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The video below will outline the most common mistakes people make when trying to feel fitter and healthier and exactly how to overcome them.
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How To Avoid The 5 Most Common Health & Fitness Mistakes
In my experience there are five major mistakes that I see people make when it comes to efforts to improve their health & fitness. If you can institute the solutions to these five mistakes or even better, just avoid making them in the first place, you stand to make fantastic advancements in your health & fitness without any more effort than you're probably already putting in at the moment.
Mistake #1 - Poor Hydration
One of the most consistently dropped balls when it comes to maintaining good levels of health & fitness is failing to maintain optimal levels of hydration. You might be surprised by the simplicity of this one but some 80% of my inbound online personal training clients report that they get nowhere near the 2.5L recommended daily intake of water. Now, this is really important to us humans because our bodies are comprised of some 60% water, not only that, but I've heard it said in medical circles that pretty much all health ailments are improved with adequate hydration. Furthermore, just 5% of dehydration has been shown to significantly decrease physical and mental performance, not only that but dehydration or feelings of dehydration are often mistaken for feelings of hunger so if you're looking to lose a little weight or reduce body fat, and you're allowing yourself to be dehydrated, you could find yourself reaching for the wrong type of foods simply because you’re not drinking enough water.
Mistake #2: Inactivity
Living what we might consider an inactive lifestyle is quite common with people that work at their computer, in this scenario the majority of your day could be spent sitting, which can cause problems such as considerable fatigue, and some muscular tension, and can be quite deleterious to health. In fact, recent studies have labeled sitting the ‘new smoking’ as it's been shown to raise all-cause mortality risks, leaving you a lot more vulnerable to a lot of significant health ailments, if that wasn’t already enough, inactivity has also been found to negatively impact mental health.When we discuss a sedentary lifestyle, this is not necessarily one devoid of exercise. For example, If you were to front-load your exercise in the morning, you could still have a largely sedentary day so the workout would not necessarily relieve you of risk factors. Ultimately we humans are evolved for movement, so including a small mobility practice, going for regular walks, doing desk stretches, doing desk exercises, and just generally walking around a little bit more throughout the day, can make a huge difference for your health.
Mistake #3: No Structured Exercise Program
As we've already alluded to, regular exercise is very important, but it needs to be the right kind of exercise and calibrated to the right level for you personally. Ideally, you'd be looking for your exercise to come from four different tenets of fitness, which would be resistance training, short bursts of high-intensity training, long periods of light activity, and some deliberate mobility training.So to talk about the function of each one of these types of activity. Essentially your resistance training is intended to protect your muscle mass, which in turn looks after your metabolism. HIIT training or highly intensive interval training is aimed at improving your fitness capacity. It actually helps you shuttle stored body fat into a position for it to be used as fuel. Steady-state cardio or LISS This stands for low-intensity steady state, which can be something as simple as a brisk walk, a slow cycle or a light swim. By keeping your heart rate between 100 to 120 beats per minute, proportionately going to burn a higher percentage of calories from fat than heavier activity does, which makes it a great tool for getting lean. The secondary benefit is that at that low heart rate, you're not going to accumulate fatigue. So it's a valuable resource you can lean into it for longer periods when you have the time.The final part is of the puzzle is mobility training and it may just be the most commonly neglected, this is because it’s not linked to anything aesthetic, but it is however very important and should be considered an investment in your pain-free future.One of the best ways to stay consistent with exercise is to have a structured exercise program. This way it removes all of the guesswork. You already know what you're going to do in every workout session and what you are expected to do in the next. Guesswork leads to inertia, and inertia means you're not going to get things done.
Mistake #4: Not Eating The Right Foods
Having a balanced and healthy diet is crucial to maintaining good health, having adequate energy, and establishing your ideal weight. I really can't stress enough the importance of having a balanced and adequate food intake because of the impact it’s going to have on your quality of life.Think of it this way, the food you eat is literally the building blocks of your future self. Of course, stating you should eat better is an easy thing to say and it's harder to implement when you're stressed, tired, and don't have a lot of time. It’s one of those challenges in life that if you put the initial effort into it, you'll naturally start to have more energy and perceive a higher quality of life.Using food to feel better only works if you are willing to take a non-restrictive approach. For example, if you're already feeling fatigued, stressed, tired and lack energy, why would you compound that with a big calorie deficit as if you were doing a big weight loss goal and then expect to feel more energy? This simply would not work.These two things just can't coincide. You need to have an adequate calorie intake and nutrients that are packed with energy and also just the sheer volume of food that's actually going to allow you to kind of climb out of this vicious cycle of feeling under fuelled the whole time. Once you’ve decided that you’ll eat an adequate amount of food, the next task would be to clean up the kind of food you’re eating, which means the reduction of junk food, processed food, sweets, crisps, that sort of thing, plus the removal of common inflammatory foods. Ideally, to start to feel healthier, you want to bring your calories up to a break-even intake, moving away from a calorie deficit and splitting them at a ration of approximately 30% Protein, 40% carbohydrate, and 30% fats, from quality food sources.
