Wellness is not optional, it’s crucial for life! Fitness and wellness are not a luxury, a pastime, a hobby or a good idea. It’s mandatory, whether you like it or not. You MUST make time, make the investment and make the room in your life for taking care of your “house.”
You are probably not going to enjoy every workout, every healthy meal or the muscle soreness that may result from an intense session, but the dividends you will earn will be well worth the sweat and effort!
Six Elements of Worthwhile Wellness
Element 1 — Food
Nutrition and proper food intake is 80 percent of the battle. Eating a diet rich in fresh vegetables, clean meat sources and some nuts, seeds and fruit is critical to worthwhile wellness. If weight loss is your goal, calories will play an important role in your success. Those that tell you otherwise are deceiving you and themselves. Keep a food log and see where your calories are for a couple weeks.
Calorie needs vary individual to individual. Lean body mass and activity levels place different demands on calorie needs. Two individuals at the same weight can have vastly different calorie needs, even if they have the same jobs and similar exercise routines, so one size doesn’t fit all.
Element 2 — Resistance Training
Good old-fashioned weight lifting will fire your metabolism up and blast you through plateaus in weight loss. So often I hear members at the gym say they need to do more cardio because they need to lose that last 10 pounds. Yes, this can help, but over time the same cardio session at the same level and the same amount of time will create less results and slower weigh loss. Progressive and intense resistance training will keep the results and weight loss moving ahead. Don’t worry, you’re NOT going to BULK UP!
Element 3 — Dietary Support
Support tools such as vitamins, omega fatty acids and joint support supplements can benefit your wellness greatly. Natural herbs and roots can aide you in reducing pain and inflammation and increase energy levels without the need for prescription drugs.
Element 4 — Cardio Respiratory Exercise
There is an important place for cardio and getting that heart and those lungs going. HIIT has become a popular method of cardio. What is H-I-I-T? High intensity interval training. Rather than just getting on a treadmill and cruising at 3 mph for an hour, why not walk on a 30 percent incline for 2 minutes followed by hitting the heavy bag for a hard 30 seconds, followed by 2 flights of stairs? HUGE calorie burn, increased heart and lung capacity, a monster release of endorphins and an exit of cortisol out of the body will leave you feeling euphoric. Build up on the intensity level on this, but work hard at your level.
Element 5 — Recovery
With all this hard work, you have to take this element seriously. Proper sleep is not four hours! Get a solid seven to nine hours of sleep. This is your time to heal, rebuild and refocus your body for the next day. Foam rolling, massage, stretching, and prayer and meditation time are all crucial to healing.
Element 6 — Education and Personal Assistance
Get better through self-education and seeking the assistance of professionals in the fields of exercise, nutrition and wellness. You can always learn more and strengthen your knowledge base.