On the surface, fitness seems complicated.
If you listened to social media experts and the latest “guru science” you could easily find yourself lost in a mix of biohacking and unsustainable practices.
But the reality is that fitness can be straightforward and simple.
To help you demystify fitness, here is what you should do (and what you shouldn’t!) to reach your fitness goals.
1) Sleep 8 Hours
For optimal function, you need to sleep at least 8 hours a night. Sleep is how you recover from your daily activities and the key to making the most of the following day.
Since the light bulb's invention, the majority of the population suffers from poor sleep hygiene. To combat this, we recommend that you turn off all electronics and dim the lights 1 hour before bed. This will help you transition into a restful sleep. Here are some more tips to help you sleep better.
2) Manage Your Portions
At mealtimes, manage your poritions. Having a rough idea of how much you need to eat is a simple and effective way to achieve your fitness goals. We love Precision Nutrition's hand portion method.
A professional fitness coach can also help you calculate your total daily energy expenditure to help you determine a starting point for appropriate portions.
3) Eat Consistently
Whether you like to eat three times a day or five times a day, choose what works best for you, and do it consistently. Eating consistently will help your body find it’s rhythm and prevent the overeat and undereat cycle.
4) Move Daily
No matter what activity you like best, make time to move daily. It doesn't always have to be in the gym. Walking, riding your bike, playing pickleball, or going for a hike, are all great ways to add more activity into your week.
5) Focus on Food Quality
Both macronutrients and micronutrients matter. So focus on consuming quality foods. Eating quality food will help you recover, give you more energy, and reduce stress on your body.
You Should Avoid:
1) Overtraining and Under Recovering
It’s easy to go hard in the gym, but going so hard that it takes days to recover is detrimental to your progress. Work out just enough that you can recover within a day of your training session. This will help you stay consistent, which is the key to progress.
2) Don’t Track Every Calorie
Earlier, we mentioned controlling your portions. This is a fundamental part of well-rounded nutrition. But not everyone needs to count calories. Counting calories is tedious and can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food. Instead, aim for consistent portions and eating to satiety.
If you’re moving daily, sleeping well, eating quality foods, and managing your portions, there is no need to skip meals. Fasting works because it reduces the number of calories you eat in a day. If you want to achieve the same results, focus on eating appropriately sized meals, but eat consistently as it provides you with energy.
Skip the high-intensity interval training. HIIT has gotten a lot of popularity recently, but its intensity can cause more harm than good. Instead, opt for quality weight training and steady-state cardio. You can read more about our thoughts on HIIT here.
Don’t do keto. While popular, keto is very unsustainable and excludes incredibly nutritious foods. Instead, shoot to eat quality foods in the right amount, consistently. It will save you hours of headache and achieve the same if not better results.
In fitness, it’s often the simplest behaviors that are the most effective and sustainable. But just because they’re simple doesn’t mean they’re always easy to implement.
We understand this, and that's why each client gets their own personal coach in our gyms. Someone who can hold them accountable and remind them of the basics. Sound intriguing? Find an OPEX Gym near you today and start nailing the basics with the help of your personal coach.