Strive for a sustainable lifestyle
Embarking on a new active and healthy lifestyle is a great idea, but whatever choices you make, ensure they are sustainable. Transforming yourself overnight from someone who eats badly and takes no exercise, to someone who exercises daily and eats perfectly is unlikely to last. Make small and consistent improvements over time and they will remain part of your lifestyle and the bigger picture will take care of itself. Strive to limit unnecessary stress and your life will have a great balance to it.
Have a plan
This topic can relate to many different aspects in your life. Especially concerning nutrition and exercise, thinking ahead and preparing what you are aiming to achieve or eat will lead to the best short and long term results. If you allow yourself to become too hungry through lack of preparation and thought you are far more likely to grab anything to eat and more often than not this will be unhealthy. With regard to exercise, if you have no session plan and just exercise ‘off the cuff’ as you go, you will quickly lose your way and train inefficiently. It is essential you try to form the habit of planning ahead, both for the short and long term.
A training/food diary can be great way to track your progress. It helps to keep you motivated whilst making you accountable to what you are doing. Having a training buddy will also make you more likely to make that gym appointment and keep you on a fast track to success.
Always make sure your training is specific to what you are trying to achieve. That may sound obvious, but the vast majority of people do not do this. What you do within each workout regarding exercise type, number of sets, repetitions, rest period, amongst others will determine the results you achieve.
Many of us are after a leaner body. Using this as an example, a combination of interval training and higher intensity weight training, based around compound movements, would have the most dramatic effect on your body. Training should be regular, but overtraining will not allow your body ample time to rest and repair.
Our bodies are very good at adapting and continually need to be challenged. Variety is therefore very important within your training structure, but you will also need an element of repetition to monitor progress in certain areas.
Eating a healthy and balanced diet is essential in anyone’s life. Many people seem to compromise good eating habits, being convinced they do enough exercise to negate the negative effects of eating badly. This is not the case, as you simply cannot out train a bad diet.
Combining sensible, sustainable eating with a smart training programme is the most powerful combination.
We should aim to consume food on a ‘little and often’ basis (5-6 meals a day is about right), and in doing so we keep our body’s metabolism burning.
Not all foods were created equally however so it is critical to make the right choices and think about what we are eating. Try to choose foods that are in as natural state as you can (meat, vegetables etc) and avoid processed foods as much as possible. These are the foods our bodies are designed to eat and will keep our blood sugar levels even.
Any supplements within your diet should be natural and of the highest quality and always limit unnecessary toxins (cigarettes and alcohol).
Being incorrectly hydrated can affect performance and general bodily functions. Just a 2% drop in bodyweight from fluid loss can have a profound effect on aerobic performance. Prevention is always better than cure so drink water throughout the day and try not to let yourself get thirsty. You wouldn’t let your car run out of fuel.
Around training times, a low sugar sports drink can also be used helping to replace electrolytes.
There are so many factors to consider when trying to achieve a fit and healthy lifestyle. Incorporating as many of these factors as possible will leave you on the right track. Aim to be better today than you were yesterday, making small improvements as you go. Surround yourself with like-minded people who will have a positive influence and keep you motivated.