Improving your life doesn’t require bags of willpower you have never been able to muster — but simple changes.
Do you want to look good at the beach? Be full of confidence? Feel better, with an abundance of energy?
How about improving your sex life? Living as pain-free as possible? Having little-to-no trouble sleeping?
Do you want to avoid feeling anxiety? Cut out stress? And even earn more money?
Of course, nobody but you can enact these changes in your life, but you will feel significantly better.
We are not promising a panacea either — there’s usually a ton of patience and quid pro quo required before you can come close to even witnessing a change.
Changing your life; making those lifestyle changes for the better all take time.
And this is why people give up when they fail to see any results.
Many fall at the first hurdle, only to be reminded that their slobbish life ain’t as bad as the effort required to make their lives better.
Comfort is a pernicious drive-killer.
When people disingenuously parrot the mantra “living your best life,” they mean dangerous levels of intoxication, gluttony, and self-deprecation. They rarely mean steely determination and unshakable discipline to look, feel, live better than the rest of their peers.
Now, an article with such a promising headline could, potentially, be the length of a medieval religious tome.
But here we will try to abridge what could be drawn out longer than Tolstoy’s ‘War and Peace‘ into a succinct, digestible article.
And speaking of “digestible,” let’s start off with the number one most important thing you can do to improve your quality of life.
How to Improve Your Quality of Life
“Diet is everything” — Kai Greene
The incontrovertible, number one way to improve your quality of life is diet.
If your diet sucks, the chances are that your quality of life sucks.
From energy conversion, to inflammation, to hormonal balance, to immune system, and beyond, your diet dictates your daily bodily functions.
If your diet sucks, you will struggle to lose fat, build muscle, remain motivated, sleep well, maintain a rewarding sex life, and the list goes on.
And although there are various blueprints to go by, one prescribed diet — like a workout program — might not be right for you.
For example, a guy my size could eat 1.5-2x more carbohydrates on a daily basis with a similar exercise regimen and schedule; but, if I were to double my carb intake, I would be sluggish and demotivated to tackle life’s challenges.
Furthermore, certain foods can wreck havoc on your endocrine system, leading to a host of avoidable health and lifestyle problems including:
- Lower Bone Density
- Fat Gain
- Muscle Wastage
- Lower Libido
- Shorter Lifespan
Other foods can increase chronic inflammation, such as high fructose corn syrup, vegetable oils, and processed meats — something that has been linked to a myriad of diseases.
Chronic inflammation has been linked to the majority of diseases.
We recommend a diet of whole unprocessed foods to fight off disease and promote post-exercise recovery.
If you need help with dieting to lose fat or build muscle, we recommend you try out our Diet Bundle here.
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Getting high quality sleep is crucial if you want to improve your life.
Anywhere between 7-9 hours of kip can make immense improvements from productivity, to stress levels, to your immune system, and post-exercises recovery.
We will cover stress later on in this post.
In our article on how to become higher energy:
Among other things, sleep is essential to proper brain function, allowing the consolidation of memories and the maintenance of proper cognitive function. The body’s circadian rhythms, the so-called ‘internal clock’, are also bound to your sleeping patterns, and with then the natural production of various hormones, which include:
- Melatonin, to promote and aid sleep
- Growth hormone, to support bone and muscle development and metabolism
- Cortisol, which is used to control stress
- Leptin and ghrelin, which are used to control appetite
It’s estimated that as much as a fifth or even a third of people regularly don’t get enough sleep.
Poor sleep quality affects your body in all sorts of ways, and can make it much harder for you to lose weight. As has already been said, fatigue from lack of sleep may prevent you from exercising or make you head for a takeaway at the end of the day, rather than making the effort of cooking for yourself. If you binge on takeaway food after work, you may then have trouble sleeping – and what started as a lack of sleep may then become a vicious cycle.
Sleep deprivation also has profound hormonal effects which, in addition to behavioural changes as a result of fatigue, make it even easier to gain weight when you should be losing it. A lack of sleep disrupts the body’s appetite hormone, ghrelin, which can lead to increased feelings of hunger. Other neurotransmitters are also affected, and some studies indicate that these changes can cause you to crave and choose to eat high-calorie foods too [R] [R].
