Most people want something better for themselves than what they currently have in their life. Be it physical, emotional, professional or personal. However people lack the knowledge of understanding how to balance their lives and know what the three main areas are you need to focus on. The fact is there are three main pillars of a healthy life that need to be addressed in one way or another and too many people focus on just one of these without realizing that they are possibly setting themselves up for failure. When starting off making subtle changes in these areas you will notice amazing changes happening through-out your life.
The three main pillars of a healthy life are: 1) Mind 2) Exercise 3) Nutrition
Out of 100% of the people currently living in the world only about 3% ever really achieve their goals through hard work, dedication and competition. Think about that for a moment, these odds are not very high. But guess what there's nothing different about these people from you or I or anyone else walking about. They just decided that they would go out there and get what they want from life without letting anything get in their way. They have powerful minds and they know how to manifest these thoughts into their lives. This is the general, the leader of the army that sends the commands to the rest of your body. It takes your mind one second to make the decision to change, and then it takes your body a couple of months to catch up with your mind. The mind is the most powerful thing in the world, it has to the ability to see you make amazing feats of accomplishment or self-sabotage.
People are influenced by positive people, comments and stories. You can be built up as large as a house by someone who believes in you or you can be knocked back down if you let these people tear you down.
It's so important to surround yourself with people who will help you on your way, support you and believe in what you're doing. I have been working in the fitness industry for over 8 years and if there's one thing that I see happen its individuals in a family environment try to make changes in their life without having the blessing or support of their loved ones. I used to hear wives or mothers talk about having to deal with the hassle of cooking multiple meals for their kids or husbands. My response was always "Why are you cooking them unhealthy food?" I never understood that, but I used to hear it all the time. Your family should be supporting you on your way but alas this is not always the case. One phrase I like to use often is "If you have someone not supporting you and bringing you down; then you need to find out how much they weigh, because that's how much weight you need to loose".
I don't know what it's like in America, but here in Australia drinking is very much a large part of our social culture and people are often outcast or looked down on for being non-drinkers. I made the choice a long time ago to be a non-drinker and surround myself with people who are like of mind to my-self. You virtually cannot go out at night here without being pressured by people to make you drink. But this all depends on the strength of your mind and you will to succeed.
Change is a powerful tool, once you begin to harness its usefulness you'll begin to notice people won't like it, will start bringing you down or putting you down. The reason for this is that most people they themselves don't have the strength to make positive changes in their lives, so they often than not get jealous and envious because you're doing what they don't have the determination or motivation to do.
The point is to be prepared for these people and to know how to positively and tactfully reject them and their negative thoughts towards you and what you're doing. Let me tell you a quick story. I had been doing amateur wrestling since the age of 13, when I was 16 I had qualified for the Australian under 18's championships. I was young; I had all my money for the trip saved up then months before it I was training hard. My coach believed in me and had high aspirations for me.
One week away from my flight to the competition I was training, I performed a basic training exercise and managed to twist my knee about ninety degrees the wrong way. Long story short I was out for about two years and I missed my window of opportunity. I came back to training on a Friday night and in my first training session back I dislocated my right knee cap which put me out for a couple of weeks. Then finally on my third attempt back I dislocated my left knee cap. Painful I know, I was only young but I had my dreams and aspirations felt like they were taken away from me.
However I am smart enough now, certainly old enough to realize that it wasn't an accident... It was my mind. I was so worried about injuring my knees again that I virtually created that reality for myself.
If you take nothing else away from this article at least know that you have the power to achieve anything you want to and your mind is the engine that drives the rest of your body.
For the most part you'd think that this would be self-explanatory however some people don't realize that exercise is the closest thing we have today to the fountain of youth and probably always will be. Exercise is more than just getting up and going for a run, its more than working out so you can get abs. It's the process involved in looking after your body. Most people treat their cars like they should be treating their body; they put in top quality fuel (nutrition), give it the best pain jobs, detail and take it for drives (exercise).
If you do not give your body the exercise it needs and feed it the correct nutrition it will eventually break down to the point where no mechanic can repair it. I know that's a bit extreme but it's the truth and believe me after the years I've spent training people I've seen it. I used to run a seniors program and it was probably the most fun part of actively training people that I enjoyed. However also the saddest because 98% of these kids were at the point where they were doing as much as they could NOW to prolong their life and turn their health around.
Instead they should have been making these changes earlier on in life when it's much easier. If someone spends 50 years of their life not doing any exercise and eating bad food, it is a lot harder to make these changes in later life and less likely that they will adopt these principals for the rest of their lives. Not impossible just a lot harder to work with.
Exercise has been shown to be the only natural method of raising your body's serotonin levels. It has been clinically shown in human trials to raise your body's levels for up to eight hours. This means that if you start your day with a resistance training session or cardiovascular session you will be giving yourself a start to an awesome day ahead.
Exercise is considered a treatment for many diseases and the prevention of diseases that are related to poor lifestyle such as, but not limited to: Type 1 and 2 Diabetes, High blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and even coronary heart disease/failure.
The point is that if exercise can be used to stave off these types of illness then surely it has to be obvious now at this point that exercise is crucial to your life and longevity. So now you've got the right frame of mind, you've made the appropriate sacrifices to move forward and now your training hard.
Now you're ready for the next and final stage.
You're probably feeling really good now, you've related a lot of things I've said in this article back to events and situations in your own life. Nutrition is such a broad topic to cover and requires many hours to truly educate someone on this. However I don't have hours I don't have paper and a limited amount of time to put this together so I will make it as simple as possible.
Firstly, you need to start eating more frequently at least four to six times a day. I know your probably thinking "six meals. I don't have time for that". We'll stop you right there, guess what? We both have the same amount of minutes, hours, days, weeks and months in a year. So if I can do it, so can you.
I used to hear people say all the time they didn't have time to make changes like that, it was too hard with kids. I would always say back to them "why are you telling me what you can't do? You joined the gym to make changes and you already have all your excuses prepared? If you aren't serious then don't waste my time".
Research has shown that people who eat four to six smaller sized meals that have a well-rounded macronutrient ratio through-out the day often achieve optimal results. Macronutrient ratio refers to the main types of foods, them being: Carbohydrates, Proteins and fats. By far the best macronutrient ratio that's been found has been (40% Lean Protein, 30% Complex Carbohydrates, 30% Fats). Simply put get a serving of lean protein the size of your fist, add a serving of carbohydrates of the same size, then add some vegetables or salad.
For your main meals this always works. You may like to use protein shakes, bars or meal replacement shakes even as your snacks to bridge the hunger between meals and prevent your blood sugar level dropping.
Quick ideas for good sources of proteins are: Chicken Breast, Turkey, Shrimps, Tuna, Salmon or vegetarian proteins.
Quick ideas for good courses of complex carbohydrates are: Brown Rice, Whole grain pasta, wholegrain/multigrain/brown/rye/soy and linseed bread.
Quick ideas for vegetables are: Broccoli, Cauliflower, Asparagus, Cucumber, Small potato, small sweet potato
Salads are pretty easy just stick to leafy greens and make sure your careful with your dressings.
I could spend so much more time talking about myths and facts, how to read nutrition labels but the fact is I've given you the basic tools and a basic look at the three main areas that need to be address when you want to make positive changes in your life. The rest is up to you. Good luck and God Bless.
by Adrian Ambrose
Dip. Exercise Science