How to Make 2022 Your Fittest Year Yet

It’s the new year, and you’re looking to make 2022 your fittest year yet. You’re motivated and ready to put in the work. Although getting fit or staying fit is simple, it’s not exactly easy. It’s easy to lose weight, it’s not easy to keep it off. It’s easy to go to the gym when you're motivated, but motivation doesn’t last forever.

In this blog post, I’m going to dive into the 5 most important aspects of being a fit person. There are more categories to fitness than just the physical aspect of it. Physical fitness is just part of your overall health and wellbeing.

I’d be doing you a disservice not to mention that for your health and fitness to truly be all encompassing, you must also have good relationships, good spiritual health, and have a great sense of purpose.

I know that many people struggle with the physical aspect of health, or at least maintaining it consistently, so hopefully this post leads you in the right direction. As always, it’s important to not compare yourself to others.

Your idea of fitness may be far different than mine or someone else's. My goal is to give you the tools necessary to take your own fitness to the next level. Continue reading to learn more about the 5 major factors to consider when trying to maximize your fitness. 


Lift Weights

To be physically fit, lifting weights consistently should be one of your biggest priorities. Although cardio is great for your heart health and I highly encourage it, lifting weights is even better.

Lifting weights and building muscle increases your metabolic rate, which makes you more protected from today’s world of donut Fridays, happy hours, pizza nights, and taco Tuesdays. If you have a faster metabolism, you can partake in these sporadic (hopefully) bouts of off-plan eating (in moderation) and not suffer the same degree of consequences as you would if you skipped the gym.

Lifting weights also strengthens your bones, improves your mental health, and makes you more independent and functional in everyday life, especially with age.

How much should you lift? This is highly individual, but I recommend training each major muscle group at least twice a week. That could be 2 days a week of full body training, or maybe 3 or 4 days split into different body parts. Find a split and a routine that works for you.

If you’re a beginner, my Kickstart Program will cover all your bases. If you’re more advanced and you have a habit of going to the gym more consistently, my 19 week Hypertrophy Program is a great option.

Whichever program you want to follow (or even if you don’t want to follow one at all), just ensure you’re lifting weights or resistance training in a way that sends a muscle building signal for your body to adapt. Using progressive overload is a must. You should aim to increase either your sets, reps, training frequency, or how much weight you use over time. Going to the gym and using 5 pound weights and doing hundreds of “toning” exercises will not get you very far (but is better than nothing).

Eat Whole Foods

Whole foods are those which are not processed, or at least minimally processed. They’re generally found around the perimeter of the grocery store and consist of meat, eggs, vegetables, potatoes, fruits, nuts, seeds and certain oils.

Although one could argue whether or not rice, oats, and certain dairy products are considered “unprocessed” or not, wasting your time splitting hairs like that is not going to help anyone. These are perfectly healthy foods (unless you have intolerances, obviously) and should be included in your diet.

As for how much to eat, generally speaking, when you eat mostly whole foods, your body’s ability to signal when it's full increases greatly. Although not impossible by any means, it’s far more difficult to over consume whole foods than it is processed foods.

That said, you must be in a calorie deficit (eating fewer calories than you burn) if your goal is to lose weight, and a surplus (eating more calories than you burn) to gain weight.

If you're not used to monitoring your intake, you’re welcome to track your food intake and weigh yourself, or use the mirror to ensure you're on the right track. Tracking your weight trends and average daily calorie consumption will allow you to set a baseline for how many calories per day you require.

Also, eating better doesn’t mean you have to starve yourself and be over-restrictive, and it’s perfectly fine to eat some foods off plan or “junk” foods from time to time. Just know that you’re going to have to be mindful when doing so because many people have difficulty with moderation, especially with highly palatable processed foods.


As is the case with all 5 of the fitness pillars, sleep deserves an entire post. In fact, there are plenty of entire books on sleep, because it’s that important. Just know that in order to succeed and stick to your fitness plans, you need to prioritize sleep.

