5 Essential Elements you need in your Training Regime
There are a few essential training strategies that could help you maintain your exercise routine, increase your self-esteem and motivation, improve your everyday quality of life and reduce/prevent future health issues, all while making you look and feel better.
Read about the research that has shown the 5 essential elements which can provide all those benefits and more.
When it comes to developing a successful training regime, there are often an number of barriers and hurdles individuals encounter when they first start training and even throughout their fitness journey. But with the right attitude and a few tricks, you can keep your fitness regime on track.
Use these 5 essential elements and tips to stay in the game;
Essential Element #1: Lift Weights
Strength training is an integral part of an overall fitness regime and often, novice participants believe that cardio/aerobic training is the only answer to improving their fitness levels. Strength training is often over looked, but if you want to reduce body fat, burn calories more efficiently and increase lean muscle mass, then lifting weights may be the answer.
As you age, lean muscle mass naturally diminishes and your body fat percentage will increase over time. Strength training can help you preserve and increase your muscle mass at any age.
Strength training may also help you;
Manage your weight: Strength training can help you manage or lose weight, and it can increase your metabolism to help you burn more calories efficiently.
Protect your joints from injury: Building muscle can contribute to better balance and may reduce your risk of falls as you age.
Develop stronger bones: Strength training can increase bone density and reduce the risk of bone related diseases (eg. Osteoporosis).
Manage chronic conditions. Strength training can reduce the signs and symptoms of many chronic conditions, such as obesity, heart disease, arthritis, depression and diabetes.
Enhance your quality of life: Strength training can enhance your quality of life and improve your ability to do everyday activities.
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Essential Element #2: Get your Nutrition & Diet Right
Eating a proper, nutritious diet offers several health benefits that keep you mentally and physically healthy. A nutritious ‘diet’ doesn’t mean starving yourself to lose weight, but instead means eating a diet balanced in lean proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Scientific research recommends getting between 45 and 65 percent of your daily calories from carbohydrates, between 10 and 35 percent of daily calories from proteins and between 20 and 35 percent of daily calories from fats. An average of 3 litres of water is also suggested to be consumed each day.
According to the World Health Organisation a nutritious diet can have several health benefits which include;
Attaining necessary fibre, vitamins and minerals to boost immunity.
Protect the human body against certain types of diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, some types of cancer and skeletal conditions.
Increased energy levels by eliminating excess fats, sugars and refined carbohydrates to help prevent blood sugar fluctuations.
Weight management. To prevent weight gain, you must eat no more calories than you burn each day. For weight loss, you must eat fewer calories than your body burns daily. A nutritious diet with healthy and nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins can assist in maintaining a healthy weight.
Improved mental and emotional wellbeing.
Improved recovery time.
Reduced pain and inflammation.
Increased restorative sleep.
Hence, we should aim to improve our nutrition, in order to improve our physical and mental health.
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Essential Element #3: Get Enough Sleep and Rest
A lack of sleep and rest can actually have a huge impact on your health and capacity to perform exercise to your highest ability. Experts say you should aim to get between seven and eight hours of sleep each night.
Scientific research has identified multiple changes in performance for athletes who don't get enough sleep, including;
- Reduction in exercise capacity
- Reductions in ability to adapt to a training stimulus
- Decreased ability to build muscle and cardiovascular fitness
- Decreased ability to develop skills
- Reductions in reaction time, decision making and memory
- Slowed recovery from injury
- Reductions in academic performance
Simply, a lack of quality sleep reduces physical and mental performance. Therefore, we should aim to improve our sleep, in order to improve our physiological performance. There are suggested components of sleep that are changeable, these components should be your focus if you plan on improving your sleep; Sleep Duration (total time asleep), Sleep Quality (effectiveness of your sleep) and Sleep Phase (sleep routine and bed time).
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Essential Element #4: It’s all about Routine
Picture this. It’s Monday and your motivation to exercise and achieve your exercise goals is extremely high. So, you get up early in the morning for a run or hit the gym. Tuesday comes, you’re a little sore and take a rest day. Wednesday, you aren’t extremely motivated, but you manage to perform your planned exercises. Thursday is another rest day and you should be ready to exercise on Friday. It’s been a long week at work and your co-workers are going to the bar for a few drinks after work. You’ve ‘earnt’ it after a long week, so you ditch the gym for socialising with junk food and alcohol. You’ll start fresh on Monday. Sound familiar?
Motivation is high and prevalent at the start of any new venture but it can leave you at any time with any excuse you can think of. Routine is the one constant that will always be there.
Research suggests that it can take up to six months to form a solid routine. We are only human, and at times we may make poor choices depending on our surrounding environment. Impacts from your surrounding environment may include your household, work, and the people you socialise with. There’s temptation everywhere, which reduces our motivation.
Simple changes in lifestyle can help with your routine. Examples include; setting an alarm to wake up earlier to get your exercise done in the morning, preparing healthy meals at home and making an appointment-based exercise schedule with a personal trainer or workout partner to keep you accountable and keep you going even when you’re not motivated.
When your motivation has gone, your routine is still there to help you reach your fitness goals. Even if you make mistakes in developing your routine, you can quickly learn from them and stick to the plan.
Routine will always beat motivation.
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Essential Element #5: K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple and SMART)
Keeping things simple. It’s that simple!
By putting in place all of the essential elements discussed previously. Whether it be from creating routine, incorporating strength training, maintaining proper nutrition and getting the adequate amounts of rest, setting these elements up in a simple manner will mean you are more likely to achieve your fitness goals. Breaking down your ultimate health and fitness goals into specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based goals will also assist you in successfully achieving them more efficiently also.
It is never too late to incorporate these essential elements and gain all the benefits of a well-rounded training regime which facilitates a strong and healthy body and mind!
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