My 10 Fitness Principles

I want to provide everyone with a summary of my 10 fitness principles. If you follow these health and fitness concepts you’ll be on your way to living a more active healthy lifestyle. When reading these principles, it is more important to understand the overall philosophy of them as opposed to following them to the letter. You can read the full article about each principle by clicking the highlighted links.

Ten Fitness Principles

1-    Don’t control your weight with exercise

Trying to control your weight with a lot of exercise is a losing battle. Eventually you will wind up burned out, unhealthy and have a number of over use injuries. You have to learn how to control your weight with your diet.

2-    Avoid processed foods

I can confidently say that if you eat heavily processed foods on a regular basis you will be shortening your life. Research has found that being over weight is responsible for 216,000 premature deaths each year and the over consumption of processed foods are a major contributor to the obesity epidemic in the US.

3-    Live an active lifestyle

If I had to choose between working out in the gym for an hour a day and them sitting behind a desk as opposed to living an active lifestyle by moving around all day long, I would pick an active lifestyle hands down for good health.

4-    Hard work should be short in duration

I’ve been telling my personal training clients for years that “when you workout hard it should be short and when you workout long it should be easy”. Yet this is a common sense concept that most fitness enthusiasts can’t accept. One of the biggest mistakes you can make with your exercise program is to have the mind set that more or harder is always better.

5-    Eat lots of vegetables with some protein and fat

The best way to eat everyday is to consume lots of vegetables, a couple of fruits, some animal protein, an egg or two, some nuts and seeds, and plenty of healthy fat. I know there are so many schools of thought when it comes to the ideal diet. The last 20 years could not be any more confusing for the average person looking to lose some weight and eat healthy. After studying nutrition in school, then reading just about every best selling diet book that was published and finally using my experience working with a few hundred personal training clients over the years, I have concluded that eating whole natural foods are the way to go.

6-    Do easy aerobics on a regular basis

Besides doing your short hard strength and interval work-outs you need to do easy longer aerobic work-outs on a regular basis. This principle can blend into living an active lifestyle (Principle #3) but an active lifestyle can be stop and go, while easy aerobics should be continuous.

7-    Get adequate sleep

We all know how important it is to get adequate sleep but so few of us do get enough. Your body can’t function at an optimal level if you are always sleep deprived because many important reactions happen to our bodies when you are asleep. Vital hormones are released when you are asleep that help your brain function, immune system and can even help you to lose weight. Check out this article I wrote called Lack of Sleep Leads to Weight Gain.

8-    Lift weights

We all need some form of weight lifting for good health. It can be your own body weight, free weights or any type of resistance that makes you push, pull and just work hard. I’m not that concerned what type of resistance you choose as long as you workout relatively hard and keep it short in duration.

9-    Cut down on sodium

You have to cut down on sodium to have a healthy diet. Most people in America eat an average of 3,400 mg of sodium a day while the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) is less than 2,400 mg which is just about a teaspoon of table salt. I recommend you limit your sodium to no more than 1,500 mg per day and even less, if you have high blood pressure. I try to eat less than 1,000 mg of sodium per day.

10- Have outdoor play time

The older we get the less time we seem to spend outside. When we were kids all we wanted to do was go outside and have some fun. We would play hopscotch or get a ball game going with some of our friends or just run around. I think we all miss that now. One of the unhealthiest things you can do as an adult is spend all day inside.

Give these principles a try. They don’t involve spending 6 or 7 days in the gym overtraining. They’re just based on a lifestyle philosophy that involves being active, eating right and training smart. You can have that great body and feel years younger if you follow these principles.

If you haven’t already, make sure you get my free “Forever 27” workout and diet plan. In this report, I explain to you the strategies I teach my clients to have a 20-something body, regardless of their age.

If you like this post, make sure you visit my Facebook page and like it.


