5 Things I Can Do Better to Improve My Health & Performance

If you’re serious about your health and performance than you want to know that you’re doing the best you can with your efforts. And if you’re not where you’d like to be weight-wise, performance-wise or in terms of your rehab than there are probably some things you could be doing a better job of. And if you are having some success in these areas than you are probably motivated to see what else you could do to ramp up your results even more.

I’ll be honest…I know I could do more personally. A while back I stated some of my goals. A few of them included hitting targeted strength measures, improved fitness levels and a specific scale weight.

And while I’m on track to hit my goals I know I could be further along. I know I maybe under-estimated myself by selecting goals I knew I had a pretty good chance of attaining.

There’s not a problem in doing that. But we want to make sure we are giving our best effort and setting new goals if necessary.

So while I’ll probably wait until I realize the current goals I’ve set  until I pick new ones there are a few things I know I can improve on until then. With that in mind here are 5 Things I Can Do Better to Improve My Health & Performance.

1. Improved sleep – I need 8 hours of sleep a night. Not 8 hours of bedtime on my computer, reading or doing sudoku puzzles but 8 actual hours of sleep. I need to make sure that I get as many of these 8 before midnight as possible. And I need to make sure to be as consistent with my time to bed and time to rise as  possible.

2. More soft tissue work – Every workout should begin with some foam rolling. It doesn’t have to be lots of time and the more I do of it the less time is necessary. But sometimes I’m a little short on time for training and this is what gets cut from the program. I need to remind myself how effective foam rolling is, how this restores alignment and posture, how it helps we achieve optimal technique on my lifts and allows me to recover more quickly between workouts.

3. Less sugar – For a while there I was in the habit of writing down the sugar content of everything I ate. Well not really everything but if it came in a package I was jotting in down. And this good because as you get your insulin under control your fat burning goes way up. I’ve got to get back to doing this again.

4. Drink more water – Sometimes I’ll get busy writing programs or running errands and won’t drink as much water as I should. As soon as you’re 2% dehydrated performance drops off. Plus many of your muscle building and fat burning enzymes are hydrolytic and require water. There are a number more good reasons to drink more water and I know I have to increase my intake.

5. Watch out for compensations – As soon as we compensate we put stress on the body where it shouldn’t be. And we then take longer to recover from this stress. Plus the longer we get away with our compensations the harder they are to undo and the greater the chance of injury. Specifically I need to watch that I am maintaining a neutral lumbar spine on all of my lifts. Only the weight should move and the rest of the trunk should be steady.

Well there are the areas I think I can do better in.

What about you? Where can you improve? Does it have to do with rest, training, nutrition or something else altogether? In the comments section tell me what you want to focus on and I’ll reply to help you out.

Chris                                                                                                                                                                                                             okanaganpeakperformance.com ‘always moving forward’

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4 Responses to 5 Things I Can Do Better to Improve My Health & Performance

  1. Anny says:

    Hi Chris,

    When writing down your sugar intake…was this only on “packaged” type foods where the sugar content would be listed. For example – how does one find out how much sugar is in an apple, a glass of wine or …even a slice of bread? Thank you! Working on my goals for 2011 – thanks for the kick in the tush to get it finished!

    • Chris says:

      Hi Anny: Yes, you write down only the sugar in packaged products. Fruit and vegetables are exempt and you can eat to your hearts content. On a package of bread there will be information per slice of bread.

      Hope this helps. Best of luck in 2011.

      Chris
      okanaganpeakperformance.com ‘always moving forward’

  2. Janelle says:

    What could I do better? I’d like to lose weight faster! 35lbs in 10 months isn’t exactly ideal… I feel like this weight loss process is going at a snails pace. I manage to get on average 2 workouts in a week and I know my diet could be better on weekends and holidays :(

    • Chris says:

      Hi Janelle: First of all losing 3.5 lbs/month is not so bad. When you consider this is a net loss meaning if you gain 1lbs of muscle and lose 4.5 lbs of fat then you will have a net loss of 3.5 lbs as you are describing. Instead of focussing on weight loss focus on fat loss. As well focus on your increased strength, how your clothes fit and your increased energy.

      In order to pick up the pace try the following:
      1. Shoot for at least 4 workouts per week. At 3 workouts/week this is usually considered a maintenance level. And you are currently below that. In order to see a change you’ll need to up your workout days.
      2. With the weekends and holidays don’t rely on will power to overcome temptation. Instead have strategies in place to win during these times. A few ideas include:
      * Drinking a glass or two of water before every holiday meal.
      * Using a smaller saucer rather than a plate at parties. Or even a napkin.
      * Limit yourself to the baked goods and sweets. Instead go for the meats, cheeses, fruits and veggies.
      * Plan a workout around times when you know you’ll indulge. We’re less likely to overeat after making a positive choice such as training. We’ll be more motivated to continue with positive choices.

      Good luck Janelle.

      Chris
      okanaganpeakperformance.com ‘always moving forward’

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