Sleep deprivation increases the hormone cortisol, which also affects the metabolism and can make it easier to gain weight, especially if sleep deprivation occurs over the long term. When stress and cortisol levels increase, the cells can become resistant to insulin, which in turn can lead to an increase in blood sugar, weight gain and ultimately Type 2 diabetes [R] [R].
Overweight people tend to feel more tired. This is probably because of low-grade chronic inflammation. Fat cells, especially abdominal fat, produce cytokines, immune compounds that promote sleepiness, among other effects. Depressed individuals also seem to suffer the same symptoms [R].
You should aim for at least seven hours of sleep a night. Set a consistent time to go to bed and for at least a few hours beforehand, try to wind down by engaging in relaxing behaviours, such as having a bath, reading a book, or getting into bed a little earlier.
Refraining from using electronic devices in the evening before bed is another way to prime yourself for sleep. Habitual screen use in the evening, whether computer, television or mobile phone, has been linked to poor sleep quality [R].
One reason for this is likely to be the colour of the light emitted by these devices (‘blue light’), which fools the body into thinking it is still day, rather than night. You can download blue-light apps for your computer and phone that reduce the blue light emitted, if you still need to use them in the evening.
If you find yourself the victim of an overactive mind, try meditation or mindfulness techniques to get yourself in the right frame of mind for bed.
3) Lifting Weights
There are virtually no drawbacks to lifting weights.
Men and women alike can reap the numerous benefits from lifting weights.
And no, ladies, you won’t get too bulky from lifting weights if you’re not taking AAS’s.
We’ve actually drawn up a list of 30 reasons why you should lift weights, including:
- You will look better than >90% of your peers
- Better posture — if you’re not an idiot about training
- Greater libido and attractiveness
- Higher testosterone levels
- Lowered risk of depression
- Improved cardiovascular health
- Higher base metabolic rate
- (You can eat more without getting fat)
- (Greater energy levels)
- Lower net body fat
- Greater bone density
- Lower risk of injury
- Lower risk of injury in late adulthood
- Greater levels of confidence
- More athleticism
- Faster sprinting speed through greater rate of force development
- Improved quality of life and life expectancy
- Stronger connective tissue (tendons, ligaments, etc.)
- Look cool AF
- Instills good behaviors
- Lower time preferences/more discipline
- Easier to lose fat
- Muscle memory if you have lengthy breaks in training
- Fun hobby
- Help develops high-quality friendships in gym
- Better sleep
- Lowered chronic inflammation and risk of disease
- Better insulin sensitivity
- Increased brain function
- Better sex
Visit our Gumroad page to select the correct program for you.
This point is often overlooked in importance, but your heart is your most important muscle — and, like all of your other muscles, it must be trained.
Not only will cardio add years to your life expectancy, but it will also allow you to eat more calories while dieting/maintaining your physique.
Cardio will help keep you active and mobile throughout your life; besides, being out of breath by walking up a flight of stairs sucks — believe me, I’ve been obese before and it’s no fun.
Why You Should do Cardio While Losing Fat
Why You Have to Do Cardio During Fat Loss
You can get shredded without doing cardio. It would be horrendous, but it is possible.
The mission is to make life easier while achieving superhuman feats.
Once you’ve tracked your base metabolic rate and have your diet dialed down, cardio is an additional tool to get yourself into a deeper calorie deficit.
Remember: one of Herculean Strength’s Golden Rules: You can’t out-cardio a bad diet.
Cardio is what keeps your cut alive.
Let’s take an imaginary lifter; he’s a little more active than sedentary, 6ft tall, and 180lb at around 20% bodyfat (he likes beer and pizza on the weekend). Here, his base metabolic rate here would be around 2700-2800 calories a day to maintain his weight at his height and activity level.
Then, let’s imagine he has above-average genetics and trains hard for 3 years and puts on 25lb of lean muscle mass with his bodyfat remaining at 20%.
The extra 25lb of lean tissue would increase his base metabolic rate by 500-750 calories a day. So his adjusted base metabolic rate for maintenance would shoot up to around 3200-3550 a day — let’s call it 3400 as an average and to keep the math simple.
Now, this imaginary lifter wants to strip down to 10-12% bodyfat for the summer and he has 4 months to do so.
His lean bodyweight is around 170lb at 0% bodyfat — which is impossible to achieve, but his ideal goal weight would be at around 185-190lb.
He would need to drop 15-20lb in 4 months — something that is perfectly doable.
