So we’ve addressed the mental side of motivation (and decided you were just being a sissy) and had a look at the constraints a busy lifestyle can put on your fitness regime, but there are some things that can physically have a real impact on whether or not you make it to the gym – energy levels.
It is important to realize the difference between actual energy levels and perceived energy levels. You may feel a little tired or a little lazy after a hard day in the office, but if your body is running on empty, you’ll know about it. Its times like these that a workout will actually do more damage than good. Fitness addicts often make themselves ill by training without sufficient fuel inside of them, and you will too if you fall into that trap.
Throughout the day, it is important to ‘eat small, and eat often’. Generally speaking, one should aim to eat about 5 – 7 small meals spread throughout the whole day. In the fitness community, a ‘meal’ can describe any amount of food put into your body, ranging from a handful of nuts and a glass of milk to a full rack of ribs with a side of cornbread (however I wouldn’t recommend that last one when trying to tone up). Eating like this avoids fluctuating blood glucose levels, and will provide you with steady, 24/7 energy. Large meals cause sugar levels in the blood stream to spike, giving you a rush of energy and then a ‘crash’. Training in this ‘crashed’ state (when blood glucose is low) will cause headaches, dizziness and muscle tightness, often leading to illness and injury – and if you’re out with either of them, missing a single workout is the least of your worries – you could be closed for business for a week, if not longer!
Tweet your questions and challenges to @NickHindPT #DapperFit. Each of you should consult your physician before beginning any exercise or lifestyle change.