I am a big believer that we all want to be fit and healthy, the degree of health and fitness varies from person to person and that’s perfectly acceptable. So the question is what level of health and fitness do you want? If your someone that just wants to be able to lose a couple of kgs and feel healthy maybe getting active with walking and setting some food principles will be enough. If you are someone who says one of the following;
- I would love to get stronger.
- I would love to build some lean muscle.
- I would love to get out of pain and move better.
- I would love to get leaner.
- I would love to give my body shape.
- I would love to go to the gym but don’t know where to start.
- I would love to maintain my independence and quality of life as I age.
We can most likely help you but first, we want to start by giving you some tips on how you can get moving towards your goals and make having success with your health and fitness a long term, sure thing.
Before – Joining a Gym
First things first, people that haven’t been super active in the past 6 months often make one huge mistake (especially those who have been super fit in the past). They try to start where they once were, this more often than not leads to injury, burnout, and a negative headspace because we no longer have a foundation of strength, endurance, and health to perform at that level.
So here is the first action you can take, build a healthy cardiovascular system (even if your goal is to get stronger). When I say cardio I don’t mean you need to be able to run a marathon or even commit to running but what we do need is to commit to 20-30 minutes of walking, riding, or walking/running for 4 weeks at a heart rate that isn’t a stressor on the cardiovascular system and here is a formula we use to achieve that;
180 – (your age) is your maximum training heart rate.
Subtract 20 from your maximum and you’ll get your minimum heart rate.
30 year old (180 – 30 = 150bpm) – Max Heart Rate
(150 – 20 = 130bpm) – Minimum Heart Rate
EXAMPLE 4 WEEK TRAINING BLOCK
Week 1 – 3 x 20 minutes of cardiovascular training – Heart Rate @ 130-150bpm
Week 2 – 3 x 22 minutes of cardiovascular training – Heart Rate @ 130-150bpm
Week 3 – 3 x 25 minutes of cardiovascular training – Heart Rate @ 130-150bpm
Week 4 – 3 x 27 minutes of cardiovascular training – Heart Rate @ 130-150bpm
As you progress you will notice that your distance covered per/hr will increase while still staying within the heart rate training zone, this is a great sign you are getting fitter. Unless you have specific cardiovascular goals than using this method ongoing will be a great tool to maintain a healthy level of cardiovascular fitness for everyday life.
The second action you can take is to get more sleep, we have written a recent blog article on everything you need to know about sleep which you can read HERE.
Healthy Lifestyle Diet
The third and final action you can take is with regards to your nutrition, this is often the most confusing part for many people as there is so much information out there and some of it very conflicting. When it comes to 90% of the population they will benefit from two simple rules;
- Eat-in a calorie deficit of 20% when trying to lose weight, and eat in a surplus of 20% when trying to gain muscle. Use precision nutrition’s calorie calculator here.
- Eat between 1.4 to 1.8 grams of protein per kg of lean mass depending on the goal. I.e build muscle go higher-end, endurance lower end.
What you do in terms of fats and carbohydrates is more a personal preference thing (unless you have some kind of medical issues in which case talk with a professional. What research shows though is that it is impossible to lose weight without a calorie deficit, and protein is an amazing macronutrient for maintaining lean muscle, supporting healthy bones, and boosting the immune system. All essentials when you’re trying to be the fittest, healthiest version of yourself. Choosing foods that include higher macronutrient ratios (fresh fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and lean meats) will enable you to body to stay strong and healthy but this does not mean you can’t include less nutrient-dense foods like pasta, bread, and ice cream in moderation.
Three Tips To Getting Started
- Build a strong cardiovascular system (follow the example given)
- Get adequate sleep
- Eat appropriately for your goals