5 strategies to help cultivate a positive, long lasting and mindful approach to your health.
1. Prioritise your health
Start by accepting value of strong health. Before a positive change can happen health and fitness must be moved up the priorities list. All too often we take our health for granted right up to the point it starts to deteriorate. It is at this point that our health or lack thereof becomes a tangible thing that we can feel. Rather than waiting for that moment to arrive take actionable steps make you prioritise your health. The below strategy will help keep your health at the top of your priority list.
Today set aside 5 minutes to think about your current health and where you want to take it. Your general fitness, your energy through the day, your general disposition. Imagine yourself being strong, fit and energetic. If that feels significantly different to how you feel at the moment then the change needs to happen. Once the importance of attaining, improving and sustaining good health is realised it becomes easier to motivate yourself and do something about it. That is when the process begins.
2. Make appointments with the boss.
No, not your actual boss. Your health is the numero uno. Good health holds the key to success at work, your social and personal life. Important above all else for all else pales in significance once health is lost. Workouts, massage, stretching, physio, even rest and sleep all require time commitment and this needs to be scheduled. Here is a great yet simple strategy to help you become the boss of your schedule.
Lock your health/fitness time in your diary under high priority and wherever possible avoid changing this for the sake of another meeting or external influence. Make being accountable to yourself as important as to anyone else. Take the power back over your personal health. It is one of only a handful of things that only you can control.
3. Train purposefully.
Marathon training, weight loss, muscle gain, fat loss, muscle definition, improving strength, improving flexibility etc are all different fitness goals. Depending on what you want to achieve it is worth spending a little time researching the best ways to achieve it. For example running for an hour 5 times a week may prepare you for a long distance event yet it is far from the best way to lose excess body fat. Strength training 5 times a week to reduce your frame and become leaner will not yield exactly what you are looking for unless you tweak your nutrition and supplement it with specific cardiovascular training. Be wise when embarking on a fitness transformation by following the below strategy.
Decide on what it is exactly you want to achieve from your training regime, both for now and in the long run. As an example:
- Are you looking for the best overall fitness routine?
- A way to streamline your physique?
- Training for a particular event?
- Want to manage an longstanding injury?
- Are you striving for better health without concerns for aesthetics?
Research the best method to achieving the goal you set, in a way that is compatible with your time availability and realistic level of commitment. Based on these you will able to create a focused training regime that does not waste your time and energy.
4. Find/Create a network.
This could be as easy as finding friends, colleagues or a group of like-minded individuals with the same passion and interest in their health. Or simply a group of people who you know have your best interests at heart and got your back. Such simple network is a very valuable asset, in two ways.
- It makes it more fun to stay on course.
- It gives you someone else to be accountable to.
Who knows, you may even become a role model yourself. The below few strategies will give you some ideas of how to build your support network.
Get your friend in on your next workout. Sign up a few of your colleagues to a fitness class (We hear there is a fantastic one on Foley Street). Organise a training group or a fun run. Find a gym buddy who is keen to get the most out of their session. Even speaking to your family about your goals is a way to strengthen your existing network. Who is better to keep tabs on you than your own kin. Once the army of one becomes 2 or more there is nothing to stop you.
5. Know when not to train.
Here is a funny thing about working out. All positive effects, such as muscle toning, improved metabolism and body composition happen between your workouts. Each workout is a stimulus that forces you to adapt and become more “hardy”. And that happens BETWEEN the workouts! Good food, rest and more importantly sleep is what determines how well you adapt and how much you get out of your training. The better you recover between your workouts the more you will get out of each consecutive session.
Plan your workouts to allow 24-48 hours of recovery between sessions. When not working out spend time stretching, massaging and generally recuperating. The time between your workouts is time to focus on your mental wellbeing, something that is as important to your overall health as physical training.
- Prioritise your sleep above watching late nigh TV.
- Aim to spend at least 5 minutes stretching and foam rolling on the days you do not workout.
- Listen to your body. If you feel consistently tired during your workouts it may be time to take a few days break.
The above 5 strategies will set you up for a successful health and fitness reboot and will upgrade the way you approach your wellbeing.
With healthy wishes,