In my last article, I described the ways in which exercise can have a hugely positive effect on both your physical and mental well-being.
Something to take into consideration, however, is that training in all its forms is a stressor to the body. No one gets fitter, leaner or stronger, in the gym. Training is a stimulus designed to move you closer to your fitness or health goal. The adaptation to this stimulus takes place in the time between training sessions
This is why I always emphasise to clients the importance of recovery and all-round health so they can hit their targets as quickly as possible! To explain my point I relate it to what I call your ‘Health Bank Account’.
It stands to reason that if you continue to make withdrawals from your bank account with no deposits going in, you will soon run into financial trouble!
The same goes for your body. If you continue to make withdrawals on it, through constant stressors, then your overall health will decline.
Here are the five simple ways you can enlarge your health bank account.
Clean Air – This may sound obvious but if we didn’t have access to air and oxygen then we wouldn’t last very long. I see so many people around London who choose to do their aerobic dominant, heavy breathing exercises in hugely polluted areas. Rather than going for runs or cycling around busy, congested roads, make better choices by doing the activities in non-polluted areas such as parks.
Water – Our bodies need a regular intake of clean water to survive. Make sure you are sufficiently hydrated by drinking enough water, the NHS recommends drinking six to eight 200ml glasses of fluid a day, about 1.2 liters, of course, this will vary depending on your age, activity level, etc. I recommend adding electrolytes (minerals) to your water to hydrate you more effectively. This will improve every physical process within the body, you’ll feel more energised, which will lead to you being able to train harder and can help decrease the risk of injury.
Macronutrients – Otherwise known as food! The three macronutrients are protein, fats and carbs. We get these from the foods that we eat. The amount we eat determines how many calories we consume daily. Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, quality proteins, healthy fats and fibrous carbohydrates can have the most profound effect on optimising your health. Your recommended daily number of calories along with the ideal ratio of macronutrients is a very personal thing, as it is heavily dependant on your size, activity level, age, etc. If you would like more information and help understanding what is right for your diet please get in touch.
Micronutrients – These are the vitamins and minerals that are contained within the macronutrients that we eat. You should always aim to eat non-processed, highly nutrient dense foods, in order to maintain the recommended levels of vitamins and minerals in your diet, required to achieve long term, optimal health.
Sleep – Creating an environment to increase the quality of your sleep is something I address with clients as quickly as possible. Disrupted or poor quality sleep will have a huge impact on someone’s health and well-being, severely inhibiting your recovery capabilities in between training sessions. If you would like to learn more about ways to improve your sleep patterns then please stay tuned for my next article.
Interested in any of the topics discussed in this article? If you would like to explore your personal “Health Bank Account”, please contact us.
Written by Mark Roper, Principal Coach – COACH LONDON