Knowing how to train or knowing what to eat is only half the battle, especially if you are unable to properly implement your knowledge into actionable daily fitness habits or goals.
Having an outcome goal, such as ‘I want to lose my belly by August’ or ‘I want to be under 10% body fat’ is essential, as it is the destination and driving force for your emotional self and the visualisation of all your efforts. However, on its own such a goal is useless – without key daily fitness habits.
To reach that outcome goal you must apply smaller more regular fitness habits – think of your fitness habits as bricks that you lay each day, at first they will seem insignificant but over time as you consistently perform these fitness habits they will lead you to your outcome goal or wall of success!RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
Today I’m going to give to you
5 fitness habits you need to incorporate NOW
that address your environment, lifestyle, nutrition and activity.
1. Turn off all electronic devices and read by 8pm
Studies have shown that the disturbance from electronic devices has a negative effect on your ability to unwind and relax, this is essential before going to bed, so that you have the best chance of a restful night’s sleep.
Reading a fiction book for an hour or so before bed will also benefit the process and help you to unwind and switch off, stay away from reading reference books or books related to your chosen industry, these will only stimulate your brain more and make falling asleep much harder.
2. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
If you follow the first fitness habit, then it will aid you in obtaining the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
Poor quality or interrupted sleep can lead to a cascade of health issues ranging from mild irritability, headaches, impaired cognitive function (ability to learn), weight gain, reduced metabolic rate, illness, depression, loss of sex drive and hormone imbalances that can lead to cravings for calorie dense foods.
Not to mention increased fatigue and reduced performance, this will have a negative effect on the pursuit of your fitness goals in and out of the gym.
3. Eat a diet made up of natural whole foods.
Our third fitness habit is to ensure that we consume a diet made up of natural whole foods. What do we mean by this?
A natural whole food is a single ingredient food that has gone through little to no processing and arrives on your plate as close to its natural form as possible. Such as a chicken breast as opposed to a chicken breast ready meal.
As a species, the closer we can stick to a diet made up of the natural resources found around us the healthier and fitter lives we lead, the further we move away from our natural resources towards processed, manmade and nutrient deficient foods, the greater the risk of diet related disease becomes, such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke and cancers.
4. Drink at least one glass of water 30 mins. before each meal.
A simple way of ensuring that you stay adequately hydrated for good health and optimum fitness performance, every time before you eat.
Water is the foundation to our health and the optimal functioning of all our cells and many processes in the body, and is also the vehicle used by the body for the removal of toxins through the kidneys and digestive system.
Just a 1% loss of water will reduce the body’s aerobic endurance and a 3% loss will reduce muscular endurance, additional losses can lead to illness and a 10% loss of water can lead to death.
For a more accurate way of calculating your specific daily fluid intake, times your bodyweight in kg by 39ml, this will give your daily requirement in millilitres.
Eg. 80kg x 39 = 3,120 or 3 litres.
5. Perform 5 or more hours of physical activity a week.
Studies have shown that 5 or more hours of physical activity per week will have massive benefits on your overall health, such as improved cardiovascular fitness, blood pressure, hormonal profile, mental capacity, emotional well being, and metabolism. Try and make up at least 3 of those hours with intensive activity from a sport or fitness related activity for additional improvements.
In the more sedentary population, at least 10-15% of daily calorie expenditure can come from physical activity, in highly active individuals this can be 30% or more, another good reason to be more active.
Also add into your exercise regime some strength training, and you’ll improve bone density, which is especially important the older we get and for females, regarding osteoporosis. You will also improve lean muscle tissue, which in turn will improve resting metabolic rate, improve levels of sex hormones and give you a stronger more functional body, which will enable you to enjoy a longer and fuller life – not to mention making you a more useful human being.
Remember fitness isn’t just about exercise, but is the accumulation of the 4 key areas covered with the 5 fitness habits above. We experience these on a daily basis from the environments that surround us, the lifestyles we lead, the nutritional habits that we adopt and the regular activity we take part in.
All of these areas need to be addressed in order to maximise our fitness potential, so implement the 5 fitness habits now and maximise yours.