Balancing Work and Health Priorities
Let’s be honest, you are living in a rush
It seems impossible to balance work, family… life, with training and health priorities
You are working hard to build a career, it's going great
You eat healthy where possible… train a few times per week
You know you are still out of balance because your body, your energy, your mood tells you something is off
Some days you feel inspired to train and eat well
But then other days you think - “Why bother?”
It feels like you need to exercise everyday and if you don’t, something is wrong!
Look, I get it. I have been there before
Working through the night watching european financial markets
Owning two different business started on a shoe-string budget
*Hoping* they grew, while maintaining a marriage and still looking at health
I’ve been in this balance with endurance sports, strength sports and now a focus on movement
The thing is, I’ve learned a few things from my own experience as well as working with literally hundreds of people on their health journey over the years. There are still many lessons ahead no doubt, But...
This is what I see over and over again:
1. Diet - You’ve “eliminated” yourself into a deficit.
You feel tired, lethargic with regular food. You aren’t eating enough food. Sure, it’s “clean” "meat and veggies," but your body isn’t responding, and is still holding weight. So you wouldn’t dare eat more
Which is exactly what we might need
This means you need caffeine to get out the door and get rolling - your immunity also drops every once in a while as the body is often in a stressed state
The thing is, I went through this exactly... and I still get stuck in it. Probably a 4-5 year period where I simply wasn’t eating ENOUGH food. Sometimes I forget to eat, or just don't consume enough - it really creates havoc on the system from a health perspective.
Now, with the amount of crap out there on “diet," I largely avoid the topic. BUT,
when I simply focused on getting MORE non-inflammatory proteins, quality saturated fats, fruits and roots, my energy jumped through the roof
I was even able to kick the caffeine habit at the same time, overnight
For me, it was a case of simplifying food, worry less about the different types "superfoods," or which kale is better than the other, and more about getting ENOUGH food and not eliminating everything under the sun, as you hope to finally start to feel better
2. Training - How much do I need to train?
I’ve trained 25-30 hours per week (tip - ROI for Ironman training is very low)
I’ve trained 4 hours per week
I’ve learned a bit in between
Training intensity needs to be monitored if you are looking to lean out
Body composition is a question of Health. So, if our nutrition, breathing, sleep and stress are out of line
Then we don’t have the energy production to deal with intense training
I currently train 3-4 sessions per week (in which I train hard for an hour) then do mobility work 5 days per week as well. I walk 60-90mins daily and don't sit.
I focus on moving in some capacity, dialy
Two days completely off, with just walking or light stretching.
The thing is, there is no “right” amount to train - but, for health, from what I see and have experienced, it’s not that most people need to train MORE at all,
It’s that they need to MOVE more on the other days and possibly adjust their training
From a health/body comp perspective, 3-4 days per week is plenty of training
But you need to move every day - maybe walk to work, walk to the shops, walk home.
Stretch. Mobility really is a non-negotiable if you want to improve in this game
Make sure the TYPE of training you do is aligned with health.
To be honest, I have never felt better, leaner and stronger than now with a focus on movement training, bodyweight strength and mobility
The arrival here was simply a process of elimination - going deep into endurance and strength sports, finding out what worked and what doesn't
3. Stress - If your stress is high and breathing is off, address this first!
Nutrition, work, relationships, training, environmental factors…
They all contribute to stress. The thing is, if your stress levels are high
If you aren’t sleeping well
If your breathing patterns are off
Then your training won’t help anything.
Conversely, you can have a perfect diet and still be stressed out of your mind!
For me, I tune into the breath the most. When it's fast or the mechanics are off and I'm breathing incorrectly, I make pretty swift changes to whats going on environmentally to try and get things wound down again
Here’s the thing - use sleep, heart rate, immunity (how many times did you get sick this year??) as a gauge on your stress levels
If you are out of balance, take a look at your life as a whole and make some changes before you ramp up training or try a new diet again
So, if you are stuck feeling like you need to exercise MORE to shift the weight and get healthy
If you are feeling like it’s impossible to balance work/life and health priorities
Then reassess what you are ACTUALLY doing with your food, training and your stress levels. If it's not working, what can you learn or change to restore balance to your system??
For me, it was a shift away from endurance training, away from high frequency, heavy olympic lifting into movement training - bodyweight strength, mobility... some leg strength with barbells..
Continuously developing a meditation practice over the last 8 years. Nothing crazy, just creating the space for it
Backing off where need be rather than way too late
Maintaining high volume “movement” and walking despite less actual "training"
Eating more food, prioritising sleep
And I’m still learning constantly!
The question is can you implement change after your body/mind or immunity is giving you a signal?
If you are feeling stuck with health or body comp and are willing to look deeper at this alongside your training, contact us now and we’ll set up a chat