Article: PURSUE HEALTHY: Basic Exercise Routines Start with Lifestyle Changes

I don’t get enough sleep. I know that. I also don’t drink enough water and drink too much coffee. Can anyone else relate? Now, knowing these shortcomings, go ahead and implement a fitness routine sleep-deprived and dehydrated. What was once hard has just become harder, exhausting, and sometimes dangerous.

Sleep- and Water-Deprived

All of us can benefit from simple daily improvements that you wouldn’t think have as much of an impact on our fitness as they do. Sleep and water, what should feel autonomous, have become tasks, second-rate, non-priorities, even when our bodies are composed of 50-60 percent water and we spend approximately 30 percent of our lives sleeping. Instead, we supplement with pills, excess coffee, energy drinks, and other stimulants to pick up the slack. We can reap maximum benefit from the smallest amount of effort with a few key lifestyle changes.

Drink more water. Twelve ounces with each meal, upon waking, and prior to going to bed will give you about 60 ounces of water, just under the recommended amount of water the average person should consume per day.

Sleep more. If you find yourself sitting in front of the TV trying to fall asleep, stop wasting your time. Your body naturally releases a hormone called melatonin, which aids in helping you fall into a deeper sleep. TVs and other electronics have been proven to disrupt the natural release of melatonin. 

Prepare for today, yesterday. If you’re the early morning scrambler, rushing to get out the door at the last second, why are you starting your day with a nice dose of anxiety? Pack your lunch the night before, keep breakfast simple and satisfying, and use your morning to prepare your thoughts and plans for the day.

Fitness and Implementing Change

Most individuals who have struggled with their fitness goals fall into two categories; lack of motivation or lack of knowledge. This isn’t a knock on anyone or meant to offend. Working out isn’t easy. Working out correctly is even more difficult. Adding in proper nutrition makes it confusing, and implementing lifestyle changes makes it painfully frustrating. 

As I mentioned above, lifestyle changes can be a simple segue into making long-term changes. A diet alone won’t get you the results you need. Neither will an exercise routine. Neither will increasing the amount of sleep you get or water you drink. 

The things I’ve listed need to work in conjunction with one another to establish a whole-health approach to fitness. Start small, start manageable. Use a glass of water per meal as a goal that you can achieve every day. Use a guideline of six to eight hours of sleep minimum to give you the energy you need to exercise. 

When I tackle a client’s fitness plan head on, I aim to show my client areas of their current lifestyle that they can improve. When times get tough, I support my clients by showing them the steps they’ve already taken to make improvements. When they’ve reached their goals, I congratulate them and shake their hand, because I’m not easy to put up with. 

Start small and appreciate the accomplishments. Start small and continue to pursue healthy.