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Without This Fitness Success Is Impossible!

imposible

I originally wrote this post around Christmas, but it is one of the most important things I have written and needs refreshing!

It’s on a topic very close to my heart and in fact the heart of everyone of us as the underlying content effects each and every one of us.

It is centred on a group of things that will either guarantee our success in fitness, or relationships, or business, or whatever is important to you. The flip side is that if you get these wrong and forge bad ones then you’ll probably never get to realise your optimum potential.

Let me repeat that….

THESE THINGS ARE ABSOLUTELY KEY IN SUCCESS IN ANY AREA OF YOUR LIFE, SO PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU READ ON

The subject matter and theme is about habits. Good ones push us forward and bad ones are like having a ball and chain attached to our ankle, we’ll never get anywhere fast, if at all.

Power of HabitA client and friend gave me a book to read a few months ago. I thanked him and put it on the stack of other books that I ‘really must read one day’. Luckily for this book and me, I picked it up. I’m just three chapters in but it’s a winner and explains what habits actually are, how we set them, how to reset them and use them to our advantage.

Get this book either in paperback, on kindle or audiobook and check it out. Anyone that reads it and sends me a review will get a free copy of the 14 DAY FAT FURNACE as a reward for improving yourself. (Naturally we have no connection to the writer of this book, but just want to help you and ourselves up our game in terms of life and this is a great way to do it.

Here is a link to find the book CLICK HERE

In reflection the keys to clients and myself getting great results stem from a few areas. The first biggie is the mindset and believing you can get results in the first place (is positivity a habit?… very possibly) and then it is developing the right new good habits to swap with the old bad and deeply rooted old ones.

I find it quite empowering to realise I have control to change these habits if I put the right time and energy into changing them. The reasons and goals need to be strong enough to make this happen.

Now back to the article I wrote a few months back…….

You’ll soon realise is that if you adopt the principles within and do a little homework (click a few links and resonate with the simple content) then you’re onto a winner in any habit you can think of.

This article, once applied, will also have a side effect of making you Happier as isn’t that one of the keys to life?

Sounds cheesey I know but if you walk around with everything apart from happiness then you really have nothing at all.

Now in my opinion one route to getting happier is to get healthier. If we take a holistic look at this amazing thing we experience called life then we can see many things link in order to make us tick.

Health is absolutely our greatest wealth, and many people never get that point until they lose it. Let us focus on the absolute best cure of any disease and malady which is the prevention from it happening in the first place!

Statistics show that between 80-90% of us fail at forming new positive habits. We have to be aware of what we are doing and the stronger the set, the more likely we are to succeed!

If we then add in some clever behavioral tips from people far smarter than I to facilitate making a new habit a long term healthy habit, then we are on the road to securing the changes for the BETTER.

Now I am basing this on a talk I did recently to over fifty entrepreneurs from the London EO chapter (in December 2013). I was honoured to be asked to talk at their exclusive event and I knew I had to deliver something that they could apply to their busy, busy lives.

EO Talk

I work with many entrepreneurs in my Personal Training business. They demand results and are time poor. They can also suffer from burnout and some are under the impression that they cannot fit a healthy regime into their non-stop lifestyles.

If they are happy and get results then they’ll tell people about it and hence the referrals and the request to give a talk before a Christmas meal.

I was not going to preach to them about eating low carb when the food was about to come out or portion control or anything else to put a halt on enjoying their evening out.

I wanted to take things back to basics and get them all thinking about their health and supply them with the three secrets I am about to share with you.

Now before I get into the habits themselves I wanted to enlighten you on the best way I have come across to make a habit a habit for life.

Habits are traditionally deep-set.  They are hard to break if they are bad and can be even harder to programme if we are looking at new ones no matter how good we know they will be for us!

BJ Fogg is a Behavioral Scientist who works with many high achievers. He was named by Fortune Magazine as one of 10 Guru’s you should know. He knows his business and I first came upon him through Success Magazine and his Tiny Habits behavioral model.

Please read that article on the Tiny Habits before progressing here as it will lay the foundation of what I am about to talk about in making some great new habits that will increase health, productivity, longevity, energy, body composition and so on.

Read below for my TINY HABIT ADVICE area at the end of each of the secrets to see how to apply them into your life without really even knowing it.