About Mike Cola

Mike Cola has well over 50,000 hours of hands-on personal training experience. He started his own personal training studio in1989, Mike Cola Fitness, which is located in New York.Connect with Mike @ Google+

17 Responses to “My 10 Fitness Principles”

  1. Mike,
    I agree 100% with all your tips. However, off all of them, the “plenty of sleep” suggestion has always been the hardest one to apply. It’s almost impossible in today’s busy world to get a solid 8-hour sleep. So what is your suggestion if the 7 or 8 hours can’t be fully clocked before the next day?

  2. I think point number one is most important. I always believe diet is 80 percent and training 20 percent. You’ve given be a good idea for my next health product review

  3. Hey Mike

    First time passing by your blog, some pretty good posts on here well done bro!

    Super impressive photo in the sidebar I hope I look that good at 49! haha

    I’ve just started blogging my latest fitness journey as well so wanted to see which other fitness bloggers were out there!

    Keep it going bud!

  4. Mike,

    These are great tips to follow. Being healthy and fit shouldn’t be considered a chore. Instead, it should be more a natural result of your daily lifestyle choices.


  5. Diet is such a huge component of a health and fitness program, especially if you are trying to get that lean & ripped look. I have seen so many individuals in the gym that have great muscle mass, but if they just controlled their diet a little bit, they would have better muscle definition.
    Thanks for the post,

  6. I agree with your fitness principles. Thanks for sharing with us.

  7. Honestly, from top to bottom, these are all great tips.

    Number 2 is huge; sticking to the perimeter of the supermarket can do wonders for your health.

    For number 5, I stick to more meat and fat than veggies, but honestly any combo of meat + veggies is win/win.

  8. All of your principles are right on. I think the toughest one beingthe processed and fast foods. Time being of the essence, so many people give into the convenience factor.

  9. @ Kadojo

    Sleep is the hardest one for me too… I wake up around 5:30am every day to open up the gym and when I get home…. the wife and kids take up all my time. It is hard to get a solid 7 to 8 hours out of sleep.

    @ Jordan,

    Thanks for checking out my blog… Good luck with your blogging journey. If you need any help drop me a e-mail

    @ Alykhan

    I agree….. living a healthy active lifestyle is the key.

    @ Kisor

    They’re right Kisor… You can only really get lean if you watch your diet. You can’t out work a bad diet.

    @ Robert

    I agree Rob….sticking to the perimeter of the supermarket can do wonders for your health.

    @ Joshua

    If people would just stop eating process foods. There would be no obesity epidemic in the US.

    Thanks for the comments…
    Best – Mike

  10. Great blog, i agree with all of it, you’ve got to live an active lifestyle to be fit, eat right and play out! Thanks for sharing.

  11. I think your principles are great. So many people now eat unhealthily I think partly due to there being so many fast food places which make it easy to get a take away. Eating healthy and exercising is vital to combat obesity and help prevent high blood pressure and cholesterol problems.

  12. Excellent post, avoiding processed foods is the most important one in my opinion! Its also the most overlooked!

  13. Live an active lifestyle, watch what you eat and find the time to chill out and laugh! My sentiments exactly. Be the best you can be and don’t buy in to all the hype and fads out there. Great post

  14. Great article. I agree with you that diet is most of the problem with the average persons success or failure. I had to find that out the hard way when I used the Insanity diet and exercise program to lose 45 pounds. I started off not following the diet 100%. I thought that I could just workout hard to make up the difference. I learned that doesn’t work. After I dialed in my diet and ate clean while working out the weight melted off. Check out my before and after pics on my site. Good work!

  15. You are one of the few fitness experts/bloggers out there who I think actually makes sense and thinks for him/herself. I am a tough judge of BS, and I can tell you are really offering generous, smart advice. Thank you. Keep up the good work.

  16. Like these principles Mike. Especially #3 – healthy lifestyle, but it’s a big ask (and risk) to change professions. I have found that focusing more on yoga recently has helped me to focus during the day. I’d be interested in whether yoga has a spot in your healthy lifestyle quest?

  17. I really like the breathing practice in yoga….I do the 4,7,8 breathing every day.

    Best – Mike