The long days of summer are fading, but that does not mean your health and fitness needs to fade as well. There are plenty of things you can continue doing this fall and winter to maintain your summer fitness gains. In addition to sleep, two other things play an equally important role in maintaining optimal fitness and they are balanced nutrition and consistent exercise. Just imagine if we could do just those three things consistently how much better we would feel every day.
“ABC’s of optimal health and training”
A = Adequate sleep
B = Balanced nutrition
C = Consistent exercise
#1 Adequate Sleep – Our own personal energy level could be one of our most valuable resources and sleep plays a big role in this. With adequate sleep you have a much better chance of success with #2 and #3 below, so make it a priority. People have different sleep requirements, so the key is finding out what yours is and then doing your best to get those zzz’s. Some people do fine on 6-7 hours a night, others need 8+ and teenagers can never seem to get enough. Proper sleep allows our bodies to rejuvenate and recover from the day’s activities.
#2 Balanced Nutrition – Similar to sleep, everyone is going to have their own specific needs depending on age, level of activity or trying to lose, maintain or gain weight. A balanced diet of foods is fuel for optimal mental and physical energy. Here is a simple thing to do that just requires a little bit of discipline. Find out what you are really eating every day by keeping a food journal. Try the journal for three days and write down everything you eat & drink. This can be a big eye opener for a lot of people in terms of how much or little they are eating as well as the quality in food choices. Often times, just the act of keeping a food journal will help you make better food choices. From this you will have a better idea on what foods you may need to add to your diet as well as those that may need to be consumed in more moderation or eliminated to maintain healthy body composition and optimum energy levels.
#3 Consistent Exercise – The benefits of exercise are to numerous to list. There are so many great ways to get exercise especially living along the Front Range here in Colorado. I would encourage you to have a variety of activities to choose from. Variety is the spice of life and participating in different forms of exercise is a great way to cross train and help keep overuse injuries down. With the weather changing, you may need to take some of your exercise indoors, or just get some better gear to handle the cooler weather. Either way, you need to keep moving regardless of the temperature. Exercise is probably one of the best ways to change your mood. Think about it, when was the last time you finished a workout and felt depressed, or grumpy? Yes, you may be tired, but it is a good tired that in turn may help you with #1 above. Whether you exercise by yourself or with a group just be consistent in trying to get some movement each and every day.
We all have 24 hours each day, no more, no less. Make the choice to get adequate sleep each and every day. This combined with balanced nutrition and consistent exercise is a great recipe for maintaining optimal health, mind & body!
Train Smart...Race Fast