. Sure, that probably makes me a caffeine addict. But, I’m okay with this. In fact, caffeine in the right doses can actually boost workout performance and fat loss. Just make sure you aren’t loading your cup o’ joe up with a bunch of sugar and creams and artificial flavors … and keep your fix to 1-2 cups per day. Anything more and you stand the risk of screwing up your sleep patterns. No bueno. My coffee of choice right now: Mud Truck Coffee (NYC’ers will appreciate that one). Awesome brew. And I’ve been playing around with my new handy-dandy coffee grinder, too. Yes. I’m turning into a coffee snob.
10:00 a.m. – After spending some time catching up on headlines and sipping on my mud, it was off to SoHo with Angela (my beautiful wife) for some much needed relaxation on the massage table. Massage includes a ridiculous amount of benefits: increased circulation; enhanced the immune system; relief from pain and muscle tension and improved mood. Highly recommended if this is something you can afford to splurge on. If not, no worries: it gives your significant other more of a reason to provide a nice rub down.
*At minimum, though, I would definitely recommend the purchase of a foam roller to perform your own myofascial release. It will improve circulation, prevent muscle soreness and really provide a ton of relief before and after your training programs. Anyone who works out consistently should have a foam roller in the arsenal. Seriously. Do it.
I use the foam rollers from Trigger Point Performance.
11:30 a.m. – Massage done. Figured it was a nice opportunity to really enjoy the morning and get some good ol’ fashioned cardio in. So, it was off for a walk. Walking carries so many benefits, it should really be its own post, including: improved blood glucose regulation (especially after a meal); calorie burn and stress reduction. The best part is that it burns fat without the added wear and tear on the joints like jogging. For my wife and me, it was a walk to check out some sales. I bought some workout clothes at the Adidas store. Nice.
12:30 p.m. – Morning over. And actually time for a little more work. I spend about 50-percent of my time as a professional Voiceover actor (shameless plug, you can check out my work here: PeteCataldo.com). Well, Saturday brought a last-minute request from a client for some revisions to a project we’d been working on all week. Luckily, my apartment is also my home studio, so it was to the vocal booth to record a few lines of script.
Midway through the day, and I’ve completed more in about 6 hours of time than most do in a full day of work. Best of all, I’m reaping the benefits of sun, fun, relaxation, mental clarity … and still doing a few things to pad the wallet, too. One thing I haven’t done … eat. More on that later. No time for munching on food right now. And that’s okay.
2:15 p.m. – We were back outside and back on our feet. New York is such a walkable city and actually, we don’t even own a car. No need. So, it’s either public transit or using our legs to get from Point A to B. In this case, we opted for the God-given mode of transportation to keep things active and engaging. So, it was time to stroll through the East Village on an absolutely gorgeous day.
4:00 p.m. – Stops at some storefronts and a stroll over to the local organic grocer to pick up some Kombucha. Love this stuff for its gut health benefits. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of being in tune with you digestive health. Understanding how your gut works and taking care of it can be the difference between a life of awesomeness and suck-a-tude. Choose the former.
How is this possible???? Didn’t you go into starvation mode and just destroy your metabolism??? How can you go almost all day long without eating????
Let’s get out of the dark ages of the six meals per day approach and wake up to the new school.
Intermittent Fasting is more than just a trend and carries actual, real life benefits. I won’t whither away. My metabolism will not stop. My ability to burn fat continues, and actually improves with these periods of not eating.
I spend about 16 hours per day in the fasted state (sometimes, even longer – like today, for instance) and then enjoy an eating window of about eight hours. It allows for more creativity and productivity, in addition to improved digestion, and actually boosts the fat-burning hormones our body produces naturally.
I won’t pretend to be the expert on Intermittent Fasting (or simply called, IF’ing). So I refer you to a couple of the awesome architects of this approach in Brad Pilon at Eat Stop Eat and Jason Ferruggia at Renegade Diet (the day-to-day eating approach I have adopted with awesome results).
5:00 p.m. – World Cup time. Finally sitting down for the first time for more than 20 minutes since the massage this morning. I’ve been up. Active and moving around. Time for a break. Just long enough to talk about dinner.
7:00 p.m. – After a stroll across town to check out Washington Square Park for a few minutes, Angela and I sat down for a feast of a dinner at one of our favorite Thai Food restaurants.
One of the awesome benefits of this IF lifestyle is that I can really enjoy large feast-style meals without the guilt. Perfect for social engagements and date nights with my soulmate.
So it was on to devouring a plate of a lettuce-wrap duck tacos (skip the sugary sauce), before the main course of a seafood platter with calamari, white fish, mussels and claims and a healthy dose of jasmine rice and steamed vegetables. Heaven.
After dinner? Back on our feet. Remember that whole “walking helps with digestion and blood glucose levels after a meal” thing from earlier.
Time to head home to call it a night. I track my footsteps everyday with a fancy addition to the MyFitnessPal iPhone App (I believe this is only available right now for those with the iPhone 5). After a full day of bouncing around time on my feet and being active, Angela and I logged over 18,000 steps. That’s about the equivalent of eight miles in one day.
9:30 p.m. – Sipping on some herbal tea to wrap up the day while enjoying a beautiful sunset over the city skyline.
11:30 p.m. – Bedtime. Perhaps a bit lame for catching shuteye “so early,” but Sunday brought a new day with all sorts of new opportunities to be back on my feet and active.
Now, is this what every single day looks like for me? Of course not. But, I do have some routines and principles in here that are pretty regular, especially the sleep schedule … the meditation … the general need to be active regularly and the continued focus on eating healthful foods while continuing the thoughtful practice of Intermittent Fasting.
My goal here is not to rub it in your face about how awesome I am. It’s to open your eyes into a new way of thinking about your weekends and to hopefully encourage a more active lifestyle.
Being healthy truly can be, and frankly should be, more than we do inside of the gym. It’s usually the stuff outside of the gym that leads to the fastest and more long-lasting results.
What do you do to stay active? Find ways to get the whole family involved. Hit the malls and shop. Find time to play in the park or go for a swim. Sign up as a family or group of friends to a 5K or a local softball team. Whatever it is, just get up … get on your feet and get moving.
Take control of your future today and make positive behaviors and improvements a regular habit. I promise it is the key to victory and long-term success.