What to do when you stay in shape feels more difficult than ever.

A healthy lifestyle is never easy.

Only for many of us, at the moment it feels unusually difficult.

Shockingly so, maybe.

Yes, stress, depression and depression can all be factors.

But there is also a good chance that something else will happen:

The pandemic has just broken your "system".

We know: It sounds like a twist from the plot Westworld.

Stay with us, because it's going to make a lot of sense.

In this article, we will show you why your damaged system is difficult:

  • exercise regularly
  • eat appropriate amounts of nutritious food
  • engage in other healthy behaviors

Most importantly, we will help you create a new health and fitness system – one that is best designed for your current condition (or your client's).

But only when you are ready. Because it's also okay to mourn what you've lost before you think about taking steps to move forward.

This article will be here when you need it.


You already have many systems.

In fact, you're probably using systems to organize almost every part of your life.

Systems help us prioritize what to do and when to do it – so we can complete actions effectively and efficiently.


We all do it our own way, but most of us have a method – such as meal planning, listing, shopping on a particular day, cutting coupons or scrolling the aisles in a certain order.

And this structured step-by-step process? It ensures that the necessary items are not sold out when we need them. Like, say, toilet paper.

Before COVID-19 turned our lives upside down, these systems helped many of us adjust our workouts and meals to extremely busy schedules.

Then everything changed.

As a result, our systems were shut down.

And that causes many of us to struggle to keep up.

Like exercise.

Like preparing meals.

Like sleep hygiene.

Like any productivity display.

The anatomy of the system disorder

Get one of my customers. We will call her Jane.

It once had a fitness system that included a series of steps.

  • Every night, before bed, he would put on a fitness bag.
  • He put it through the door, where he would literally spend the morning.
  • The next day, he grabbed his gym bag as he ran out the door.
  • She dropped her children at school.
  • He then hit the gym before starting to work.

This system worked for her. He took her from home to the gym, without creating a series of "No, I don't need to exercise today."


  • She no longer had to get up early to take her children to school or go to work.
  • The gym is closed.
  • She stopped packing at night.
  • She stopped to set her alarm to get up.

Now, he actually has more time to exercise.

But he doesn't.

Instead, it's amazing Tiger King and Ozark.

In addition, she plows the ice cream gallon that was not in her kitchen refrigerator.

And she feels frustrated.

If all this sounds painful, you know it: You're not the problem. But your system is probably – because it doesn't work anymore.

Because systems matter now – more than ever

It is very easy to understand the importance of a system during "normal life". But it can be even more important now, for three reasons.

Reason # 1: Stress neutralizes our "thinking brains."

These moments are stressful, especially if we are worried about the unknown:

  • When will the grocery stores make their shelves again?
  • Is my job safe?
  • How long will it last;
  • Will the children ever return to school?
  • Will my loved ones survive?

Most people know that stress triggers the emotional part of the brain that freezes the flight. But at the same time it also interrupts the frontal cortex of decision-making-decision-making.

All of this makes it difficult to keep our priorities in mind. Instead, our emotion-based reflexes take over. (This is usually not done well.)

It can also make us feel drained.

Without a system in place, we are moving in a direction we do not want to go.

Reason # 2: We can only make a lot of good decisions in one day.

Think of your prefrontal cortex – the center of decision-making – as the weakest muscle in your body.

The more decisions you make, the more tired this part of the brain becomes – making every successive decision a little more difficult.

And you're probably making more decisions these days than you realize.

  • What is the best way to check in with my parents? Phone? Video chat? Does he stand outside and shout through a window?
  • Do I have to get out of bed now? Or do you just sleep a little longer?
  • I wore it yesterday. Wear it again today? Hmmm.
  • Do I have to use my salary for rent? Grocery goods? Auxiliary programs?
  • Do I need to check the news? Or will it make me very anxious?
  • Where can I work without so many vacations?
  • Time for lunch! Do I need to eat anything from the freezer? From the fridge? THE…. from the emergency reserve?
  • How can I get my kids to do their homework?
  • What should I watch out for tonight?

After a certain number of decisions, your frontal cortex gets tired.

