I know from looking through our community that a lot of you are very active people, with a regular training routine. So we took inspiration from you guys and wanted to dig a little deeper into exercise and how to maximize it for our benefit.
Exercise, when performed regularly, is one of the best ways to promote good health within our minds and body. It can of course be detrimental by overtraining, or not looking after your body with a healthy lifestyle, which can lead to injuries and a sideline from your chosen activity.
So What we want to cover today is
- Exercise Essentials
- Bountiful Benefits
- Looking At Longevity
Let’s dive in..
I think for yourself, and so you can track progress, it’s good to set goals. Goals can provide us with motivation for ourselves to constantly move forward. No matter your choice of training pick something you envision for yourself and then you can build a roadmap to get you there.
It is important, however, not to set a milestone too far ahead, as it will seem unattainable and not give you any motivation. For instance on day one of starting MMA training you’re not going to be envisioning UFC Gold, but maybe your first goal is that you want to build up enough competency to spar. Then when you achieve it you set another and keep moving forward.
If you’re going to take up a practice or look to improve in any physical realm, you should set down a routine. Simply picking the days and times possible for you to train each week, will not only give your whole week structure, but it will also make it easier for you to plan nutrition and performance throughout your training cycle.
No matter whether you want to lose weight, put on weight/muscle or further your endurance threshold you have to eat. Food is our fuel, it drives us and gives us the energy we need to achieve our goals whether in training or general life. But not just any food will do, processed foodstuffs (like we mentioned in our inflammation blog) will ultimate hold you back and even hinder your body/performance.
So being smart with your food choices is essential, I know for a fact (unless you’re a vegan) there’s more room in your diet for veg, fruit and nuts. So incorporating more each meal will stand to you. As well as this, you should get some knowledge on nutrition for training. Simple things like more carbs on high cardio/intense workout days, time restricted eating, how much protein is needed for your goal etc.. these are all good points for you to take into consideration to fit into your routine.
I’m sure those of you who actively train know most of these anyway but for the sake of due diligence, and for those who are just beginning on their journey, I will summarize some here.
Firstly and foremost it’s great for your mind, exercise makes us feel good. It clears us of any streeses, or worries, we were thinking about prior to it, and this isn’t some witch-doctor hocus pocus it’s actually backed by science. What happens is during you training, your body feels it as a moment of stress. It counteracts this stress by releasing chemicals to help combat the build up of stress and aide in the fight or flight feeling.
BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor) is released, it has a protective, reparative and developmental affect on our memory neurons. These neurons are related to learning, memory and higher thinking. Working out promotes this and with it a “fresh” mind to work through our worries/problems. As well as BDNF, endorphins are released into our brain during exercise, these help mitigate pain related to training so we can push on and also give us a euphoric feeling, which have a lasting effect throughout the day.
All in all an active body helps with a happy mind 🙂
Our energy also increases as a result of training. Who’d of thought it. If you’re living a sedentary life and you seem tired all the time, you probably think you don’t have the time/energy for training. But studies have shown that people who pick up a training routine, ultimately see improvements to their overall energy levels throughout the day.
There are a number of reasons why this would happen. One our body is being worked and releasing good chemicals, adrenaline, cortisol, endorphins etc… which keep us awake and moving. Two, exercising has the ability to change negative things in your life. Typically people who take training seriously, adjust other bad habits in their lives like alcohol, smokes, bad diet etc.. and this can then promote better health and with it more energy.
Speaking of health… Many studies have shown that regular training has a direct effect on our immune system and overall health. It improves our insulin sensitivity, cardiovascular health, body composition and blood pressure.
In contrast a lack of training or physical exercise has shown high correlation to heart disease, diabetes, obesity and early death.
There are a number of more benefits that I haven’t listed here, like sleep improvement, libido increase, skin health, inflammation etc.. Essentially there are many reasons why we should want to (& need to) train or perform physical exercise. And whatever excuse you have for not doing so, should not outweigh the reasons for starting. Any investment in your body/mind now will further your life, while also improving the quality of it.
Looking At Longevity
The key to always being able to train from your teens up to your … 90s? Is to look after your body and manage risks. If we go balls to the walls now, get juiced up to our eyeballs and smash a load of heavy weights every training session, we may look great in our 20s or even our 30s. But this routine will ultimately affect us in the long run, and won’t add to our lives moving forward.
So a smart approach is necessary, training in any discipline first to become fit and healthy is always a great mindset and approach. Of course with a skill based physical exercise (BJJ, Boxing, Tennis etc..) you’ll also gather knowledge and technique as well as a healthy body. If we want to just look great straightaway, we’ll take unnecessary shortcuts that will essentially take from ourselves in the long run.
With this in mind let’s look at what we can do to help us with longevity.
A big factor which we will see more and more the old we get are injuries. They can result from a number of different ways. Overtraining, bad diet or even repetitiveness are all factors which can lead to us injuring ourselves. It can’t always be avoided but there are things we can do to mitigate it a bit.
Stretching is one. This builds up flexibility in our muscles, tendons and joints. It’s something that not everyone may pay enough attention to. But if looked at seriously it can actually promote muscle and strength growth as well as protect the body from breaking.
Time Restricted Eating
This helps our body from expending too much energy on the digestive system and keeps that energy for promoting growth and restoration. Studies have also shown that TRE improves muscle density by 20%, by simply applying this method 5 days a week, no further exercise is needed. So it’s essentially simple gains.
A good starting point is trying not to consume anything other than water outside of a 10-12 hour period. So if you wake at 8AM, Eat at 9AM make sure your last meal (or coffee, tea, sugary drink) is before 7PM-9PM that night. This way of eating is beneficial to your endurance, muscle mass and controlling fat as your body uses it’s fat stores for energy as opposed to breaking down muscle for fuel.
This is an important one that you may not factor in to our routines. If you’re gym goers you’re probably not doing anything else other than resistance training and maybe 10%-20% on cardio machines. If you’re an mma fighter you’re probably not doing much other than some grappling/striking. It’s important to get variety, not just in your routine, ie: different exercises but the same discipline, which is good but even that will wear on you, but also in your types of exercise.
Taking in a yoga class/swim/outdoor running/game of football, rock climbing something completely different to your daily grind will go a long way to helping build a robust and sturdy body. It will also keep you motivated, and happy, with new and fun challenges. Training doesn’t have to be boring and monotonous so look to mix it up. And as a side note Yoga, on it’s own, will help you plenty.
Variety is the spice of life, as “they” say and for good reason.
Constantly being active will build up inflammation in the body especially if we’re overtraining or eating the wrong foods. And from our previous blog you all know that this can result in injury as well as health issues down the line. So it’s essential we adopt foods and supplements that help combat the buildup of inflammation. Once we learn to manage the body’s inflammatory problems, we’ll have a much healthier and longer life.
So to sum it up, training provides a better quality of life, increases the probability of living longer, helps our mind greatly and builds motivation. Why wouldn’t we all want this ?