When it comes to changing your body most people automatically think of exercise first. While this is an important component of improving your health and fitness, I wanted to address its relationship with 2 other essential factors that are commonly overlooked.
Now as you may have guessed these 2 factors are DIET and REST. Most people know this but many think they can neglect one of these factors and make up with it by working harder on the others and this is what holds many back. There is a symbiotic relationship between all three that needs to be kept in balance in order to be successful. Let me share an analogy that always seems to come up when I first meet a new client…. Lets say you are trying to build a house, you would require 3 things: A PLAN: Building designs, planning permission, knowledge of the skills required
MATERIALS: bricks, wood, cement etc TIME: time to get the work done or people to help do the labour. if given all three of these then your house will be a success, but imagine that you neglect any one of the above three areas, and the house becomes impossible to build, no matter how hard you try to make up for it in other areas. If you only have twigs and paper as your materials then no amount of time is going to help, you could spend years and the house would keep falling down. In the same way that with perfect materials and a perfect plan, you still couldn’t get the house built in a day if you were giving an unrealistic amount of TIME.
Now from a health and fitness perspective we can substitute these 3 Criteria for EXERCISE, DIET and REST:
EXERCISE is the PLAN telling your body what needs changing (more on this later)
DIET is the MATERIALS that you are giving your body to make changes with.
REST is the TIME you give your body to make the changes.
Therefore the thing most people focus most of their attention on (EXERCISE) is just the plan, if you neglect DIET and REST then the actual work never begins! When we exercise we are putting our abilities under a microscope and bringing to light our flaws and weaknesses, so that our body can build a “To-Do List” of where to improve when the right conditions (DIET and REST) are present. Our Body thinks in survival terms, over the course of our history most bouts of activity had life of death consequences, if you were running as fast as you can, its probably because something was trying to eat you. So when you go for a run and push yourself to your limit, the body thinks that it is bloody lucky to have survived, it doesn’t understand that there wasn’t a lion chasing you, why else would you run? So it responds with making a note that its a high priority to be able to run faster and for longer incase next time you aren’t so lucky.
The changes don’t actually occur when you are doing exercise, this is just the instructions! The improvements are made in a period of time after the instructions are issued, given that the correct conditions are present (REST and DIET) I will go into more detail on these conditions in a later post.
This is what my “Holistic Approach to Health & Fitness” of my Personal Training sessions is all about. Understanding the symbiotic relationship and making sure that nothing is being neglected!