Written By: Heather Gerrish, MS, RDN
As an athlete and someone who is working hard to train and develop skills and strength, how can you balance this WHILE increasing your daily activity level? Or better yet, why would you want to? This blog will review the importance of maintaining even small bouts of physical activity throughout the day to keep you focused and on track towards your goals and help you with training as well as how these benefits stretch farther than immediate physiological benefits, but are good for your body (and impact your nutrition needs) long term!
Let’s dive into the details of WHY we want to promote activity (with training or implementing a structure in your routine to include more leisure activity in your day). Often we describe the composition of muscle or fat tissue in our bodies as “body composition”, leading to specific normative values that have been associated with increased risk for comorbid conditions. Focusing on increased activity helps to not only promote cardiorespiratory fitness, strength and skill development but also helps our bodies stay healthy and active throughout our lifespan. Focusing on fitness, health and nutrition are not singular entities but tied together for a reason! Including not only your training and nutrition practice as an important wellness factor in your routine, but how you will keep your momentum going long term is essential!
Ensuring that activity is a portion of your day, even on off training days helps your body maintain muscle mass and the extra energy burn is always a great way to get your body moving!
Focusing on why implementing a healthy routine will not only help you now, but later on (and we mean much later on as well) not just talking about next year or in five years, but for the rest of your life!
What are some activities you could add to your day to create a sustainable and active routine?
Here are a few examples that might be of interest:
Think about your day, what opportunities do you have to be more active?
Parking farther away (when provided the opportunity and is safe to do so)
Setting your work breaks to include a brisk walk(s) throughout your day
Taking 5 minutes every hour or every other hour to stand up and walk around your office or work station
Taking the stairs when able
Biking or walking to work
Including activity in your leisure time (weekend bike rides or walks, swimming at a local pool, hiking with friends and family)
Coupled with your sustainable nutrition practice, training regimen and mental focus creating a more sustainable, healthy routine - you are well on your way to maintaining change and providing yourself the opportunity to focus on your health and well-being - long term!