We all know how refreshing a good night of sleep can feel. And we’ve probably all read that quality sleep is a key way to help you recover from workouts better and more quickly. But do you know why? This infographic from the Sleep Matters Club is simply fascinating. Fascinating. And it, step by step, shows exactly what happens to your body when you sleep — and why it’s so very important for active people. If you’ve been wanting to get fitter and feel better, quality sleep is what is need. From muscle recovery to REM, here’s exactly why getting the right amount of sleep is so darn important.
The most common challenge that people I talk to face is how to incorporate fitness into their lives. They know they have to do something to get in shape but they really don’t know how. It can be discouraging because of the abundance of information out there. So much that you may not know where to begin. Our society has so many food choices that it is easy to pack on the extra pounds. Also our day to day jobs are less physical as they where 100 years ago so we have more sedentary life styles. We know there are benefits involved when we exercise and cleaning up or diet. However, most of us know don’t know how or where to start. So where do we begin? Or is the question: How do we begin? The very first thing you need do is go to your doctor and get the approval to start exercising. Your doctor may also provide some helpful tips as well. After you get the “OK” from your doctor, try these 5 things to help you get started: Make the Choice to Start Exercising and Eating Right Making the decision to do something provides a form of commitment you made to your self. Deciding that you need to change behaviour creates new possibilities. When you say to your self “I need to get in shape”, it means something. You should be answering these questions in your mind: When can I work out? What exercises do I need to do? What foods should I be eating? Make your self think about the commitment you just made. Only then you can let go of the past and take steps to move forward. Write Down What You Do You need a reference that is realistic towards your weekly activity. Write down everything you do during the week. This should include work hours, commuting hours, nights spent with your spouse, your child’s activities and anything else you can think of that you do. You should also include what you do on weekends. You should make a list for each day of the week. Here’s why….. Some people set lofty goals like working out for 2 hours a day. This can be due to an old saying, “More is Better”. However, this is not the case. Knowing your schedule will help you set realistic goals and help you find a few hours a week to start exercising. You’ll have a visual perspective on what you can and can’t do with your routine. Research and Get Information Most people do not have enough information before they start a work out program. So how do we get the information we need? The good news is we live in the information age. Take advantage of your favourite search engine and learn a little bit about fitness and nutrition. However, do not go overboard and lose focus. Find a source of information you like and take notes. Find the simplest and easiest workouts and nutrition tips. Don’t over load yourself with information. If you have the money, hire a personal trainer for a few sessions to help you get started. Hiring a personal trainer is a great way to get started because you have made a commitment to meet someone to workout. Your goal is to have the trainer show you the basics on exercise and eating healthier. It may also be safer to learn how to perform the exercises (especially if you have not exercised for a while). Create a Simple Plan and Set Realistic Goals Keep it Simple! Following a simple plan while on a hectic schedule is much easier than following an elaborate plan. You should have a plan of which days you want to work out and one goal to change your eating habits for the next few weeks. For example, “I will work out for a half an hour for 3 days this week. I will eat a little less each meal.” Simple is success. Execute Your Plan Now that you have a plan, all you need to do is follow it. This is another big step. You should look at your plan every day upon waking. You need be mentally prepared for the great day ahead of you. Having your daily schedule in hand will help you achieve your goals for the day. When you complete your workout for the day, highlight it or cross it off your list. It will show you that you accomplished something for yourself. No matter what you must execute. This will be the hardest (and most rewarding) step. I hope these things help you get started on a new life of physical fitness. Life is filled with making decisions, knowing your commitments, getting information, planning and execution. Try these approaches for yourself and you will see that having your own workout and nutrition program is not as far fetched or complicated as you think.