So you’re training 4-5 days a week, the workouts are offering some good sweat and you’re seeing progress BUT will it last & how do we know if we are enroute to longterm health or potential burn out?
Health is a complexed issue, humans are a complexed organisim, however, the basic principles to longterm sustainability of health can be simplified so as to allow you to objectively work on the stuff that offers the highest return on effort invested!
Some call them ‘ The basics’ others ‘ The secrets’ – we prefer to flag them as non-negotiables. Put simply; if you want progressive longterm health to span over your lifetime then it’s best practice to adhere to these elements as anchor points to your day,your week, your lifestyle.
#1) Sunlight & Fresh Air:
It seems odd that this would even need to be flagged but alas here we are! Society has changed, our lifestyles are now influenced more by screen time than by nature and a such our basic human rhythms have been impacted in a less than desirable way. The role of sunlight for human function cannot be overstated – there are endless studies done on this simple point; all of which conclude that optimal health cannot be achieved without daily sunlight. There are some conflicting opinions on just HOW MUCH we need to reach this point of optimacy but all agree atleast 30minutes per day is required. An added benefit to getting outdoors and allowing the skin to absorb VIT-D is the enhanced levels of O2 that come with fresh air (!). The environment we spend most of our time in will have the largest impact on our health – if this environment is indoors, in a working office, warehouse or (insert workplace) we are stiffling our lung function and gaseous exchange capacity. Get out doors, Get some sunlight on the skin & breathe deeply!
#2) Move & Rest appropriately:
We are designed to move, play, explore and rest. Focusing on too much of one at the reduction of the others, brings us away from the point of optimacy once again. There are 24 hours in a day, some days require less efforts than others, some days allow for greater output than others. Being aware of what is appropriate on each day allows for you to self-regulate your efforts. It allows you to work alongside your natural energy levels and body rhythm, it allows you to remain confident in your abilities whilst also staying on top of your self-care.
#3) Stay Present:
It is no big secret – we will all one day die.( sorry for bringing the tone down!) As a human, it is part of our natural cycle, it is also a point that few think about and soon life has passed them by. Understanding the position you are in on any given day is a hugely influential practice that we can all benefit from, we all know that Life can be stressful, but yet – What is Stress?.
Put simply, it is a state of panic or worry surrounding a particular issue. An emotion. The impact of which can be detrimental to all factors of human health. Improving your ability to stay present, re-frame problems and live life as a thankful & grateful human is a potent potion to longterm health.
#4) Food is Life, Eat accordingly:
We all know the basic role of food, we all know the need to eat – but few really appreciate what it is they actually eat and the impact it has on their body. If we are to look at things from a biochemistry POV, we are sunlight. Every single thing we eat starts with sunlight, don’t believe us? (Take a moment to try think of any element in the food chain that doesn’t need sunlight … we’ll wait.)
Now, think about the role of this food within your body. It’s pretty amazing really, yet once again, people are willingly putting processed, greasy, items through their mouths every single day … for years on end. Just over 80% of the content of the food you eat enters your system. It is then transported to your cells where things are then processed ( stored etc..). Like any machine however, the output can only be as good as the input. Understanding this and staying aware with your food choices is arguably the most potent practice to obtaining progressive longterm health. Eat well, eat wholesome, eat for enjoyment rather than comfort, eat for output rather than emotions but most of all eat because food is Life.
Coach Dara O’Boyle