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Lifestyle vs Fads

All Areas > Health & Beauty > Looking Good, Feeling Great

Author: Will Mbanga, Posted: Wednesday, 28th August 2019, 09:00

While Gloucestershire is a fairly fit county, it’s been great to see more bodies head outdoors to run, walk, hike, swim, cycle and more in the beautiful weather we’ve had this summer.

Obviously keeping hydrated, sun protected and moisturised in this weather is important, but so is getting out and soaking up all that sunlight and vitamin D!

Having worked in the fitness industry as a Personal Trainer, managed a gym and trained PTs, I am saddened by the growing ‘short-term’ (i.e. 6-12 week) body transformation trend that is the current fitness fad.

Don’t get me wrong, when the program and process is adhered to and the relationship with the trainer is empowering rather than prescriptive, the results can be nothing short of astounding. What we don’t see however, is where those same people end up six months or a year down the line. Too often, a large number of these people, end up back where they started or worse.

Make sure whatever you do is sustainable

Health and fitness is a lifestyle, not a quick fix. Of course, sometimes you need to go all out to shift some weight, pack on muscle, get beach ready, slim down for your school reunion or fit into a dress for a special occasion. Just make sure that whatever you do is sustainable and can be consistently repeated for the rest of your life. Unfortunately, many of the ‘diets’ on these programs are not sustainable in the long term either.

When I ran my first ‘trans-formation program’, my aim as a young trainer was to build a sustainable client base, rather than making short-term money. Everyone’s fitness journey will differ based on their unique situation and individual make-up, so there’s not a ‘one size fits all’ answer. There may be a period of ‘trial and error’, but this is important to find what’s right for you.

Practices applied consistently over time

The secret sauce to a positive health and fitness lifestyle lies in a strong foundation based on sustainable practices applied consistently over time. I would highly recommend the following health and fitness ‘laws’ throughout one’s lifespan:

1. Nutrition: a balanced diet consisting of appropriate food groups for your bio-energetic needs.

2. Exercise: regular exercise is key. Aim to train at as high an intensity as possible at least 2-3 times a week. This will help with fat loss, cardio-respiratory health and building lean muscle.

3. Hydration: replacing both fluid (water) and electrolytes is critical to optimal neuromuscular functioning. Our bodies consist of approximately 80% water, so it’s crucial to keep topping up.

4. Vitamin D: spending time in the sunshine and the great outdoors is hugely important to both physical and mental health

5. Balance: everything in moderation! It’s ok to skip a workout every now and then, or have a drink at the weekend. Just make sure you keep a healthy balance.

6. Rest/recovery: getting this right will enable you to sustain an exercise regimen for your entire lifespan.

7. Sleep: this is also important to help your body recover and let you replenish your energy for the next day’s activities. Aim for 7-9 hours every night.

8. Variety: get as much variety into your training and exercise as possible to facilitate continuous adaptation by keeping your body stimulated and challenged.

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