Let’s assume that he isn’t the most disciplined lifter when it comes to nutrition; and even though he could easily drop a pound a week to be within the 15-20lb range, lapses of judgements, miscalculations, and errors are bound to happen for amateurs.
In order to lose a pound a week, he would need to burn off a total of around 65,000 calories spread across the 16 week period — a total weekly deficit of around 4,000 or between 500-600 calories a day.
(I am keeping the math simple and rounding up or down.)
For the first month, he could drop his daily caloric intake to 2,800-2,900 a day to kickstart his cut, which is a very comfortable intake.
After a couple of weeks, the lifter could take his weight, measurements, and before and after photos, making according adjustments to his daily caloric intake and total cardio.
The lifter could walk for 30 minutes a day to deepen his deficit a little further.
In fact, walking for 10-15 minutes after every meal can improve insulin sensitivity as well as breaking up total cardio for the day into manageable chunks.
At the beginning of each month, our imaginary lifter could then deepen his deficit by 100-200 calories a day — although I wouldn’t recommend our friend to go below 2400-2500 calories a day at his size to avoid the risk of losing muscle mass as he would be at a deficit of nearly 1000 calories a day assuming he does no cardio.
He could strip off 50-100 calories a day and add an extra 15-30 minutes walking to get there.
Put simply, doing cardio enables you to eat more when losing fat.
And it doesn’t have to be running long distances. Walking, walking on an incline, a leisurely bike ride with your family, swimming, sex; playing soccer, tennis, squash, rugby, etc, are all good forms of cardio.
But the most important thing to consider when cutting weight is how comfortable the cut is, so that you don’t break it or fall into temptation.
The other day, I ended up pigging out on my wife’s chocolate for baking, chips, and other stuff as I was insatiably hungry from lowering my calories excessively.
By the end of his cut, he could comfortably reach his goals while eating around 2700 calories and walking for a little over an hour a day — which is very doable.
And aside from helping you lose fat, cardio can help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol.
Furthermore, given its numerous cardiovascular benefits, cardio can also help fight infections as white blood cells are transported around the body more efficiently [R].
5. Start a Side Hustle
Financial freedom can relieve you of unnecessary stress and strain that might be burdening you.
And the goal is to live life to the fullest.
If you’re tied down, living paycheck-to-paycheck, you might not be able to afford certain luxuries such as good food or gym access.
Financial problems is one of the leading causes of divorce as well as stress [R], [R].
Stress, in turn, can wreak havoc on your endocrine system, lower your basal metabolic rate, shutter testosterone levels, reduce muscle mass, and lead you to an early grave.
We’ve already touched on stress and cortisol levels. Stress has been linked in a number of studies to overall feelings of tiredness, as well as poor mental health [R] [R].
It’s worth saying again that cortisol affects the metabolism and can make it easier to gain weight. When stress and cortisol levels increase, the cells can become resistant to insulin, which in turn can lead to an increase in blood sugar, weight gain and ultimately Type 2 diabetes. Overweight people suffer from excessive tiredness due to chronic inflammation.
In the modern world, it’s impossible to eliminate all forms of stress. We cannot live like the hunter gatherers described by the anthropologist Marshall Sahlins who might expend a bit of energy and suffer the stress of catching an animal, but then spend the rest of the day lounging and joking around.
We can, however, minimise stress. Improving your sleep will undoubtedly improve your stress levels. During the day, you can try to schedule walks or short bouts of exercise to lower your cortisol (more on exercise in a moment). You can also practice meditation and mindfulness techniques to reduce your stress.
A Side-Hustle online can help reduce financial pressure to help cover burdensome expenses.
Side-Hustles are very easy to set up and you can monetize your passion.
You don’t even need a website to start offering your services online — a free social media profile will suffice.
From there, you can begin to grow your presence and begin enjoying a greater degree of freedom.
If you wish to start growing your social media presence, we recommend you take a look at LifeMathMoney‘s seminal Twitter course that you can purchase here.
While most supplements are criminally overrated to generate sales, there are a couple of supplements you can take that will improve your quality of life.
In the past, we have recommended Vitamin D, ZMA, and Creatine as must-haves in your kitchen cabinet.
1. Vitamin D
This powerful vitamin is the only vitamin that is produced endogenously by the body.
With the exception of supplements, Vitamin D can be found in oily fish and egg yolks.
