We all know that to improve performance we need to follow a healthy lifestyle, including a consistently good nutrition plan and training programme. But what about the other ‘less obvious’ factors that can effect performance both in the gym AND in day to day life?
Do you pay as much attention to your sleep routine as you do your nutrition?
Maybe you should.
There are 750+ scientific studies that have investigated the relationship between sleep and human performance, many of which have studied elite athletes specifically. The results are compelling: Sleep improves speed, explosiveness and accuracy. It enhances our ability to process information and solve problems. It improves our judgment, composure and ability to assess and respond to situations. It accelerates physical recovery from common inflammation, stimulates muscle repair, and helps restock cellular energy in the form of glucose and glycogen.
In other words, sleep is one of the most sophisticated, potent, and powerful—not to mention legal—performance enhancers that has competition-winning potential.
It is also one of the most under-utilised. Two-thirds of adults fail to obtain the recommended eight hours of sleep nightly. You’re probably not surprised by this, but you may be surprised by how it affects you as an athlete. Obtain anything less than eight hours of sleep a night, and especially less than six hours a night, and the following happens:
Just like you can't out-train a bad diet, you can’t out-train poor sleep. In fact, the physical and mental impairments caused by one night of bad sleep dwarf those caused by an equivalent absence of food or exercise.
Put another way: Unless you’re getting at least eight hours of sleep every night, you're undermining all your hard work in the gym and on your nutrition.
We spend too much time improving our mental and physical abilities to leave anything as powerful as sleep on the table. If you’re looking to take your performance to the next level in 2018, you have to make sleep a priority.
Here are some ways to make sure you’re getting eight hours a night:
Maybe if you have some holiday time over Christmas this could be your first step towards a healthier happier and stronger 2018!?
e**The 5 BEST Exercises for RAPID & EFFECTIVE Fat Loss**
1. Track your daily calories.
2. Track your daily calories.
3. Track your daily calories.
Surprised? Disappointed? If you were expecting quick fix exercises I apologise. But heres the truth : its important that you understand that REAL progress takes a TON of effort (by you), time and patience. There is NO 21 day fix. There is no pill or potion that will burn fat or dissolve fat from your chosen areas and keep it off for life. There is NO fast track to success. And anyone who tells you or sells you that there is, is not being truthful.
NOTE: There are rare occasions when rapid fat loss methods might have a time and a place within a well designed nutrition plan. But these are not long term solutions or sustainable plans and I wouldn't recommend this for anyone with a history of dieting. disordered or emotional eating. They are not a quick fix, and at some point you need to switch to something that you can sustain and follow so that you can continue to make progress and maintain your weight in the long term.
In the Nutrition workshops we have been discussing about how tracking your nutrition (via MyFitnessPal) along with consistency & accountability is essential if you are in PROGRESS (i.e. Fat Loss or muscle gain) Mode or Maintenance Mode. Why? Because fitness & health is a life long process. No matter how lean or strong you are, there is always room for some improvement, more to learn and an option for a better you.
Thinking that you will be happy & fulfilled when you reach a certain weight or size is not practical. And its not how it works. Happiness isn't attached to a number on the scales. If you don't love or like who you are right now, it won't suddenly be different when you're xx kg lighter/lose the belly/reduce the cellulite.
Instead, get ready for a journey of ups & downs, highs & lows. The long haul. Because when you start the process to a Fitter, Healthier, Leaner & Stronger you, you're in it for life. And enjoy it! If you hate every second or can't wait to finish the 'diet' you aren't going to last.
So, what am I saying here. Whats the take home message?
Don't look for a quick fix. And don't sign up for a rapid results guaranteed programme.
Instead, identify your goal, commit to CHANGE, be prepared to put the effort in, consistently and be patient. And I promise you will see the RESULTS.
More coming ......
As the sunsets on the weekend this Sunday evening, remind yourself of this:
Every time you fell off your bike when you were young, you got back on and tried again.
Every time you fall and hit the box in the gym, jump again.
Every time you fall off the bar trying to do a kip swing, begin again.
Every time your mind wanders when you're trying to focus on something important, begin again.
Every time you go off track with your nutrition, begin again.
Every time you fail at something, or mess up, or take the wrong path, or follow the wrong route, or love the wrong person or climb the wrong mountain, or let someone down, remind yourself - that this is not the end.
There is always another sunrise tomorrow.
A new day, another incredible opportunity.
Take a deep breath and begin again.
#sundayvibes #peaceout #lightsout #sleepwell #anewdawn #anewday
Pic: Sunset on Glasgow University
So, you think you know what you WANT to be, the question is, are you LIVING life now the way you WANT to live?
You say you want more energy but are you actually BEING that change? Are you getting up in the morning and doing something that an energetic person would? Are you showing up at your work place every day and BEING the office energy?
You say you want to be leaner and stronger. But are you actually living your life like a lean and strong person would? When you go out for dinner on Saturday night do you choose what a lean person would choose? Are you showing up like a lean person would when the office birthday cake run comes round by politely saying no thanks? Do you take every opportunity you have to be active, or do you choose to sit on the sofa and eat snacks with a movie instead? Is that what the leaner and stronger person would choose to do too?
You say you want to run your 1st 10k. So, are you living your life like a runner would? Are you actually getting out of bed and going for a run before work or do you opt for that extra 30 mins in your warm bed?
What have you done so far today? Ask yourself, honestly, if you've had a moan or a bitch about someone or something today? Were you guilty of shouting at the other driver that didn't let you out at the junction when you were running late for work this morning? Have you been miserable with your partner lately, dragging other people down? Are you guilty of being part of the 'make excuses in life' team? Or are you LIVING & behaving and thinking like the person you want to be?
What do you tell yourself about yourself? Are you positive and proactive? Do you allow yourself to feel happy & relaxed. Or are you stressed and uptight? What are you feeding your senses with? Who do you choose to spend your time with/hang out with? Are the people you choose to stay friends with the right people - good people, successful, positive, happy people? What do you choose to follow on instagram, read on Facebook, watch on TV, talk about and listen to?
What ENERGY are you giving out?
How are you dressed?
Are you thinking and acting 'as if' you're already that person?
You get my gist here? Life delivers opportunities to people who make room for them and behave and live like they're ready for it. We are all the same, we all have our shit to deal with. Its how you deal with it, that makes the difference. Everything you need is there but your brain will only tune into whatever you're focused on internally. Most of the time you don't need to live anywhere else, you don't need more money, you don't need to change jobs, move to a different gym, or have a thyroid issue. You just need to BE THE CHANGE and show up differently in your day to day life, and then the things and people you need to help you make progress will appear.