Instead of carefully weighing short-term desires against longer-term priorities, the brain spit, "I don't know … anything."

And once that happens, short-term desires win.

Reason # 3: Pandemic eliminates some of our habits.

One anchoring habit it's something you do every day – without thinking about it.

For example, brushing your teeth is probably a habit of anchoring.

For many people, it is the first step in a sleep routine. And when they don't brush their teeth, it's wrong to go to bed as if something is missing.

Before the pandemic, many of us had several anchoring habits that worked like the first domino in a row. Once a domino overturned, many other dominoes fell immediately after that, without much effort or thought.

Let's say someone – we'll call him Gary – sets his alarm at 6 p.m. every day (the first domino).

He got out of bed and…

  • wrote in a magazine (second domino)…
  • before his children wake up (third domino)…
  • then he made them breakfast (fourth domino)…
  • and took everyone out the door for work and school (fifth domino).

But now? There is no job or school to go to, so Gary does not set his alarm. And without this first domino, his diary? This is also not the case.

Now his entire routine has been interrupted.

Create your new health and fitness system

These questions can help you repair old systems and create new ones.

Question # 1: What is important to you right now;

In recent weeks, many people have been asking deep questions.

One of them: Does anything matter?

Although this question sounds fatal, it is important to keep it in mind.

For example, the extra five pounds that were bothering you seriously? They may not look as majestic now.

But other things may be on the list, such as connecting with your loved ones or trying to avoid illness.

So take some time to think: What are your priorities?

In other words, what is it most important to you? What does it matter? And what's so low on the list isn't worth the effort at all?

Also worth considering: Do your current actions go hand in hand with these priorities? In other words, are you making an effort to do what you think is most important?

If everything is: Rock on. You're doing great.

If not, let's take a look at what once worked for you (your old system) to see if there's anything we can use there.

Question # 2: What was your old system?

Take some time to think about what your daily life looked like before the pandemic.

What did you do consistently to stay healthy? You were…

  • Excercise;
  • Connect with others?
  • Do you eat products with every meal?
  • Get seven to nine hours of sleep each night?
  • Other things?

What systems have ever helped make it easier for you to do all this?

For example, for vegetables to happen, so….

  • Blocking time to research new recipes?
  • Are you planning your meals for the week?
  • Prepare vegetables ahead of time?
  • Arrange your kitchen so that the vegetables look easier and grab?

And in what order did all this happen?

Some steps may seem insignificant. But don't discount them. It can be a critical domino.

Although the above example may not fit one of your procedures, you can use this approach to deal with any useful routine, habit, or behavior that has been disrupted.

For example, in the past, you may have kept certain foods out of the house because I knew you were going to eat them.

But then, as your life changes completely, you may have gotten what personal trainer and Precision Nutrition Level 2 coach, Jhonatan Ramirez, calls the "blizzard mentality."

"During a storm, we tend to stay home and subsidize," said Ramirez, who runs the online training company. Beyond the Selfies gym.

The sight of empty shelves pushed many Ramirez customers to throw all sorts of things at their carts they didn't usually buy: chips, cookies, ice cream, cupcakes, brownie mix, crackers, crescent rolls.

And when these foods were in their kitchen, his customers began to report issues by "eating too much."

If you can relate, you can decide to re-evaluate what you put on your grocery list. (You can do this by recognizing "red light" foods and applying a kitchen change system. Learn how here.)

Question # 3: What systems do you need now?

Now that you know your old system, you are ready to think about which parts of this system you want to repeat the priority, which parts you no longer need and what new habits you want to add.

What should you keep?

How can your old system help you?

  • Do you feel safer?
  • Do you start in the morning?
  • Do you find it easier to live a healthy life?

For example, you may still need:

  • Put on your fitness clothes before bed (to ask you to do the first thing in the morning)
  • Pack your lunch the night before (although you will eat at home)
  • Connect with friends over videos (since you can't find them)
  • Create a training area in your garage, basement or bedroom.And exercise at the same time you went to the gym. (Here's one 14-day training at home to get started.)

What can you leave?