And there is a recent meme calling for men to “sun their balls” — as it is believed that, since testicles have Vitamin D receptors, the essential vitamin is absorbed more effectively.
Supplements, however, can also make the difference if you don’t have enough privacy to expose your junk to the sun.
Vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body — both of which are essential nutrients for optimal bone, teeth, and muscle health.
Natural testosterone levels can increase in men who supplement Vitamin D. Consequently, mood can be elevated, sex drive increased, and performance in the gym improved via an increase in endogenous testosterone production.
Aside from the immediate endocrinological benefits derived from supplementing Vitamin D, Vitamin D can also:
- Improve cardiovascular health
- Boost immune system
- Lower blood pressure
- Protect against Asthma
Of course, we would naturally advise for Vitamin D to be consumed via direct sunlight — but we know that it might not be possible for some.
Although a dose of around 1000IU is recommended, a lot of fitness personalities consume up to five times more than the recommended dose.
If you wish to supplement Vitamin D, you may click here to buy now.
This supplement has received a lot of hype in recent years, but it’s a supplement that replenishes crucial minerals that are lost through sweating.
ZMA is usually comprised of the following:
- Zinc monomethionine: 30 mg — 270% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
- Magnesium aspartate: 450 mg — 110% of the RDI
- Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine): 10–11 mg — 650% of the RDI
Some brands may vary with their dosages.
Zinc, usually found in certain shellfish, is necessary for healthy thyroid function to regulate your metabolism.
In fact, zinc is required for around 300 enzymes involved in metabolism, digestion, and the immune system.
Behind iron, zinc is the second most common mineral found in the body.
Magnesium, on the other hand, is the fourth most commonly found mineral in the body.
Found in dark chocolate, nuts, and avocado, this mineral plays a crucial role in energy and protein creation while regulating neurotransmitters — all of which are vital to success in the gym!
As mentioned, both Zinc and Magnesium levels are depleted through sweat — exercise. Taking ZMA supplements can help restore levels of these vital minerals.
Aside from exercising these supplements — which can be taken individually — can also combat depression.
Furthermore, magnesium has been linked with reducing chronic inflammation, lowering blood sugar, and lowering blood pressure.
In conjunction with Zinc, taken 30 minutes before bed on an empty stomach, ZMA has drastically improved my sleep quality, in my personal experience.
Supplementing ZMA can:
- Help improve sleep quality — crucial for post-workout recovery
- Boost immune system
- Increase energy levels
- Boost testosterone levels
- Improve metabolism
- Improve athletic performance
- Contribute towards healthy muscle contractions
- Help elevate mood
If you wish to supplement ZMA to drastically improve your health and life, click here to buy now.
This one is one of the most tried and tested sports supplements out there.
Creatine is an amino acid essential for the production of phosphocreatine — the body’s key energy source for explosive movements; for example: lifting weights. It plays a part in the formation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) — which is a vital molecule that fuels cells in exercise and day-to-day life activities.
The body naturally produces creatine in the liver, kidneys, and pancreas.
While you can acquire creatine through diet alone, the average person would be getting around a fifth of what they need from food sources such as meat, poultry, and fish.
A lot of Pre-workout supplements boast to contain creatine as one of their active ingredients. Sadly, it is repeatedly underdosed, often sitting at 2000-3000mg per serving when the active dose remains around 5000mg+.
Creatine also draws water to the muscles to increase total density.
Creatine can also increase your potential for total muscle growth by increasing the number of myonuclei around satellite cells — meaning that you can build more muscle with creatine than you could have ever done without it.
Various studies have shown Creatine’s safe, yet performance-enhancing effects in athletes.
High intensity workouts, muscle growth, and recovery are all supported by Creatine supplements.
Novice lifters can gain more lean contractile tissue over their peers when supplementing Creatine.
Apart from Creatine’s immediately desirable effects in the weight room, it can also:
- Help fight neurological diseases
- Lower blood sugar
- Stave off fatigue
- Sharpen the mind (something I have noticed, in my experience)
- Fight Parkinson’s Disease
Various personalities have talked about cycling Creatine — although this is unnecessary.
You can supplement Creatine all year round. And no, the Creatine in your Pre-workout IS NOT ENOUGH!
If you wish to buy Creatine and enjoy its myriad benefits, click here to buy now.
Ashwaghanda and L-theanine can help reduce stress and anxiety, but be careful with mixing them with ZMA as they can also contain magnesium. Excessive magnesium can cause stomach problems.