SIMPLICITY IS KEY HERE!

Esteemed Elite Sports Nutritionist Dr Michael Colgan states;

“If you don’t look after your body, then where are you going to live”.

Think about that for a moment.

cellI have written and talked about this quote before. We are made up of fifty to one hundred trillion cells. Go back a trillion seconds and it takes you back nearly 32,000 years, so you can appreciate that there are a lot of cells there!! If we look after these little guys then they will look after us.

Now remember that if you are not well due to poor lifestyle habits or eating habits, or exercise habits, or sleep habits, or whatever else then you are not just effecting yourself but also anyone around you that either love you or who rely on you, or both for that matter!

This is a big statement so please read it again!

If you are an entrepreneur and you make sub-optimal decisions due to not looking after yourself, then your employees could suffer as a result! If you are a surrounded by a loving family that cares for you and you fall ill due to burnout then you cause a lot of upset to these people.

It is essential that we all look after ourselves in life for the greater good of everyone in our environment. If you respect those around you then you have to respect yourself…… and now I’ll finally get onto these secret steps. Don’t be fooled by the simplicity!

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Without going into too much detail getting enough quality sleep is absolutely essential and everything else in your life will absolutely pivot on this.

This is when your body rebuilds from what you threw at it throughout the day. All the hormones will be produced and set to work at making you optimally healthy.

If you worked out in the day this is when you build back stronger. Get good sleep and your stress levels are more likely to be in check. You are more likely to burn fat and build muscle.

Your attitude and mood will be more likely to be improved. Your skin will be in a much better state and you’ll be looking to be well.

Aim for between 6.5 hours and 9 hours a night.

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However many of us lead erratic sleep patterns. We will work too hard or convince ourselves that we cannot sleep before a certain time. We’ll get tempted by drinking the wrong things too late or eating the wrong things too…..

Here are a few tips;

  • Cut stimulants such as alcohol, caffeine and nicotine after 14:00
  • Cut junk food (processed, high sugar and saturated fat foods) completely
  • Try to do something relaxing before bedtime, like having a herbal bath or having a relaxing tea. Reading a book can help some too
  • Do not take a stressful thought to bed with you. If business is worrying you then it will likely be the root of your dreams and also your poor nights sleep. Write down the problem on a notepad, and tell yourself you’ll deal with it in the morning. Sounds simple but this can help through practice.
  • A small serving of starchy carbs at night can help serotonin release. This is a great article to enlighten you on this

TINY HABIT ADVICE 

  • Set a time to go to bed every night for the next week that is in tune with your usual patterns, so not too much of a change for you. Your objective is to get to bed at the same time consistently . If you try and go from 5 hours to 8 hours overnight (pun kind of intended) then you’ll fail.
  • Thats all you do in week one. Get a rhythm set. It may be tough at first but persevere.
  • In week two shave 15 minutes of that going to bed time for the week. See how you feel in the morning. Are you awake and alert?
  • In week three another 15 minutes comes off if you still feel a little groggy from the 15 minutes change.
  • Continue this weekly until you set a time that works for you. Like I said before this seems to be between 6.5 and 9 hours.

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Newton’s first law of motion dictates; “A body at rest stays at rest and a body in motion stays in motion”

This rings very true when taking examples of people that live sedentary lives, in an office for example, compared to people that work in active lives as a labourer on a building site.

If we don’t use it we’ll lose it and muscles are formed and then kept as a result of the stimulus thrown upon them. This is why exercise is beneficial as it stops us from wasting away.

move more If you do work in an office then many people don’t like to get up from their desks as they feel they will lose time. The fact of the matter is that if you are seated for over 45 minutes then the body starts to switch off and shut down. Productivity is increased if oxygenated blood flow is increased to the brain and one way to help this happen is to move!

Exercise also causes a plethora (always wanted to say that word meaning loads) of other positives when liked to getting enough sleep and the other lifestyle factors such as;

  • Improved body composition (look better naked)
  • Improved immune system
  • Increased bone density
  • Improved cognition
  • Improved resistance to aging
  • Improved mood
  • Improved just about everything…..

So why do only 11% of us actually exercise regularly when just about everyone and their dog knows it is inherently good for us?