Mistake #5: Not Managing Lifestyle Factors
A big mistake I see people make when it comes to approaching a goal of feeling fitter and healthier is failing to consider how seemingly unrelated lifestyle factors impact how you feel. The two biggest factors at play here are going to be how well you're sleeping and how you're processing stress. Of course, one needs to be realistic with regard to work pressures, familial responsibilities, and time constraints.
We naturally have stresses. We're tired. We're not always going to get the right amount of sleep, and these things are unavoidable. So what can we put in place to mitigate some of these negative effects and bridge that gap and allow ourselves to still feel full of energy despite challenging scenarios? One of the things you have to work really hard on is to try to not allow yourself to become sleep deprived. When you're walking around sleep deprived, you're going to have increased leptin, which is a hormone that regulates your ability to feel full. So if you don't have an adequate or an accurate reading on feelings of fullness and satiation, you could be eating a lot more food and maybe even the wrong types of food at the wrong times because you haven't planned them and you're getting feelings of hunger which is going to upset what we're trying to achieve. You may not always get your full 8 hours of intended sleep, but what you can do it try to improve your quality of sleep. Sleeping in a room of 18 degrees and sleeping in room full of black-out blinds. So even if you miss a few hours of sleep, you’ll be working toward making the sleep you do get as restful as possible.
The next factor is trying to manage stress levels, and as of course just like with sleep, we have to be realistic about our busy lifestyles, some degree of stress is inevitable. However, strategies can be put in place to help mitigate it. When you're in a highly stressed situation, you get elevated levels of cortisol and adrenaline in your blood. This is your body's natural response, or ‘fight or flight’ mechanism. It's essentially when your body acts like you're in a life or death scenario, you get these hormones into your bloodstream in higher levels, and it allows you to fight or run away, essentially survive an attack from a sabre-tooth tiger or something of that nature. The problem is in the modern world, if you are highly stressed about everyday things like making a presentation or talking to your boss, financial worries, things of that nature which aren’t really a life or death situation, however your body is still giving you these hormones which unfortunately deprioritise your long-term health. This means things like sleep quality, exercise recovery and other things that you may not associate with stress like a lack of libido or compromised immune function. It makes sense from an evolutionary perspective because if you're getting attacked by a sabre-tooth tiger, reproduction and not catching a cold down aren’t going to be of immediate concern because first things first, you need to get away from the tiger. Some of the ways you can help mitigate this stress and break this cycle is to introduce daily acts of meditation and mindfulness. You can have a non-sleep deep rest or breath work.
You can also just do things that are a little bit more simplistic than that. And one of the things I like to encourage my clients to do is to get a piece of paper and create a list of all the things that basically put a smile on your face or bring you joy. And these could be things like taking a walk, interacting with an animal, watching a comedy, doing some writing or reading a book, and just get a little bit selfish. Getting selfish in a positive way can be extremely beneficial for you because this is going to help reduce your stress, when you think about it, becoming the best version of yourself mean that you're going to interact with everybody in your life in a high-quality way. So in the final analysis, looking after yourself isn't actually selfish. You're doing it for yourself, Yes, but you're also going to improve your relationship with basically everybody else in your life just by taking care of yourself. These are the strategies that I suggest that you start to implement to reverse this negative cycle of feeling more and more fatigued and overwhelmed. We're going to use exercise, we're going to use nutrition, and we're going to use healthy lifestyle practices to turn your current situation around and start giving you more energy. Because once you've got more energy and you feel good again just think about what you're going to be able to do and apply all of that extra enthusiasm, energy and good mood and good sleep and more time perhaps, to anything you want to achieve in life.
Want Me To Coach Your Through This?
If you are excited by the information you've learned here and would like me to put it all in place for you by creating your a fully personalised 12-week training program for you from scratch, not just that but build you a custom meal plan to your preferences and provide daily accountability to keep you motivated throughout the entire process.
This is my signature online personal training service, ranked #1 worldwide by the institute of personal trainers