4 tips to a healthier better you that won’t cost you a penny
Everyone has some experience of exercise, school PE, a fitness class maybe owned some weights or did some running or something. Ask any group of guys especially the best way to work out and everybody has an opinion with many ‘EXPERTS’ right? How about diet? How should I eat? Again you could be given an avalanche of conflicting ‘EXPERT’ information with probably some validity but definitely confusing so what do you do for the best? The answers, keep it simple, use common sense and maybe trust your own instincts. If you have a specific goal perhaps even consider hiring a trainer with a proven track record if only for a few sessions to come up with a battle plan (that would be a specific program designed for you) to take you there and correct any flaws or bad habits in your form and get you on the right path nutritionally, you would be amazed how just a few pointers can have dramatic results. The number one thing I get asked by new and existing clients is how do I lose weight which really means how do I lose fat? Do I need to buy this wonder pill or supplement? Or follow this crash diet plan etc. My answer is always follow the CORRECT plan to get to your goals which will be a combination of exercise, diet (as in healthy eating hate the word diet) relaxation (to combat stress) and education. Keep it simple, keep it achievable and keep it fun. Over the next few weeks I’m going to get deeper into training for specific goals working around your body type as well as exploding a few myths about diet and supplements and much more but for today I’m going to give you 4 basic tips that will work for everybody if your goal is to lose fat, have less stress and be healthy that you can do at home that won’t cost you a penny. I’m not reinventing the wheel here and this will be stuff I guarantee you have heard before and perhaps already know but maybe have never actually ever used, so here goes.
Tip number 1. Drink more water
Tip number 2 Spend less time sitting down
Told you I wasn’t giving you new information but are you actually making an effort to get off your back side more? Various studies have shown that people who sit a lot actually die much younger, honestly would I lie to you? One I recently read said people who sit for over 6 hours a day are likely to die 15 years before those who sit for 3 or less hours a day and are 54% more likely to die of a heart attack! Also especially for those who work a lot on computers it can ruin your posture creating round forward rolled shoulders and back and neck issue making you also potentially prone to injuries not to mention possible circulation problems from the lack of activity. So what can you do to combat this? Here’s a few suggestions. Get up from your desk just for 1 or 2 minutes every 30 mins to an hour and move a little. Walk around, stretch your legs a little, maybe get a glass of water? I’m not saying it’s a scientific fact but I have a suspicion that a lot of the problems mentioned above are caused by the accumulative amount of time you sit but a second variable is the consecutive amount of time you sit and strain at your computer screen. If you want to go a stage further especially for those people who work at home how about standing while you work on a raised desk of even turning your desk into a stationary bike station or a treadmill desk if you can afford it, extreme maybe effective definitely. Could be as simple as putting a chair on a table with your laptop on that so you can now stand, total investment for that zero dollars. Watching TV with the family how about standing during the commercials (although that could be a major workout with how many are on American TV). Or if you have kids even turn it into a game, when the commercials come on that’s the cue to get up and run around or at least get moving., anyway just an idea but hopefully your getting the message, find ways to spend shorter lengths of time just sitting.
Tip number 3 Get more sleep
Sleep deprivation is a killer and is linked to irritability, higher stress, loss of concentration, and poor memory to name but a few. We are all different but 8 hours is definitely optimal while less than 6 hours (very common with busy working folks) is actually dangerous. If your goal is any kind of muscle building then you will know that your body repairs itself while you are sleeping, less sleep less growth and less than 6 hours can actually reduce testosterone levels by 10-15%. I’ll concede that you might not always be able to achieve 8 hours per night every night your busy, I get it I’m busy but are we that busy every night? A few suggestions that could help try keeping a sleep log for the next 7 days. Actually keep a record of when you went to bed and when you got up you may be surprised of how little you sleep. As an exercise try to go to bed just 30 minutes earlier each night, you’ll be amazed at just how good it feels. How about taking the odd power nap during the day? A great tool for exercise and brain boosting recovery even just 10 – 20 minutes is proven to boost your alertness. To improve the quality of your sleep try turning off electronic equipment at bedtime, you’ll be amazed how much better you’ll sleep when your phone is not buzzing every 5 minutes with emails, Facebook etc downloading or your stereo humming or god forbid some crazy friend in England has forgotten the 8 hour time difference and is calling or skypeing you at 4 am!
Tip number 4 find ways to relax
Stress undoubtedly public enemy number one that can wreck not just your fitness goals but your life. Modern life is full of hassles, deadlines, frustrations and demands it’s little wonder we all feel it’s effects from time to time. It can have a positive effect in small does but how we manage it can be the difference between a long and healthy life or perhaps not. Stress Warning Signs and Symptoms Cognitive Symptoms and Emotional Symptoms • Memory problems • Inability to concentrate • Poor judgment • Seeing only the negative • Anxious or racing thoughts • Constant worrying • Moodiness • Irritability or short temper • Agitation, inability to relax • Feeling overwhelmed • Sense of loneliness and isolation • Depression or general unhappiness Physical Symptoms Behavioral Symptoms • Aches and pains • Diarrhea or constipation • Nausea, dizziness • Chest pain, rapid heartbeat • Loss of sex drive • Frequent colds • Eating more or less • Sleeping too much or too little • Isolating yourself from others • Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities • Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax • Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing).
Here’s a few suggestions to find ways to relax and alleviate your stress. Incredibly exercise is number one treatment for releasing the chemicals and happy hormones in your brain like endorphins, serotonin and dopamine. Make time for friends and family especially those that make you laugh. Jokes and funny movies are actually good for us, laughter is proven to boost your immune system and even reduce pain so just like Patch Adams lets laugh ourselves healthy. Many people find relief in meditation to find balance or many forms of yoga are not only good for your body but great for your mind. Avoid stimulants and sugars, not just bad for weight gain the more stressed we feel the more we crave things like doughnuts, coffee, chocolate etc but the catch 22 is the more of these stimulants you have in your system the more stressed you feel it’s not just your imagination. I could go on about the negatives of stress like how it turns your whole system acidic but I think I will save this for another blog. The important message here is take time out to relax and find your own way of handling stress it’s as important as sleep, food or taking breath.
Until next time, train hard, train smart, eat clean and get lean. For personal training enquires please email me at email@example.com or call me on 310 693 4542
Body, Your Design