There are two things that I really like, one is quotes and the second is lists. Top five or top 10 lists resonate with me as they help break any problem or challenge down into manageable, achievable, steps. Health and fitness is no different. It can be broken down into a manageable, achievable, steps and should not be some mystery that only the chosen few get to experience. That is why I want to present the 10 laws of health and fitness in this article. There are certain irrefutable laws or facts that need to be adhered to in order to attain a great level of health and fitness. In this series I will explain these laws and try to highlight why they are important.
What do you want to achieve? When I see people make a breakthrough it is because they finally have a purpose and want to get fit and healthy. In my physio clinic I see a lot of people who have been in pain for months or years. The pain can affect their day to day activities and stops or hampers activities they once loved. I help a lot of people like this, especially those in their forties, fifties, and sixties, to get out of pain and become active again. But it starts with them wanting to get out of pain and become active. Something finally clicks and they decide enough is enough. That is always the starting point, otherwise they don't come to see me.
Exercise and eating right help you feel better. When you feel better, you do more. When you do more, you meet other people. A healthy lifestyle gives us the energy to be better than before. We want to participate, share, communicate, and build a community that has purpose in our lives. Get a goal for 2020, something that motivates you and makes you want to start.
'Some of the time' never changed anything, good or bad. If I eat ice cream some of the time or as a treat, that's fine, it is not going to really affect that much. If I eat ice cream every day, I am probably not in great shape. It is the same with training, someone once told me training twice a week is like throwing yourself down the stairs. It hurts a lot but doesn't do much good. You have to train or exercise at least four times per week. This can be four walks initially, but ideally it would be a conditioning/Pilates class, a walk/run, and two intense cardio sessions (hard walk or run, where you go fast for a minute then easy for a minute for sets of 10 minutes ).
Once you have consistency and you are training at least four times a week, you need to add variety. Mix it up. There are so many reasons why this is important. From a health and injury prevention perspective, too much of the same thing causes pressure on the same joints and strain on the same muscles. This can lead to stiffness and ultimately breakdown. It can also cause boredom in your training. Variety doesn't mean you have to change the type of exercise you do (although that does help ) but you should change intensity levels, duration, terrain, etc.
I am a competitive runner so I need to do a lot of running. I have good variety in my training by doing some sprinting type training sessions, some longer sessions, and some in the middle. By changing up your training you avoid plateaus and keep improving your fitness, shape, and ultimately your health.
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I will continue next week with the next four laws of health and fitness.