Putting your fitness first: 3 top tips
If you’re not putting your fitness first, you’re doing your overall health, wellbeing and quality of life a huge disservice.
If you commit to an active lifestyle, you will be putting yourself at a much lower risk of developing a host of chronic diseases, like type II diabetes, heart disease, and various forms of cancer. Signing up for a gym membership can help you prevent this!
You will be happier and more energised for increasing your activity levels, with greater cardiovascular health and blood flow and pressure. Your risk of injury will decrease, you will have stronger, denser muscles, and you will be able to enjoy your own physicality far longer into older age than you otherwise would.
Putting your fitness first in Abu Dhabi (or, indeed, putting your fitness first in Dubai or anywhere else in the Emirates) is particularly important at the moment. The global obesity epidemic has hit the Emirates hard, with year on year increases in the amount of people who are dangerously overweight and unhealthy.
Though it can be a challenge to put your fitness first, there are a few things you can do today to make the process a little easier and a little more rewarding. We’ve put together three of them to get you started:
Three ways to put your fitness first
Take part in regular exercise
This is as simple as it is obvious, and it’s as obvious as it is rewarding. You need to put in the time and get active if you want to put your fitness first.
However, you need less exercise than you might imagine in order to optimise health, and it doesn’t need to be all that strenuous (though, of course, tough exercise is always welcome). Three sessions per week of 45 minutes to an hour would work perfectly. Alternatively, aim for half an hour five times per week. It can be as simple and as pleasant as spending this time going for a nice walk or working on your mobility and flexibility with a little yoga.
However, it is also a good idea to keep things varied. Each form of exercise has its own benefits that you will want to make the most out of. Additionally, the same thing, day after day, can become tedious. Keep things fun and fresh and try to include 2-3 different forms of exercise in your week.
- Rest and recover properly
Doing more will mean that you need to recover more. This means resting.
Hitting the gym will cause trauma in your muscles. This is good- it’s what we’re going for and it’s where adaptation largely comes from. Exercising more will also deplete your energy reserves, meaning that you will need to pay extra attention to recovery. It will also require more of you, so you will need a good night’s sleep before any serious exercise.
7-9 hours of sleep per night is ideal for most adults. This will allow your mind and body to completely repair. It will give your muscles the chance to recover and replenish themselves with glycogen.
This amount of sleep should be easy if you’re active enough. Insomnia is often caused by inactivity and stress, both of which go out the window in the presence of a solid exercise regime. You should be counting down the minutes until you get to go to bed!
Recovery isn’t just about sleep, however. You will want to make the most of active recovery- doing low-impact physical activities outside of training that will help you to recover. You will get over a heavy leg session in the gym far better if you go for a gentle walk the next day, warming and easing muscles and improving their inflow of oxygen and nutrient rich blood.
Finally, make sure you’re eating your protein. Your muscles cannot recover without protein. Anything up to 2g/kg of bodyweight can be appropriate, especially if you’re taking part in tough resistance work like weightlifting, yoga or swimming.
- Drink plenty of water
Your hydration needs will increase with regular exercise as you both sweat more during training and use more water as your muscles recover afterwards. Dehydration can kill your gains and also dramatically impair athletic performance: it can lead to energy loss and fatigue even in slighter instances, which is obviously best avoided, and to longer term organ problems in more extreme cases.
Obviously, those working out in the hot, sunny Emirates may be particularly susceptible to this.
Go for water rather than sugary, highly caloric sodas. Including more water will help you by:
- Cleansing toxins from the body
- Controlling calories
- Energizing muscles
- Balancing body fluids
Try to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day.
In addition, make sure you’re eating plenty of fruit and vegetables. They are great sources of micronutrients like vitamins and antioxidants, as well as the macronutrient fibre, which will all contribute to a healthier body and elevated energy levels and improved immune function. However, fruit and vegetables also typically have a very high water content- carrots are more than 90% water! Therefore, including them regularly in your diet will naturally hydrate you.
Aim to eat 5-10 portions of different fruits and vegetables per day.
There are many hacks and tips you can follow to help yourself become more active and put your fitness first. However, these all represent a good place to start. Begin them tomorrow to enjoy the health and fitness benefits of living an active lifestyle.