Some jobs may not be worth it or even make sense anymore.

You may not suddenly be so interested in the goal of the body that you set for the summer. So you stopped weighing and counting your food.

Or you may stop using your workout magazine because the details seem so pointless at the moment.

If you just don't have the ability to do something, it's okay to keep it to yourself.

You may also need to pay more attention to another area of ​​your health.

For example, take a look at the "deep health" chart below. Although a healthy diet and lifestyle behaviors are often linked to physical health, the reality is this: All areas of deep health are interrelated.

Suppose you are single and feel disconnected from others (see: relational health). You may eat or drink more to relieve yourself, which negatively affects yourself physical health. And it can lead to feelings of anxiety or anger, which cause your own emotional health.

So, in this case, taking more time to connect with the people you care about (even if they are away) may mean less time for other actions. But in the end, it could be more beneficial to your overall health.

To better understand how to use the deep health wheel to find out where to focus, take a look at it. deep dive into deep health.

What new systems do you need?

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, your need to go to work or take children to school probably served a reliable anchor that organized your entire day. Now, without this anchor, you may need a new one.

To find one, think about your day from start to finish.

What would make staying active, eating nutritious food, resting sleep and other priorities easier and more automatic? Consider:

  • Daily schedule: Could consistent waking hours, meal times, exercise hours, meditation time or sleep help?
  • Surrounding area: What changes could you make to your kitchen, training area and other aspects of your natural environment?
  • Reminders: How can setting up alarms, using a to-do list, or blocking time (more on that below) make things easier?
  • Planning: Would you benefit from a two-week meal preparation program and grocery shopping?
  • Support: Could you rely on people around you for motivation, responsibility and help? What would you say to try exercise or playing time with your family so you can all stay in shape together?
  • Routines: How can you accumulate healthy habits over something you already do? For example, could you receive work calls while walking?

The power of time exclusion

Jhonatan Ramirez turned for the first time to the exclusion of time during a turbulent period of his life. In addition to managing a gym and guiding customers online, he also studied Precision Nutrition Level 2 certification.

To stay on track, he spent time studying, working, reading, limiting, exercising, and even eating lunch.

Final result: He did more and spent less time on things that weren't important to him.

And while the upward technique of time exclusion is quite clear to busy people, this method can be just as useful – perhaps more so – when you have a lot of free time, he says.

"It's even more important now because I'm waking up on purpose," he says.

Do you ever feel unhappy when you do nothing? "Where did time go?" you might think. Well, this can happen every day that is not structured. So the exclusion of time.

To try it out, create a schedule for your entire day, starting from the moment you wake up until the time you fall asleep.

Include whatever you want to complete, even meals and especially personal time. Read: It has nothing to do with work. it's about making the most of your time in a way that makes you feel good at the end of the day.

For inspiration, take a look at one of Ramirez's following schedules (no technology required).

Think of your new system as an experiment

The only way to know for sure if your new system will work?

Try it.

Give him seven days. See what's happening. After seven days, reassess.

Ask yourself: "How does this work for you?"

Αυτό μπορεί να σας βοηθήσει να προσδιορίσετε εάν πρέπει να κάνετε μια προσαρμογή.

Αν δούλεψε καλά, συνεχίστε. Εάν δεν λειτούργησε, δείτε τι μπορείτε να μάθετε.

Κάντε μερικές αλλαγές και δοκιμάστε ξανά.

Εκτός από το ότι σας βοηθά να επιστρέψετε στο δρόμο και να είστε πιο συνεπείς, η δομή και η εξοικείωση μιας ρουτίνας μπορεί να σας βοηθήσει να αισθανθείτε πιο γειωμένοι.

Αυτή η παράξενη, τρομακτική, πρωτοφανής στιγμή θα τελειώσει τελικά.

Όταν συμβαίνει αυτό, η νέα σας πρακτική οικοδόμησης και δοκιμών συστημάτων θα σας βοηθήσει να επιστρέψετε στην εργασία και σε άλλα παλιά «κανονικά» πολύ πιο ομαλά.

Και δεν θα ότι να είστε ευπρόσδεκτη αλλαγή;