I'm writing this from a place of understanding.
Well, actually I'm writing it from my bed. But you get the idea.
I get ill a fair bit. Due to my medical history, my immune system is pretty shit. It's just the hand I've been dealt.
So with that, I know all too well what it's like to get set up with some awesome new habits, and then suddenly the energy is gone and I can barely get out of bed.
So yeah, I get it.
If this sounds familiar, then I have three things to say which will (hopefully) help you.
To be quite frank, getting unwell is pretty standard. Everyone has physical and mental health, and unless you're Bruce Willis in Unbreakable you're probably going to go through periods where that health isn't quite where you'd like it to be.
So yeah, allow it.
Accept that you're not firing on all cylinders, and accept that some things are probably going to slip.
You're unlikely to be able to keep ALL your habits going while you're unwell, so don't...
This is a nice quick blast of actionable strategies and advice, no fluff.
Know who you want to become. Not what you want to achieve, although that is helpful too, but WHO you want to become. Think about characteristics you would like to have, what kind of person you want to be. Attaching your journey to your identity rather than outcomes can help you be much more consistent with your new routines. If you already have goals, ask yourself what kind of person would achieve those goals. Then be that person.
Start small. Only pick a handful of habits to start with, just three or four. And make sure you pick the easiest ones to change. Don't try and change the biggest things at the start, those can come later. We want to get some easy points on the board early, so start with three to four habits you know you can nail. Success will give you a burst of dopamine which will drive you on to achieve further success when you build on these foundations.
Engineer your environment. Your...
More is better, right? Not always.
I work with a lot of people who have busy lives: young kids, demanding jobs, lots of plates spinning. More is definitely not better when it comes to increasing the commitments of my clients.
Whether or not you have a busy life in this way, you may still feel overwhelmed with the amount of time you think you need to put into your fitness in order to see results. You see people hitting the gym for an hour at a time, 6 days per week, and you wonder how you could survive that, let alone fit it in!
I'm going to break it down for you, into three main parts to focus on:
In order to pick up a lot of the health benefits associated with exercise, the NHS recommend 150 minutes per week at a moderate level. This means something which gets your heart and breathing rates up for 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week.
But does this mean there are no benefits if you do less than this? Does it mean that doing 15 minutes per day is pointless, for example?
As with anything, when we talk about fitness it is important to know what we are actually referring to.
You probably have your own ideas and definitions. Perhaps for you, it’s always conjured up images of athletes, displaying their superhuman abilities. Maybe it’s been about the fitness models you see on the cover of glossy magazines.
But here’s my definition:
Fitness is your ability to cope with and recover from stress.
So if we divide fitness into physical and mental:
Physical fitness is your ability to cope with and recover from physical stress.
Mental fitness is your ability to cope with and recover from mental stress.
Physical stress could be something unusual like running a marathon, or something everyday such as climbing a flight of stairs. It can be anything which puts your body under some kind of strain, and for each of us that will look very different. How we cope with and recover from that stress is down to our physical fitness.
Check out the podcast version of this week's topic!
There are many things I dislike about the fitness industry.
One thing I do love, however, is that the overall philosophy is one of prevention rather than cure. Yes, there are people doing injury rehab and other remedial work, but the vast majority of this industry is (despite its flaws) focused on preventing poor health rather than fixing it.
I strongly believe that, where possible, prevention is better than cure. If we can avoid becoming unwell in the first place, or perhaps just less unwell, then surely that’s got to be better than clawing our way back after the fact?
I don’t believe for one second that medical intervention doesn’t have a place. I don’t believe that lifestyle can fix EVERYTHING. That would be naive at best. I don’t believe that smallpox would have disappeared if we had just eaten more fermented foods. I don’t believe that we can cure cancer with apple cider vinegar.
I also don’t believe that medical intervention is the...