Basic Lifestyle Practices That Have a Huge Impact on Your Health
As a rule, the people who seek me out as a coach want to perform better, be healthier, or to change their body composition. Most of them expect the obvious – a suitable fitness regime, a nutrition plan based on their goals and a starting point.
That’s all well and good, but there are some basic lifestyle practices that have a tremendous impact on the results they get. These five tips are simple but vastly underappreciated.
Check out this video for the complete run down:
1. Have a consistent wake-up and bedtime. Sleep when it’s dark and spend some time outside during sunlight hours.
2. Pay attention to digestion. You only absorb the food and nutrients that your body processes – this can take 48-72 hrs. Make sure to chew your food until liquefied and select foods that you digest well. Stick to whole foods, avoiding processed.
3. Hydration matters. A lot. Even moderate dehydration leads to poor performance in endurance and strength settings. It also leads to lowered muscle flexibility. As a baseline, find your bodyweight in pounds, and then drink that number in fluid ounces daily.
4. Move daily and move often. Movement means more blood flow, which leads to greater exchange of nutrients. It’s also is our primary way to combat general stiffness and tight muscles. Gill Hedley explains why in “The Fuzz Speech” (this is a must-see video if you care about your body, but FYI for those who are squeamish, it shows medical cadavers).
5. Eat more vegetables, and a greater variety. Nutrition scientists and nutrition coaches in the field argue about what the so-called ‘best diet’ is, but one thing we can pretty much all agree on is the benefits of fresh vegetables. Vegetables contain life giving vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, as well as fiber. Enjoy an array of coloured vegetables – green, white, purple, orange, red, etc. – to ensure you get a variety nutrients. This is something basic that nearly all of us could use more of. Do you eat your veggies every day? Even better, at every meal?
Peter Roberts is a sought after nutrition consultant and strength and conditioning coach in Toronto. He’s been the head coach at Quantum CrossFit since 2010 (East York’s most highly rated gym) and consulted with Canada Basketball and Rugby League Canada, among others. He provides free fitness and nutrition resources on his site peterrobertscoaching.com to teach people how to get fitter and feel great without it being a struggle.