Have you ever seen the lines at a cell phone or electronics store the day a new phone goes on sale? People will wait in line overnight in order to pay a premium for technology, which they’ll want to replace in six months with the next latest and greatest phone. I totally get it…we are driven to be the best and that includes having the best…but what about feeling our best? Feeling your best may require an upgrade of your current operating habits. You may have to DVR Jimmy Fallon in order to get more sleep or leave the ice cream on the shelf so you can drop a few pounds. I’m just spit balling here, but you may have to stretch after you workout or spend more time in the produce section of the grocery store.
We all have an area of our health we can improve and the best part is it is all connected. If you sleep more you’ll have more energy and are less likely to eat too much or use too much caffeine and you’ll be able to exercise more consistently. When you exercise on a regular basis you’ll look better and feel better. Because you look so good and are great to be around you’ll meet the love of your life and live happily ever after! It’s so simple.
Don’t believe me? If you try it then you can’t deny it…Use these tips to upgrade your life.
In the tech world, scalability refers to the ability to handle increased work while maintaining or increasing performance. Your body is the ultimate scalable device. When you exercise a little harder (with good form!) you force your body to adapt to the increased demands. This means lifting 20 pound dumbbells instead of 15s or walking at a 4.0 pace instead of 3.5. This can also be accomplished by doing 4 sets of 8 reps instead of your normal 3 sets of 10. You have to challenge yourself in new ways if you want better results.
It’s not a good thing for your computer to yoyo between being up and down. The same applies to your health and fitness habits. Inconsistent eating and exercise habits can be as detrimental and frustrating as doing nothing at all. For example, if you are prone to workout hard for a month, then stop for two months and then crash diet and then binge and then…you know the cycle...Don’t think you’re going to crush it every day. Strive for consistent exercise, rest and nutrition for the positive, long term results you desire.
Muscle isn’t built in the gym. Muscle is built when you sleep. Hormones such as HGH are released while you sleep and are responsible for the recovery and growth of the muscles you worked so hard today. Conversely, a lack of sleep (less than 7-8 hours for most of us) triggers the release of stress hormones, such as cortisol, which cause you to store more fat. Look, it is basic evolutionary biology, which is not changing. You need 7-8 hours of sleep uninterrupted by text messages, a tv left on all night and your e-reader.
You know your computer needs to be defragged, or cleaned up, when it is sluggish and not performing well. Cookies, spam and other junk build up in the system causing it to move slower and slower until it crashes. If that sounds like you every day around 3pm you need to defrag your diet. Throw out anything with a form of sugar in the first five ingredients, or, better yet, avoid anything in a box or a bag and you will feel the difference in your performance.
Technology is constantly changing whether we like it or not. Your body is the same, so don’t expect one diet or exercise plan to be the end-all-be-all. As you progress some things won’t work for you anymore. Maybe the beginner yoga class becomes too easy or walking for 30 minutes a day isn’t enough to lose the next five pounds or you finally find a good kale recipe. Be your own guru and hack into your own life in order to change what you eat and how you move as much as you need to upgrade your life.
John Holley, MS is a NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with over 10 years of experience guiding others to their health and fitness goals. Read more about a variety of health and fitness topics at http://bemovelive.com or follow John on Twitter @bemovelive.