If you were to pause for a minute, step back and look at your typical day and the lifestyle that you live its not hard to see your body works really hard to keep you alive.
Let’s take a look at a typical day….
You are jolted awake with alarm blaring grab a quick shower and throw down a “healthy” breakfast, cereal, multigrain toast oj and run out the door,
You sit in the car for hours battling the traffic to get to work and feel a bit of rage brewing even before you start your working day, only to sit behind a desk for most of the day staring at a screen jumping from meeting to phone call to meeting grabbing a quick bite at the local bakery, if you get a chance. If not a few handfuls of biscuits usually ties you over.
Mobile phone seems to always be running flat (you think battery must be on the way out) not thinking about the enormous amount of time you have spent talking on it
and finish the day and glance at your untouched “to do” list not really sure what you actually achieved for the day.
Then you finish the day, jump in the car again to battle the peak hour run for a few hours to get home, which again seems to go really quickly as you spend the entire trip on the phone.
All the time missing few calls from your wife wondering if you are going to be late again. You screech in, say a quick hi to your wife and kids before a few more urgent phone calls. By this time you are starving and sit down to eat a “healthy” dinner. Tonight is a beefy lasagna night with plenty of sauce and extra pasta. Topped off with a big slice of frozen apple pie and ice cream.
You leave the table feeling bloated and tired to return those few calls that came through while you were eating dinner.
You collapse on the lounge with your wife for a re-cap of the day and watch a few reruns of Seinfield and try to relax and switch off from another crazy day. But you remember there was a few urgent emails you didn’t, so you fire up the laptop, just to knock them over and clear the slate ready for tomorrow.
Then you end up staying up too late because you watched the latest series on Netflix and fall asleep on the lounge, again.
You wake up to an empty room as everyone went to bed hours ago, grab a quick shower and now are feeling pretty good so you jump in bed and surf the net on your mobile for awhile just to wind down. You finally drift off to sleep exhausted.
You are jolted awake with a blaring alarm and feel like you haven’t slept at all, and start the day, ready to do it all again.
As a result of all this you have probably found you don’t feel as good as you used to
Actually when you think about it, you are feeling really lousy, you notice you are starting to pile on a few extra kilos each year and your GP has told you more than once you need to start to look after yourself better as those blood tests are painting a grim story of your declining health.
But you brush it off and soldier on, because that’s what most of your mates are doing. It’s just a sign of middle aged life, and you fill another script for new medication in an attempt to help your body cope with a life that is way unhealthy, too hectic and stressful, which also has a massive impact on your bodies natural ability to be healthy.
You have thought again and again about making a real change, and you have started with that new gym membership more than once, but it’s so damn hard to burn off that extra weight and get fit now you have let yourself go.
It’s not like when you were younger if you noticed your jeans were getting a bit tighter you could go for a few runs and a few weeks at the gym and it would just fall off.
But not any more.
It’s no wonder many of us are really struggling on the health front.
An Australian Government report indicated that in 2014-2015, 2 in 3 Australian adults were either overweight or obese.
Which means many of us are heading down the path of a swag of lifestyle diseases. Things like stroke, heart disease and type 2 diabetes are diseases that are mainly caused by poor lifestyle and in the worst cases can lead to early death. Which you think may not happen to you, but is in fact happening more and more.
“Diabetes contributed in over 17,000 deaths in 2017 (11% of all deaths) according to AIHW analysis of the National Mortality Database. Diabetes was the underlying cause of death in around 4,800 deaths (28% of diabetes deaths). It was an associated cause of death in a further 12,200 deaths (72% of diabetes deaths).”
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
And it doesn’t have to be hard.
There are a number of different ways to improve your health, like different diets or fitness regimes which may get a short term result and yes you may notice a change. But most of these are almost impossible to maintain.
I believe you need a lifestyle approach. This is not a quick fix, or a magic bullet approach but is something you can start making one change each week, sticking with it and then doing it for life.
As 80% of our body composition comes from what we eat and will make the biggest improvement to your health, this is the first place to start.
Week 1. You need to get back to basics and eat lots of plants and animals. Foods like vegetables, meat, chicken, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds and a little fruit, coconut products are great
Week 2. You need to avoid foods that are poisonous to our bodies. Things like alcohol (spoiler alert) sugar, breads, cereals, pasta, processed foods and processed cooking oils like canola oil, vegetable oil, safflower oil and margarine.
Week 3. You need to move around a lot. I don’t mean you have to go for a run everyday, but just get up and go for an easy walk. Walk in the morning, walk around at work, walk to your meeting go for a walk with your wife after dinner. Just walk whenever you can.
Week 4. You need to lift things that are heavier than you normally would each day. The best way is by doing a couple of sets of pushups, pullups, planks and squats and this can be at home or a gym and only takes about 10 minutes after a warm up and cool down.
(Always check with your GP before starting a new exercise program)
Week 5. You need to add a weekly sprint. Again this is a short sharpe session – 6 sprints, each only 10 to 20 seconds with say 1 minute rest between and only takes about 10 minutes after a warm up and cool down. This can be on the stationary bike, or a quick walk up a hill or running.
(Always check with your GP before starting a new exercise program)
Week 6. You need to turn off the tv, switch off the laptop or mobile two hours before bed and get plenty of sleep around 8 hours in the warmer summer months and around 9 in winter.
Week 7. You need to get out and play. Any unstructured activity your choose. Outdoors is best. Kick a ball, ride your bike, go for a bushwalk, go for a surf. Whatever it is, get out and play.
Week 8. You need to get some sunlight. Not baking yourself for hours on end and risking skin cancer. Our best source of vitamin D comes from sunlight and just 10 minutes each day on our arms legs and shoulders give us all we need.
Week 9. You need to avoid stupid mistakes. I’m all for long happy healthy life so think twice about what you do. Put that mobile phone in your glovebox while you drive.
Week 10. You need to use your brain, but not in the same way you do everyday. Play a board game with your kids, pull out that guitar from uni days, learn to dance, don’t learn to dance just stand around and floss to you favourite tunes if that’s your thing.
And that’s its.
Start at week 1 and keep building each week until week 10 you will have yourself a new healthy lifestyle that will overtime transform your body.
When you turn to a more nutritional diet of low carb, medium protein, high (good) fats, add a bit more movement, strength training and the occasional sprint, not only will you feel much better you’ll also have a massive impact on your waistline and general health.
I am Rod Bucton. This is Sports Adventure
I help busy over 40 year old fathers get fit, lean, strong and get out and play.
To apply for a free coaching call visit www.sportsadventure.com.au