Today’s post is from Ollie Matthews, a fitness expert I’ve been following for some time.
He originally posted on his site, but gave permission for me to reshare it with you all. Take it away Ollie!
You’re probably thinking “where’s the catch?”, or “I’ve already seen these kinds of articles”. So what’s different about this one? Its simple stuff which maybe you never realised the impact of before, or you haven’t implemented (and by that I mean started then 3 days later fell off the wagon).
I guarantee that if you follow these 3 steps then you are on your way to a healthier mind and body which will set you up to succeed rather than fail on your fat-loss journey.
The first and most important point is hydration.
It’s not hard to drink 10 cups of your favourite coffee (mochaccino with a hazelnut shot by the way) so why is it so hard to drink water? Whether you don’t like the taste, you prefer it a certain temperature or just plain old “I’m too busy”, it’s a major reason why you aren’t shifting the excess lbs.
Our body is 60% water so a lack of it can have a profound effect on how it functions. Even 1-2% dehydration can affect our focus and therefore productivity, as hydrated cells just plain work better.
If you really don’t like the taste, consider using flavoured electrolyte drops which act as a double whammy. The sugars actually help lower stress which in turn will enable your body to break down fats more easily.
Which flows nicely on to my next point –
I know, I know, easier said than done, right?
Well no, actually.
Being successful can make it hard to have any ‘me time’ when you’re juggling various priorities and this will quickly overload your adrenals. So make sure that as soon as you get up, before you even think about exercising, have a 20 minutes where you don’t do anything. It can be just 10 minutes to start with.
You can use an app such as HeadSpace or Hello Mind for meditation or hypnosis and doing this will enable you to get into a morning routine – vital to allow your body to prepare for the day’s (likely stress-inducing) events. Going for a run or doing yoga is NOT low stress!
This is still putting physical stress on your body. What we’re trying to achieve here is a period of low-stimulation where your body is not stressed in any way. If you’re always putting yourself under some form of stress, eventually you’ll burn out.
The third and arguably most difficult is…
When we sleep growth hormone is released, the stress hormone (cortisol) drops and our heart rate lowers. Thus enabling fat to be used as the energy source. “I can’t afford to have 8 hours sleep!” I hear you cry. Im not saying this is what you have to have. What I am saying is that sleep allows the body to re-charges so the more you have the better.
Plus every hour you manage to get before midnight equates to 2 hours post-midnight sleep (the really good stuff) so the earlier you get into the land of nod, the better.
Another point to add is being in this technology-filled world where we have to be reachable by everyone every second of the day is not helping.
The constant ‘junk’ light from a tablet, phone or TV adds to stress levels so its no use going to bed early if you leave the TV on standby, your phone on – or even in the same room – and have been reading emails right up to the second you switch off the light. Just as in the mornings, there needs to be a routine.
Try to allow yourself 20 minutes without any ‘fake’ light to reduce brain stimulation and you’ll find you will sleep a whole lot better.