How to maintain your health resilience
I’ve worked out that there are five components to staying fit and healthy. As I said, I am not a doctor, and this is my personal experience, so the usual warnings apply – consult your medical adviser before changing your health and fitness regime, especially if you have an existing condition.
My approach may be amateurish, but it has kept me moving and capable for many years. It was only two years ago that I competed in my last half-marathon, and my sound health has helped me carry on working and playing into my late 60s.
Your health and fitness data is readily measurable today and improves your ability to manage your health.
The key to a good diet is the food quality rather than the quantity. Health professionals recommend 50% carbohydrates, 30% fat and 20% protein.
Calorie counting does not get good press because food manufacturers are allowed a significant margin of error in their food labelling. However, apps such as MyFitnessPal enable you to get a reasonable idea of your nutrition breakdown using data from food labels.
Around 60% of the human body is water, so even mild dehydration of 1-2% causes headaches, loss of concentration, tiredness and reduced athletic performance. We naturally lose around 2-3 litres of water per day, so it is vital to replace this to maintain resilience.
However, too much water can also be dangerous. Your kidneys cannot eliminate the excess, and sodium salt levels become diluted, which can be life-threatening.
Your body recovers during sleep, and a good night’s sleep is essential. Again, quality is more important than quantity. Get eight hours of sleep interrupted by light, noise, the phone, or your pet, and you will probably wake up exhausted, whilst six hours of sound sleep will likely enhance your ability to deal with life on a day-to-day basis.
And you need to rest after an activity – your body gains fitness during post-activity rest rather than during the activity itself.
Inactivity leads to a range of resilience-eroding conditions, hence the ten thousand steps advice.
In contrast, strength training turns fat into muscle and leaves you feeling healthier. You don’t have to go to a gym; get into the habit of around 20 minutes of strength training (push-ups, sit-ups, the plank, etc) three or four times a week.
Cardiovascular exercise helps keep your heart and circulation in good shape. Brisk walking, running, cycling and swimming are all excellent CV exercises.
Some sports, such as rowing, combine the benefits of strength training and CV exercise. Rowing is low-impact and probably better for your joints than high-impact exercises such as running.
Health professionals recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous activity weekly.
Instinct or gut feeling is no substitute for accurate data. Body composition scales will give you valuable weight, body fat, muscle quality, hydration, and more data. Similarly, pin-prick blood tests are standard these days and can tell much about the invisible stuff inside you.
Your mental health is as important as your physical health. I do not profess to be qualified in any way to talk about mental health and its impact on resilience. However, I do know that a walk, preferably in natural surroundings, can do wonders to dispel feelings of anxiety and sadness.
In summary, build a couple of hours weekly into your schedule for your health and fitness and significantly improve your resilience.
My name is Jeremy Deedes, and I design and construct a purposeful and satisfying future for entrepreneurial couples whose kids have left home so that they can grow their wealth, free themselves from cloying restrictions and create new ways of making a difference.
Visit jeremydeedes.com or schedule a free 20-minute consultation call to learn how I can work with you.
Photo by Jenny Hill on Unsplash
Stay healthy in 2020
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These nine essentials will help you ride future shocks, form the foundation of your wealth and give you the confidence to adapt to life after the children have flown the nest.
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