When it comes to health and fitness there is no secret formula to success. Many people think they are being good, but actually they could be doing a lot better, just by listening to their body. Sometimes good is ok, it’s average. For example, you might be exercising regularly, eating the right foods, cutting down on smoking and drinking alcohol, getting up earlier to go to the gym…which is great by the way, keep doing that. But you might still not be achieving your goals. WHY?
Last month’s article spoke about BMR which is our Basel Metabolic Rate and RDA which is our Recommended Daily Allowance. Both are key if you want to improve your nutrition and both are different for every individual. Understanding these two factors will have a big impact on your health. But there are other factors which contribute to our success. This month’s article will get you to think. First of all, I have a little quiz for you to do. I want you to choose which word you believe, is the most important out of the 3 questions below.
- Nutrition or Exercise?
- Sleep or Productivity?
- Mindset or Performance?
I will reveal the correct answer in next month’s article, so stay tuned. Going back to the reason WHY. From my experience as a Personal Trainer, having worked in the fitness industry for over 10 years, in management and now as a Trainer and Tutor, we often hear people talk about question 1 above, Nutrition and Exercise. People will say Nutrition is 70% important, Exercise is 30%. You need to be in a calorie deficit for the body to break down and burn fat. You need to track your calories and macronutrient breakdown of Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats etc. I’m not disagreeing with the above, but there is more to it.
Think about the number of times you have started a diet. Monitoring what you eat, trying to be good by cutting down on big portion sizes, eating salads for lunch, not having dessert after dinner. You need a fair amount of discipline to do this and to sustain this mindset. More often than not we start this, but we slip back into old habits and routines, which ultimately affects our goal and our health. Before you know it, you’re back to square one again.
Then there’s exercise. From my previous articles, you will have read that this doesn’t have to be running on the treadmill for 30 minutes. It doesn’t have to be boring, it just has to elevate your heart rate and increase your core temperature to burn calories. Think about how many times you have joined a gym, gone out for a jog, started a training programme but then lost interest and stopped. Before you know it, you’re back to square one again.
One thing which connects Nutrition and Exercise together is sleep. I’ve listened to a lot of podcasts lately from Professors and Doctors, who say that optimal sleep duration is 8 hours a night. When we sleep, our body is healing. Muscles are recovering, the nervous system is relaxing, the digestive system is breaking down food, the endocrine system is regulating hormones and so on.
If we don’t get enough sleep, we are tired. Our stress levels increase, we become more hungry, quick tempered, our performance drops, there is a decrease in our hydration and energy levels. So, here’s what I want you to do. Keep on top of your Nutrition and your Exercise but monitor your sleep. It will make a big difference to your body and you achieving your goals.
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