Feel Your Best, Inside And Out
For your body to perform, and look its best, we need to look after it. Not unlike a high performance sports car, the better you look after it, the better the performance. The factors to consider are Breathing, Hydration, Nutrition, Exercise, Rest and Sleep. In the body’s terms, better performance means sleeping better, more energy, better concentration and cognitive function and being less moody. Being fitter and stronger are also nice outcomes.
An often underrated component of health, fitness, injury… everything. You can use breathing as a powerful vehicle to create change in the body. To find out more about breathing, click here.
How much should you be drinking per day? Every single biochemical process that happens in the body relies on water. The body can basically be described as a bunch of tubes with water running through them. If those tubes get dry, our function suffers as a result. If you have any soft tissue injuries, dehydration effects the structure of muscle and connective tissue. Small changes in hydration can cause poor concentration and compromise physical performance.
Filtered, bottled or tap?… There are lots of things to consider.
As well as being our body’s fuel, what we eat also provides the foundation for nourishing damaged cells. The better the quality of the food, the better the integrity of the tissue that it is building. Questions also need to be asked about the different types of “macronutrients” and how much we need - fat, protein and carbohydrates. What foods should these macronutrients come from? So many questions can be asked, with a number of different answers, depending on the intended outcomes.
Exercise is crucial for a healthily functioning body. There is no single condition that does not benefit from exercise. From being the most powerful antidepressant to a strategy for living longer (Click here), exercise is like a magic pill. But what is best for me? Aerobic or anaerobic? It depends on your goal! Exercise does not have a “one size fits all” approach. Exercise should be tailored not only to your specific needs, but to your body too.
Rest and Sleep
Recovery is just as important as exercise. If you don’t recover sufficiently, the improvements that you are hoping to make from your exercise will not carry over as well. As legendary cycling coach, Sir Dave Brailsford, has been quoted as saying - “There’s no such thing as overtraining… only under-recovering”.
Never mind the impact on exercise performance, the impact of sleep deficiencies on general living are significant. Concentration, energy levels, body composition and mood can all be effected by poor sleep. Some of these are driven by lifestyle issues, some by nutrition, some by environmental factors. Regardless, sleep health remains a key to feeling your best.
If you are having trouble with any of these, you are likely not performing at your best. It might be a quality issue, a quantity issue or a selection issue of any of these. Improving some habits relating to these factors can be a key to better health for you.