In his monthly health and wellbeing column, advanced trainer and coach Ric Moylan discusses the foundations needed to succeed.
Like any building or house, your health and fitness must be built on solid foundations in order for you to succeed. If this isn’t the case then eventually the structure will not be able to deliver the results it is designed for, or cope with the demands placed on it.
Your mind and body are no different.
I think we all agree and understand that in order to become fitter, faster and stronger both physically and mentally we must eat the right food and do the right exercise?
However is that all it takes?
One of my favourite statements I repeat to my clients is that they must ‘master the basics’ in order to get where they want to be. But what are they? Below are two key areas that are often overlooked, but are crucial to your overall success with your health and fitness.
The human body is made up of almost 70% water, with Tait et al (2008) stating that our brain consists of over 80% water. Therefore it’s no surprise that we need to keep hydrated in order to remain fit and healthy. In spite of this, further studies have shown that many of us are between 20 – 80% dehydrated each and every day! This has to change, and here are my top 3 tips how:
- Drink 500 ml as soon as you wake - Drinking water first thing in the morning helps to wake up and activate your internal organs such as our heart and lungs, enabling their increased function.
- Drink water 20-30 minutes before you eat - Allowing for better, more adequate and comfortable digestion.
- Drink 500 ml of water before a hot shower or bath - This can help to lower blood pressure, enabling you to relax and unwind from the stress of your day.
Sleep is the cornerstone of our recovery process, and this is not just recovery from exercise and training but from the daily grind of life itself. Failure to get enough sleep means we create a build-up of stress and fatigue which can lead to poor mood, potential depression as well as increasing the production of cortisol - the stress hormone that encourages your body to store fat. Sleep is perhaps the hidden gem of health and fitness that is often overlooked, and whilst we all agree we need eight hours, here are my top three tips on how:
- Darken out the room – we are designed to sleep in a dark environment. At night, our body releases the hormone melatonin to help regulate our sleeping patterns, this process is affected with exposure to light and negatively impacts our sleep quality.
- Turn off all gadgets – you really should not be stimulating your brain with false light and technology just before bed, it’s completely unnatural. Turn off all your gadgets 60 minutes before you go to bed.
- Temperature hygiene – of course we don’t want to be too cold, but equally being too warm can cause restlessness and directly affect sleep quality. According to the sleep council, a room temperature between 60-65°F is ideal.