It's July. Chances are, even if you made a diligent run at your New Year's resolution to get fit, your attempts were made in vain. You just don't have two hours to workout each day, right?
Yet, the old dogma of more is better to get fitter faster is just that – OLD. Need proof? We've all seen an overweight marathon runner and wondered, "How is that person carrying around extra pounds when they're logging dozens of miles running each week?"
On the contrary, the new, way more effective paradigm for getting fit relies on a holistic model. Because even if you’re diligent about logging workouts, if you’re not eating right or sleeping well or managing stress, you will not see or feel your desired results.
Check out these wellness tips to bring about the health, fitness, and body composition results that you aim for!
There's a reason this is touted as the "athlete's steroid." Poor sleep causes inflammation and hormonal imbalances, and affects our body's detoxification and repair mechanisms. Major repair and restoration occurs while we sleep, and when this is interrupted - even from an early morning wakeup to workout - our homeostasis is altered for the worse. Inflammation and hormonal imbalances can undue any benefit from your workouts, so use these tips to get better sleep!
2) Manage stress
Emotional stress, physical stress, relational stress, job stress, parenting stress, technology stress... We have a lot on our plates and it's burning us and our hormonal systems out! Pay attention to your stress load and find productive ways to decrease it and/or process it. Even 5 minutes of deep breathing can do wonders.
3) Workout smarter
Speaking of stress, working out is an added stressor, albeit a good one. Respect your daily life circumstances, stress levels, energy and motivation levels, and immune function. Back off when you're tired, and ramp it up when you feel great!
4) Workout harder and shorter (and then longer and slower)
Within the confines of working out smarter, when you do feel good, ramping up strength training intensity and/or working in sprint intervals for a short duration (10 - 20 minutes total!) will give you maximum results. Precede these workouts with an aerobic workout or two and follow with a day(s) of rest, and you will take your fitness to the next level.
Outside of intense workouts, focus on complementary fitness the rest of the week, like yoga and pilates, walking, a long and slow bike ride, etc. to recover and build a base level of fitness.
5) Dial in your diet.
Eat mostly organic, real food - especially a ton of colorful vegetables, healthy fats, and healthy protein - and cut out the processed stuff to combat inflammation and boost antioxidant levels. Decreased inflammation = improved body composition.
Following these tips can take your wellness to the next level, and help you still achieve that touted New Year's resolution!