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It can sometimes be tough to put your fitness first, but some of the best things in life take a little bit of work (or, in this case, perhaps a lot of work). There are many health benefits to be gained from doing so.
It is also easier than ever, with the steady proliferation of high class, budget friendly gyms in recent years. If you’re in Abu Dhabi, you are in luck: you have access to some of the best gyms and fitness clubs in the world. These include the likes of GymNation, Fitness First Abu Dhabi, Gold's Gym, and a whole host more.
The trick is making it all work for you – finding out how to use the resources at your disposal to create a fitter, healthier version of yourself. Ultimately, to help yourself to put your fitness first.
With this in mind, we’ve come up with what we think are some of the best steps that you can take immediately to put your fitness first.
Four top habits for a fitter you
- Keep it regular
If you want to get fit and active then, obviously, you need to get active. You need to put in the time and involve yourself in an active lifestyle.
You should aim for a minimum of three separate half hour exercise sessions per week. This can be anything from walking to HIIT, martial arts to yoga. Feel free to mix things up, involving yourself in all sorts of different fitness classes and activities. Just make sure that you get the time in.
You can build it from here, if you like. I would advise you to do so. Bring it up to three hour-long sessions per week, or go for 4-5 half hour sessions. Then go for 4-5 hour-long sessions.
Regularity is important for a couple of reasons.
The most important part is to get started and to get yourself in the habit of exercising. This habit will long outlast passion and drive – long after your initial excitement has dried up, habit will get you down to the gym.
Regularity will also bring out the best of the benefits from exercise. You will feel more energised from being regularly active. Endorphins released during exercise, and the improved oxygen flow to your muscles, will wake you up and make you feel happier and more alert overall.
This, in turn, will make it easier to get back out there and exercise again.
- Drink plenty of water
Most people don’t drink enough water. If you want to make an easy yet profound healthy lifestyle change, and you do nothing else, you should aim to drink more water. Dehydration can lead to energy loss and fatigue even in slighter instances, which is obviously best avoided.
This becomes even more important when you’re exercising, especially in a hot climate like the UAE offer.
Including more water will help you by:
- Cleansing toxins from the body
- Controlling calories
- Energizing muscles
- Balancing body fluids
Aim to drink at least 8 large glasses of water per day. Do so at regular intervals – continuously sipping all day long is the best way to go. Drink more if it is warmer weather or you are training particularly hard.
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are abundant sources of micronutrients like vitamins and antioxidants, as well as the macronutrient fibre. These will all contribute to a healthier body and elevated energy levels, alongside a stronger, more robust immune system. They also fill you up easily without having too great a caloric intake, making them a perfect dietary aid if you’re looking to lose weight.
Aim to eat 5-10 portions of different fruits and vegetables per day. The more colours on your plate, the better.
- Get plenty of sleep
After hydration, adequate sleep levels are perhaps the second most profound inclusion into your life that will set you up for a healthier self. We all need to sleep at least seven hours per night, preferably more. We can also all benefit from daytime naps of twenty minutes or so (whose benefits include lower stress and anxiety levels and greatly increased longevity.)
This again becomes more important if you’re living an active lifestyle. You don’t build your body up in the gym: you tear it apart. The building, both in terms of hypertrophy (muscle gain) and aerobic adaptation, comes afterwards, as your body recovers.
This means you need your rest. In fact, if you’re doing it right, and training properly, you will want this much sleep – it will be hard to stay awake much past 10 pm!
Seven hours minimum, more like nine if you can manage it.
Follow these four steps, bring them into your life in a meaningful way, and find yourself a leisure centre or gym in which to implement the first step. Get active, stay active, and look after yourself. The rewards will come thick and fast soon after you begin.