Wherever you are on your fitness journey – whether you’re a seasoned marathon runner or just looking to get into weightlifting for the first time, enjoying a regular workout routine, coming back from an injury or trying to get into fitness- there are certain factors which will determine your success or failure. Undoubtedly, the biggest one is your mental preparation. Our minds have enormous power of our bodies, and whether we succeed or fail in our fitness goals has a lot to do with state of mind. It’s very important to approach your health holistically. This means not just focusing on one specific workout routine and expecting it to change everything, but rather looking at all the elements of your life and figuring out how to get them working in harmony to support your health. Diet, exercise and mental wellbeing are inextricably linked, and trying to address one while ignoring the others is either going to result in very limited success or in failure. Begin to see your health as the sum total of all of these things, however, and you set yourself up for success. Sometimes it can be that an interest in fitness or dedicated to a certain sport leads people into nutrition as a way to enhance performance, support recovery and ensure they are in the best possible condition. But even if you’re completely new to living a more conscious life after a health scare or are just trying to make the most of your body, pairing up your workout regime with nutritional support will get you to where you need to be much faster.
Help To Hydrate
It’s one of the most basic building blocks, but research shows that a huge percentage of adults are chronically dehydrated. Our bodies are composed of almost two thirds water, so when our hydration intake isn’t what it needs to be, there are a huge range of negative side effects, from loss of concentration to dizziness and increased appetite. Upping your water consumption is easy, so it’s a great place to start with making small improvements to your overall health. Purchasing a reusable stainless steel water bottle means that you can always carry a drink and stay hydrated on the go, plus it’s kinder to the planet and protects your body from the harmful BPA chemicals found in plastic single use water bottles. If you forget to drink, using a hydration app which reminds you to drink more water on a timer is a good way to kick-start the habit. If you struggle with plain water, add flavour without calories by looking for an infuser water bottle where you can add fresh fruit in to flavour – orange, mint and cucumber is a delicious combination – or look for the cold water infusion teas now becoming popular. Water keeps the nutrients moving through our cells for processing and absorption – this is critical to supporting your body throughout a gruelling workout, and is also key for keeping your connective tissues hydrated. You can also opt for herbal teas or sparkling water with lemon.
Up Your Protein
Protein is the main macronutrient for muscle health, so it’s important to make sure that your food intake includes plenty of high-quality, organic lean protein to aid muscle growth and recovery. Protein is also instrumental in helping the body to produce various hormones and enzymes that regulate our appetites, energy production and muscle growth. In fact, there’s a growing trend to follow diets which advocate increased protein, such as the carnivore diet. But meat isn’t the only way to up your protein intake – soy, seafood beans and dairy products also provide protein, alongside some nuts.Even our favourite breakfast cereals and sweets are now coming in high-protein versions – although it’s always a better option to go for non-processed foods in the first instance.
Don’t Fall Foul Of Fats
Many of us hear the word ‘fats’ and instantly think it’s something we need to rid from our diets, but actually, it’s very important to include ‘healthy fats’ as part of your eating plan. These are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, and they help to protect your organs, encourage cell growth give your body vital energy. You just need to make sure you’re including fats from the right sources, such as olive oils, avocados, tuna and salmon and seeds and nuts. Dietary supplements can also be a useful boost to your intake. Although you shouldn’t rely on pills and powders for all your nutrients, than can help to enhance an already good diet.