Inadequate sleep can lead to reduced mental function, poor recovery from training, poor training performance, stress and anxiety, and hormone imbalances that can be difficult to resolve.

I suggest you read my blog post on sleep if you want to learn more. Although it’s a longer post, the value of sleep is such that it deserves far more than just a paragraph.


5 Years ago I would've scoffed at someone who said that they’re active because they walk a lot. Fast forward to today, and it’s a daily staple in my life, and I recommend everyone trying to improve their fitness make an effort to get out and walk.

Walking (and other daily movement) is classified as non exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). In general, People with more daily NEAT are fitter and healthier. It may not burn as many calories per hour as cardio, but if you’re active most of the day, the calorie burn can really add up.

If you’re new to walking, start small, perhaps taking a 10 minute walk or 2 per day after meals. If you can walk for 30-60 minutes per day, you’re going to improve your health significantly. In fact, studies show that middle aged adults who average 7 thousand steps per day (a perfectly realistic number if you just prioritize it), increase their life expectancy by 50-70%!

Additionally, unless you have specific endurance goals, walking can and perhaps should be your only form of “cardio” because of its benefits on the cardiorespiratory system (heart and lungs) as well as your mental health, along with it’s low-stress, low skill-requiring nature.

Aside from daily walks, putting systems in place to get additional daily movement can be highly beneficial as well. If given the opportunity, every hour you work, get up from your desk (if applicable) and move around (set an alarm if you need to). This could be some stretching, air squats, pushups, or even just walking around the office for 5-10 minutes. If you make this a habit, you'll be amazed at how much your mental performance and productivity levels increase each day. A majority the best business people, artists, musicians, authors, and athletes take scheduled breaks throughout the day.

If you're not at work, doing yard work and other household chores on a regular basis can also be highly beneficial for increasing your overall movement. Anything is better than sitting down all day and moving as little as possible. 

Manage Stress

Life is full of stressors. Every single stressor in life affects your body the same, no matter what. Whether you're doing a hard workout, fighting with your significant other, having issues at work, or just feeling overwhelmed by daily life, your body’s hormonal response to stress is the same.

Some stress is a good thing, because your body adapts to it and becomes more resilient (like strength training). Too much stress is highly detrimental to your overall fitness and health.

If you’re a type A “go getter”, chances are your stress hormones are higher than the average person. In fact, many people get addicted to the stress and actually subjectively feel that they thrive in a state of constant stress. However, if you find ways to manage your stress, you’ll be much better off.

Stress releases a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is necessary and good in certain situations (like in the morning when you;re trying to get going for the day), but chronically elevated cortisol can cause a myriad of negative effects. When you’re constantly stressed, your workouts, sleep, recovery, and mental clarity all take a hit. IF you’ve ever had a day where you experienced “brain fog”, it’s likely because your cortisol is high and it makes it difficult to focus or think creatively.

Mitigation of chronic stress can make a significant positive impact on your health. How to do it? Everyone is different, but things like journaling, meditation, light activity like walking (preferably without your phone), refraining from social media, reading, hot/cold therapy, and many other activities can greatly assist you in managing high stress levels.

Just remember that if you’re already feeling stressed and you go do an excruciating long duration workout, while you may temporarily feel better, it’s actually likely hindering you long term.  

Too Long, Didn't Read

Fitness is all encompassing, and while it may look daunting for some people to finally get fit, it’s actually pretty simple. You need to start small, perhaps with changing one thing at a time. If you’re currently training zero times per week but you suddenly commit to 6 days per week, how tough do you think it’ll be to sustain it? Instead, start with small changes, once they become a habit, either add to it or find a different positive habit to work on. Soon you’ll be able to string multiple fitness increasing habits together and 2022 will be your fittest year yet!

Thanks for reading! If you have any thoughts to add about fitness, please comment below. If you struggle with fitness, either comment below or send me a DM and I’d be happy to help. 

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