A good pre-workout, such as Gorilla Mode, can make all the difference for your workout, although it’s not always 100% necessary.
Finding out your micronutrient deficiencies is always a good idea so that you can address them through dietary amendments or supplementation.
However, diet will be key for improving your quality of life; supplements are the icing on top.
7. Boost Energy Levels
Increasing your energy levels is a very easy way to improve your quality of life.
Higher energy levels translates to higher productivity at work, in the gym, and beyond to make your life as rewarding as possible.
It’s very difficult to become successful in any walk of life if you lack the energy to match your ambitions.
We have an entire article on how to boost energy levels that we have previously mentioned in this article to help you get the most out of life.
If you fit any of the following criteria, your energy levels might not be as high as they could be:
- Sleep Deprived
- Abusing stimulants
- “Skinny Fat”
- Poor Diet/Micronutrient Deficiencies
- Don’t exercise enough
- Lack Sunlight (Vitamin D Deficiency)
- Low Iron Levels
- Masturbate Excessively
- Watch Excessive TV/Spend Too Much Time on Social Media
8. Walk Through Nature
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Walking through Nature — and exposure to sunlight — are two very simple ways to improve your quality of life.
A brisk walk is the original nootropic; philosophers such as Nietzsche and Thoreau would birth their most seminal and profound thoughts on their very lengthy daily walks.
Nietzsche had to walk 8-10 hours a day to make his life bearable due to his infamous illness.
Most Westerners, given their sedentary lifestyles, don’t get enough Vitamin D through sunlight — and life could get a lot better just by going outside a little bit more.
Couple their sedentary lifestyle with living somewhere like Northwest Europe, Scandinavia, Canada, The Pacific Northwest, or New England, many places do not get enough sunlight anyway and warrant supplementation.
However, this is not the case.
Even if you get enough time outside, you may still be deficient in Vitamin D.
But supplementing Vitamin D doesn’t compare to mainlining it direct from the sun.
Apart from the myriad cardiovascular, anti-inflammatory, and recuperatory benefits of walking — yes, simple walking — you will notice an elevation in mood [R].
Vitamin D has also been associated with reducing depression [R]. Frequent walks have also been linked with fighting depression [R].
Exercise in general is linked to lowering symptoms of anxiety and depression [R].
Going outside alone can help reduce depression, anxiety, and stress [R].
Overall, walking through nature is one of the best ways to improve your quality of life.
9. Drink more water
Proper hydration is important for a variety of reasons. Water is essential to good health and almost every process in the body requires water to function, from digestion, to temperature maintenance and lubrication of the joints. In fact, up to 60% of the adult human body is water, with the brain composed of 73% water and the lungs even more, at 83% water.
Among the main effects of dehydration are dizziness, confusion and fatigue. In one study, men who lost around 1.5% of their fluid exhibited deterioration in their working memory and reported increased feelings of anxiety and fatigue [R].
There are various other indicators that you may be dehydrated. Your urine colour is a good indicator, which you can pay attention to throughout the day. If it’s colourless or a very light yellow, you’re properly hydrated. If it’s a darker colour, you are probably dehydrated; likewise if you’re passing very little water, that’s another potential indicator. Others, apart from the aforementioned dizziness, confusion and fatigue, include dry mouth, a strong feeling of thirst (duh!) and headaches.
If you are performing strenuous exercises that makes you sweat, it is essential for you to drink more. Even people who don’t exercise strenuously may be dehydrated, however, especially if they regularly consume alcohol, which has a dehydrating effect.
Despite how easy it is to consume water, millions of people are inadvertently lowering their quality of life by walking around chronically dehydrated.
A few years ago, when I was doing my master’s degree, I was going through the most stressful period of my life.
My anxiety was the worst it had ever been — something that has vanished in the past few years — and my life, in hindsight, was miserable.
I would suffer from heart palpitations and arrhythmias almost every day at my worst.
But my then-girlfriend-now-wife, persistently pressured me to meditate.
And it would dispel many of my fears and allow me to put my concerns into perspective to move on with my life.
There is evidence suggesting that meditation helps with [R]:
- reducing stress and anxiety
- boosting attention span and memory
- increasing pain tolerance
- combating addiction
- developing emotional health
With poor mental health and stress, your quality of life will be a fraction of what it could be.
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