Key Numbers To Keep Your Health On Track
I am a numbers person. There are times when I like to knuckle down on the numbers and focus on hitting the right numbers. A certain amount of meals per day, blog posts per week, hours dedicated to achieving a task, repetitions of a skill etc. I like the black and white of being able to say definitively whether or not something has been achieved. If you can relate to this mindset, and would like to get fitter and healthier, here are some solid statistics about fitness and exercising for you.
3- The Number of Liters of Water Per Day to Drink
This is a no-brainer. Drinking a minimum of 2 and an ideal 3 liters of water per day will give you more energy, better skin, better sleeps, faster recovery, and a healthier appetite. Do this for 3 weeks and notice the positive difference that it will make to your life. When it comes to simple and effective changes that you can make to your diet, drinking enough water is right up there with the most important.
7- The Number of Hours Sleep to Aim For Each Night
If water is on top of the list, so is sleep. We are all different and individual, yet we have more in common with each other that we have differences, and one definite commonality is that we ALL need to sleep. Some of us can do with a bit less, and some a bit more. Depending on your work and family situation, the available hours for counting sheep can vary, but we all generally do well when we get between 6 and 8 hours of sleep per night. I personally do very well when I consistently get 7 hours of sleep. A nice point to remember when it comes to sleep is that it's not just about the number of hours you spend in bed, but the hours of quality sleep that you manage each night. Keeping your room dark, free of electronic devices, and winding down before bedtime with some easy reading and relaxed vibes will really help you get some quality Z’s under your belt. Personally speaking, I also seem to sleep much better when I have a tidy room, have laid my clothes out for the next day, and have a good idea of my schedule and jobs to be done for the following day before I hit the hay.
30- The Minimum Number of Minutes You Should Avoid Electronics Before Bed
Staying with the topic of sleeping like a log, switch off your phone and avoid the electronic screens of computers and TV’s before bed. The bright lights of the addictive screens trick your body into thinking that the sun is rising and your primal self is thinking to itself that the time has come to rise and shine and get foraging for food and avoiding them wild animals that loved to eat a nice juicy human back in our hunter gatherer days. Not a great instinct to kick into action when you want a bit of restful shut-eye. If you really have to be in front of the screen late at night, turn the brightness settings way down and get yourself a set of ‘blue-blockers’. These 90’s looking yellow glasses are apparently great for filtering the bright lights and thus stopping you from running down the stairs and out the door with your spear in search of a wild boar when you should be resting your head on a squishy down pillow.
365- The Number of Days to Give Yourself to Turn Your Health Around
We are generally very hard on ourselves, and demand results from our training and nutrition efforts in quicktime. If you’re currently unhappy with your state of health and fitness, then it’s likely that it took quite some time to get into such a state of despair that you have now become unsatisfied with your ability to climb the stairs at work or fit into your favourite clothes. Give yourself a year, 365 days, to turn your health fitness around. Forget about 6 weeks, 12 weeks or whatever arbitrary and unrealistic timeline that the keyboard experts out there encourage you to get excited about so that you buy into their rubbish program or diet. At this stage of the game we all know that crash diets, exercise fads, extreme approaches all go out the window after a couple of weeks. In fact they generally go to pot once the initial fitness motivation wears off and real life takes its toll on your exuberance for sitting room aerobics or 4:30am trips to the gym. Use your motivation to seek a true professional that can help you and has a track record of success with helping other people and does not promote themselves by putting topless pictures of themselves on social media, and does not rope you in by playing up on your insecurities. Nobody needs either of those things in their lives, except the unfortunate creature who is resorting to these tactics to make business. Do it once, do it right, and do it gradually for maximum effectiveness. Are you always busy and seem to never have time for exercise? Read here the 5 greatest barriers to becoming physically active again and how to overcome them.
10,000- The Number of Steps to Aim for Each Day
How much should you walk? 10,000 steps per day. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. There is actually a bit of science behind this, as it relates somewhat the distance that scientists believe that humans would have walked on a daily basis back before we all became tied to our desks and stuck in traffic on the M50 or the Kinsale Road Roundabout. Most of us have smartphones these days that can easily estimate how many steps we are taking per day. If you have an iPhone and decide to open the health app today, you can even look back and see how many steps you have taken each day for the last few months! A bit creepy, but there you go. Steps can also be measured with a pedometer, or one of those fancy Apple watches or Garmins. You can be quite sure you are getting sufficient levels of daily physical activity if you average 10,000 steps per day at the end of the week. If you find yourself under the target, start to find little excuses to edge your step count upwards. Park further away from the door, walk to the next bus stop, or stick your phone in your 4-year-olds-back pocket (just kidding, don’t do the last one!)
1 - The Number of Designated Treat Days for Long Term Success
Being healthy and eating well should not be a test in how much you can punish yourself. Sure, drink enough water, eat a good breakfast, stop eating rubbish food, cook your dinner, and bring a packed lunch to work with you. At the weekend, give yourself a treat for your efforts during the week, and splash out on a take away, some ice cream, or whatever delicious indulgence your prefer. Having a designated treat day will help you stay on track during the week, and give you a mental release from the effort that is required to break your negative habits and replace them with habits that will help you develop long lasting health. If you go off course during the week, don’t worry. Just get back on track after the hiccup.
21- The Number of Days You Should Stick To A Single Nutrition Habit
Imagine you changed 1 negative nutrition habit that is holding you back and replaced it with a healthier alternative every 3 weeks, starting with the one that’s holding you back the most. In a year you will have picked up 17 new long lasting habits and ditched 17 poor habits. Knock off your bad habits (I bet you already know what they are), one a a time, and focus intently on breaking that one single habit for three weeks. You will fall off the wagon, but just get back on it again, and it will become easier and easier to reform new positive habits the more you stick to your guns. Drink loads of fizzy drinks? Focus on not drinking any fizzy drinks one day at a time for 3 weeks. Drink water instead. If you end up downing a 2 liter bottle of Fanta on day 5, get back on track. Find out more about nutritional therapy, health and well being.
10- The Number of Minutes to Meditate Each Day
Sit on a chair an do nothing for 10 minutes a day. I recommend downloading the Headspace app, and following the free daily 10 minute meditations for 10 days. The calm and soothing voice of Andy on the Headspace app will help you become more mindful, peaceful, and aware of enjoying your day, and making the most of each moment. The most common excuse for not spending this time on yourself is that ‘I don't have enough time for that’, but the 10 minute investment in yourself will make you more productive and more effective during the day that you will make that time back and then some each day. Think about how much time you waste on your smartphone, on social media, or procrastinating each day and transfer 10 of those wasted minutes to self improvement.
2. The Number of Minutes It Will Take to Book a Complimentary Consultation At ACLAÍ.
Click the link below to book a consultation with an ACLAÍ coach, to help you establish some solid goals and put together a simple, no-nonsense, and fad free plan to achieve them. Here at ACLAÍ, we work with every type of client from people with life changing disabilities, people who have been inactive for years, post operative clients, and high performing athletes. We don’t do hyped up training, fad diets, or gimmicks. Just down to earth, honest advice, support, training, and encouragement. Go for it!
This Article is by Managing Director Ainle Ó Cairealláin MSc CSCS