A common complaint amongst those trying to improve their health and fitness is the saturation of information in the fitness market. All the do’s and don’ts can fast become overwhelming and confusing.
Having just a few things to work on during your day is usually enough to effect positive change on your health and fitness.
Here are 5 things you can be doing today:
Motivation and Goals
It is easy to get your motivation and goals mixed up. They serve two different purposes that should work simultaneously together.
Your goal is the ‘What’ and your motivation is the ‘Why’.
Figuring out and understanding your ‘What and Why’ will help you to get the most out of your fitness journey.
You may have a clear end goal in mind, whether that’s to run a marathon or a desired physique for an upcoming event or holiday. However, it is your motivation that will fuel your efforts, kickstart your fitness journey and keep you on track.
That’s not to say your end goal cannot be your motivation. because it most certainly can be. However, it is good to have a mixture up your sleeve. Visualizing your end goal and what it will mean and give you can be a great motivator too.
Your goals should have a target date. This will improve your chances of reaching your desired outcome and help you make the right choices along the way.
Make sure your goals are clear and your motivation is effective.
Keep a Journal
Keeping track of your exercise, diet and sleep will undoubtably launch you onto the path of success.
Just start with a fitness journal to log your exercises for now. You don’t want to become overwhelmed with a crazy amount of diary entries.
A fitness journal will help plan and track your workouts. When you come to review your sessions, you will be able to analyse your accomplishments and navigate your next workouts and/or rest. This should help you maintain a sustainable fitness lifestyle. It’s also a great way to challenge yourself.
The key is to be honest and consistent.
Diet and Nutrition
You need to eat a balanced diet to ensure you are consuming enough nutrients for your day. 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fats is a good target.
‘Abs are made in the kitchen’
It doesn’t matter how much exercise you do; you cannot out train a bad diet.
So, think about your calories and where they sit in respect to your macronutrients (Proteins, Carbs and Fats) when you sit down at your next meal. Look at your plate, is it colourful enough?
Have a nutritious breakfast! The saying that ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’ is true. Lastly, don’t forget to stay hydrated, 6 – 8 glasses of water a day should do it.
Consistency and Variety
It goes without saying but consistency is key!
An inconsistent training program will make achieving your goals much harder.
So, don’t miss your workout sessions. Use your motivation and goals to get you to and through your sessions. The habit of a stop-start pattern to your training will hinder your progression and sabotage your progress.
A variety in your training is just as important, no-one wants to get bored.
Your body responds well to surprise so change it up. This will keep you engaged and could encourage new muscle growth.
Strength, power, flexibility, mobility and coordination are all important components to your training program. It will be hard to see any improvements in these areas if you just keep things the same with no progress.
Every 4 weeks or so shake it up and inject some change. Perhaps you change the order of exercises, increase / decrease your sets and reps or try something entirely new. The options are endless.
Sleep allows your body to recover and repair from the day’s activities. If that incudes exercise (which I hope it does) then this is also the time your body will build new muscle.
Lack of sleep has been linked to many factors affecting your health including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and your mental health. Your sex drive can also be affected.
It is recommended that adults get 7 – 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night.
There are a number of techniques you can try to increase your quality of sleep including a cool dark bedroom, no screen time just before bed, meditation and a consistent reasonable bedtime.
So there you have it, five things you can do today to improve your health and fitness.
“Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still” – Chinese Proverb