There is so much more to health and fitness than eating and exercise. Only when we take a holistic approach to our wellness that we can achieve great health success. Your health and fitness is the most important thing that you have. Without it quality of life suffers, it is that simple.
So what is health and fitness?
There is no shortage of people (personal trainers included) that believe health and fitness just comes down to what you eat and how much you exercise. Of course, these are two vital pieces of the puzzle, but there are a few more things that need to be taken into account if you truly want to be the healthiest version of yourself.
“So many people spend their health gaining wealth, and then have to spend their wealth to regain their health. – A.J. Materi”
What is health?
Health can be defined as “the state of being free from illness and injury” which is a very important way to be. However, I believe that this is not as all encompassing as it should be.
The definition of wellness; “Wellness is multidimensional and holistic, encompassing lifestyle, mental and spiritual well-being, and the environment”, also has qualities that ring true.
If your personal trainer combines these two definitions when coaching then they would have a fantastic description of what health should be.
“The state of being free from illness and injury, with a balance between lifestyle, work, environmental and mental well-being”
Having the right balance in life is crucial to long-term success.
A surprisingly large amount of people these days are missing balance in their life, whether from:
- Too much work
- Not enough sleep
- Too much stress
- Not enough family time
When looking for a Personal Trainer, it is vitally important that you choose someone who approaches your health and fitness from a holistic perspective. If you find someone who can help with all areas of your life, then you are a long way towards making a long-lasting lifestyle change.
So what are the two biggest impactors on health and fitness outside of eating and exercise?
Stress is the body’s natural response to any change in the environment that requires an action, reaction, or adjustment to what’s normal. How a person handles it defines stress for that person.
Stress, if not managed properly can have a huge impact on your health.
A few quick facts about stress:
- Three-fourths of the human population undergoes stress in varying levels in a 2-week period.
- The working population is particularly subject to emotional, physical, and mental stress.
- Stress is one of the main factors causing insomnia and other sleep disorders.
- When stressors are present, the body naturally heightens its response system, thus, leading to wakefulness.
- Stress increases the threat of diabetes and heart attack by altering blood sugar levels. This can cause fatigue, impulsive mood changes, and hyperglycemia.
- Stress increases the production of a hormone called cortisol which has been shown to increase appetite, drive cravings for junk food which makes it easier to store fat.
- Understanding how stress impacts your results is crucial, and it is even more important for your trainer to understand.
- High stress levels can quite often undo a perfect week of food and exercise.
Stress is all around and it is unavoidable. Having an understanding of how it impacts you as an individual is crucial to ongoing success.
Sleep is the single-most important thing that you can do to help your body recover and repair itself.
An unfortunate trend in today’s society is a lack of sleep. A lot of people say that they need 4-6 hours of sleep p/night. This is not true. Research shows that adults who get less than 7 hours sleep, even over 1 night have more difficulty concentrating. They have mood problems and an increased likelihood of weight gain. Sleep is crucial for success and vital for a good life balance.
Some facts on sleep;
- Sleep deprivation can lead to serious health problems such as;
- Heart diseases
- Heart attack
- High blood pressure
- Less sleep = less brainpower! Lack of sleep can impact the cognitive ability to think and learn, to reason and concentrate, attention and alertness
- Studies have shown that people who sleep for less than 6 hours a night are 30% more likely to be overweight or obese
- Sleep-deprived people seem to be especially prone to poor judgment when it comes to assessing what lack of sleep is doing to them.
Sleep specialists say if you think you’re doing fine on less sleep, you’re probably wrong. And if you work in a profession where it’s important to be able to judge your level of functioning, this can be a big problem.
Studies show that over time, people who are getting six hours of sleep, instead of seven or eight, begin to feel that they’ve adapted to the sleep deprivation. They’ve gotten used to it. If you look at how they actually perform on tests of mental alertness and performance, they continue to go downhill. So there’s a point in sleep deprivation when we lose touch with how impaired we are.
In our increasingly fast-paced world, functioning on less sleep has become a kind of badge of honor, but it should not be viewed this way. Sleep is crucial for success in health and fitness as well as life in general. The better rested that you are, the better person you can be, a quality Personal Trainer will recognize this and ensure that it is taken into account as part of your coaching program.
Other impacts on our health include
Mental – Ensuring strong mental health allows you to be able to function much better in all aspects of your life.
Lifestyle –Your balance between work, home and social life? Are you evenly distributing yourself in all areas?
Environmental – Your living conditions, the people you live with, the support networks you have in place. All of these impact you different ways and need to be dealt with properly if you want ongoing success.
Balance in life is crucial, the better the balance, the better person you can be and, the better you can be for the people around you. When thinking about your health and fitness it is very important to understand that there is so much more than just eating and exercise. When deciding on a Personal coaching program it is important to find someone that understands, practices, and implements these philosophies. Select one that doesn’t, and you run the risk of burning out, rollercoaster results and lack of ongoing motivation.
Do you think that your health and fitness could improve further than just your eating and exercise?
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