Making changes

By Brian White | Fitness News

Make one big change in each of the three places you spend the most time in 2017.

  1. Your workplace.

With some proper cleaning and filing, everyone should be able to free up at least a half of a drawer to recreate their very own “health drawer.” This drawer is dedicated to you and your well-being; it should be filled with healthy snacks, non-toxic cleaning supplies, healthy condiments, water, teas and medicine to keep you healthy when there is sickness going through the office.

Dedicating one drawer as your health drawer is a significant behavior design tool that can help you through those times when your willpower is low. When a craving strikes while you are hard at work, would you rather be at the mercy of what is left in the vending machine, or have an entire drawer loaded with healthy and vital snacks ready to go?

Brian says to make changes at work,
home and the gym. (Courtesy Brian White)

This is “behavior design 101” when it comes to setting yourself up for success. No one has an endless supply of willpower, not even that guy on the front page of that fitness magazine — they are just better at designing their daily behavior. A fully-stocked health drawer will be your biggest weapon against cravings, low energy and getting sick at work.

Here are the 21 best items for your health drawer.

Almonds; nut butter packets; 100 percent whole grain crackers; canned sardines; roasted edamame; meal replacement bars (low sugar); ready to drink meal replacements; instant oatmeal packets; roasted chickpeas; popcorn; dark chocolate squares; mineral water; organic cut up vegetables; organic fruit; disinfecting wipes; natural hand sanitizer; natural mouthwash; ginger gum; floss; tissues; moisturizer.

  1. Your home

Focus on sleep by going to bed earlier, getting up earlier and having a minimum of seven hours of sleep per night.

Mornings are more conducive to exercise and stress-free relaxation and will keep you slimmer. Nights are more conducive to melting into the couch watching TV, having a glass of wine and internet surfing. If you want to live a long and vibrant life, sleep should be priority number one. You will be amazed at how easy it is to make healthy decisions when you are fully rested!

  1. Your gym

Stretching should be a primary focus of your exercise routines. I find the people who mostly focus on lifting heavy weights and marathon cardio sessions are the ones that are in the most pain as they age.

You need to stop working out like you are 20 and admit that you are 40 (I’m joining the club as we speak). Range of motion and moving your body properly throughout all planes of motion is what is going to help you feel younger and maintain all the activities you have done your whole life.

The best ways to do this would be to add foam rolling and a short yoga flow routine and a dynamic stretching warm up to the beginning of each workout. If you currently life weights for about 45 minutes, a good rule of thumb and a great way to switch up your workout routine would be to spend about 20 minutes warming up with stretching and just do 25 minutes of weights — your body will thank you!

—Brian White owns Brian White Fitness (BWF), located in Hillcrest. He also runs boot camps in Balboa Park and trains clients at Diverge Gym. Read his blog at or contact him at

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