Well here come the excuses and we are very good at self deception;

  • No time
  • Too tired
  • Too busy with the kids
  • It’s boring
  • It’s not for me

Needless to say they seem plausible but doing exercise does not necessarily mean hitting the gym four times a week.

This is the very problem. Some people go from no exercise for years to a new resolution of three times a week at a new gym and then find the new habit hard to maintain.

They get sore, or occasionally they get injured due to bad form or the fact that they have not strengthened the right muscles before launching into the latest fad and they give up.

So lets look at a way to start the exercise ball rolling almost without noticing it. You can tweak this plan with a little common sense if you are at a high level but remember the key here is to make it simple.

TINY HABIT ADVICE 

  • Remember from reading the Tiny Habits that we have to start small with the new healthy habit!
  • Attach the new habit onto the back of an old one one such as after having a morning shower or after brushing our teeth.
  • Do two pressups and two bodyweight squats only for the first week, but make sure you do them! Remember it’s about slowly setting the new habit.
  • Week two progress to five of each!
  • Week three ten of each.
  • Week four you can add in a second set in the afternoon or when you get home. Be smart and set a time you can get this done. BJ Fogg mentions doing his pushups after a bathroom break, or walking about on a hands free phone when making phone calls. Think of habits you currently have that you can attach these new ones to.
  • Now is the time to consider doing some High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) or smart 20-30 minute training sessions with weights to really reap the benefits of moving more. Start with one session a week and build up to three.
  • Lastly take stairs more instead of using lifts and escalators! Walk up escalators if no stairs are available.

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Hands up who drinks two litres or more of water a day?

If you do then great, but read on as unless everyone you know does the same then you can help a lot of people out by giving them a strategy to drink more. It’s one of the easiest habits to convert and being low on H2O is not a great way to be, especially day after day!

Many people fall short of the daily requirement. We can get technical by say multiply your bodyweight in KG by 0.033 for your daily target in litres (so if you happened to be 80KG, it would be 80 x 0.033 = 2.64 litres). This would not take into account exercise (add in one extra litre per hour) or hot climates…. so no worries for those of us residing in the UK ;-)

However lets keep it simple and work on 2 litres a day as a minimum.

keep-alert-and-drink-more-water

Now one excuse people come up with for not drinking more water is that it makes them want to get up for more water breaks. Well if you remember the last habit I talked about was moving more!

If you have to get up for a bathroom break that means you are forced to move! This is exactly what you should want and the combination of drinking more and moving more (with better sleep) will make you more productive, and more of all the good stuff I’ve repeated far too many times now!!

Here’s a few pointers concerning fluid intake;

  • Cut down alcohol and coffee consumption. One coffee a day (if you drink 10 cups a day now, cut a cup a day per week over nine weeks to gradually get down to a good amount without the withdrawal symptoms! Alcohol down to once a week!
  • Drink more green tea or herbal teas. Cut down on black tea.
  • Do not drink juice
  • Drink filtered water when possible

Here are a few things that may happen if you miss out on water;

  • Poor concentration
  • Poor memory
  • Poor task capabilities
  • Poor performance
  • Poor productivity
  • Poor fat loss capabilities

Poor effort all round really, all from forgetting to drink enough of the good stuff and drinking too much of the bad stuff!

TINY HABIT ADVICE 

  • I want you to drink one glass of water upon waking up for a week!
  • Week two set an alarm in your phone to drink a second glass every day at midday, make sure you do it! If this does not work then drink one with your lunch
  • Week three add a second glass in the morning after the first one!
  • Week Four a second one at midday
  • Bear in mind about four glasses of water add up to a litre, so your target is eight glasses a day minimum!
  • Keep adding alarms and double up on glasses to make it all a little easier!

So there you have it. I said three secrets but then that was to get you to read the article as this is all worthless if you don’t read it.

However as Bruce Lee said; “Willing is not enough, we must apply, knowing is not enough we must do!”

Make sure you do what is said or share this article with someone you care about to get them started slowly on the road to healthy success.

You can also relate these principles of Tiny Habits to stretching, meditation, or any habit you always wanted to do just didn’t know how to set the habit up!

Onwards and Ever Upwards.

@TomDyerUCF

tom@ultimatecityfitness.com 

habits

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