The 10 commandments of fitness

Getting fit is difficult. It takes time, dedication and resilience. To assist me in this goal I’ve drawn up The 10 commandments of fitness. It is like a fitness mantra or manifesto. It’s a way to live my life. Something I can live by and that can help me in my battle against the bulge. After reading blogs, submitting to forums and reading fitness tips from experts on social media I’ve drawn up the 10 commandments of fitness.

10 Commandments of FitnessBy keeping these front of my mind I can ensure that I lead a healthy lifestyle. By tracking progress, planning nutrition for exercise and being active I can work towards achieving my fitness goals.

What are the 10 commandments of fitness?

1. Set fitness goals

Without something to aim for you’ll never know if you’ve achieved it. I’ve set a number of fitness goals for the year. These focus on all aspects of getting fit, from losing a stone in weight to running a half marathon in less than 2 hours.

2. Take regular measurements to monitor progress

Smart technology and fitness gadgets provide many ways to monitor your fitness. By regularly taking measurements, and adding these dates to the fitness diary, I’m aware of what I’ve achieved to date and what I need to do to get to my next milestone. I use the Garmin Index Smart Scale every day to keep track of my weight and essential health metrics. I’ve got both a Garmin Swim Watch and a Garmin Forerunner 410 Sportswatch to monitor my workouts. The Garmin Smartphone App means that I’ve always got a way to measure every moment.

3. Plan nutrition for fitness

I went through the first 40 years of my life without a single thought for my personal nutrition. A sedentary desk job, hectic work schedule and love of takeaways and chocolates resulted in a yo-yo diet with a waistline to match. I now plan every meal days in advance. I choose restaurants carefully and try to stick to a Whole30 diet. As I know when I’ll be exercising I can plan my meals in advance to ensure I get the most from every single workout.

4. Exercise for at least 30 minutes every day

The most important of the 10 commandments of fitness is to exercise for at least 30 minutes every single day. 30 minutes isn’t a long time. By planning fitness activities in advance I can squeeze at least one activity in to ever day. Sometimes this is a long run or an intense one-hour CrossFit class whereas at other times I might squeeze in a quick swim or at the very least a brisk 3 mile walk to watch Manchester United. I plan all my exercise in my fitness diary.

5. Drink plenty of water

Despite being free, good for you and very accessible, water is often neglected by those trying to get fit. Water is essential for life and helps ease hunger. Water offsets the dehydrating influence of tea and coffee. Regular hydration is essential to get the most from fitness activities. To ensure this isn’t neglected I always have 0.5 litres of water on my person and ensure that I drink 1.5 litres of water every single day.

6. Cut down booze to get fit

Without alcohol I’d be super fit. Up until the age of 18 years old I could tackle any fitness challenge. I weighed 12 Stones and ran the 1993 Great North run without any training whatsoever. Then the booze came along. Although I’ve never drunk every day I believe that alcohol was at the centre of my life from the age of 18 to 40 years old. From hazy student days and boozy business lunches to a quiet pint with friends or a bottle of wine with the wife, I’ve inadvertently stumbled from hangover to hangover for more than 20 years. This has had a number of detrimental consequences for my fitness:

  • Alcohol is very fattening so it is at odds with my fitness goals
  • Early gym sessions don’t happen after a night on the booze
  • The lethargy of a hangover ruins my fitness motivation
  • Alcohol leads to kebabs

Now I try to drink once a fortnight at the most.

7. Be social and share your fitness experiences

The main reason for writing was to share my story with others. Getting involved with my social media network makes my fitness goals public. I feel the need to put in the effort to achieve them. As well as providing me with fitness motivation I get strength from the support of other people trying to live a healthy lifestyle.

8. Get enough sleep

Like water, sleep is often neglected. Since starting my daily 5.30am CrossFit workout routine I’ve had to take sleep seriously. If I don’t go to bed early enough I simply won’t have the energy to get the most from tomorrow. I always try to get a minimum of 7 hours sleep and aim for 8 hours of sleep every single night.

9. Take regular photographs

Since starting CrossFit I’ve felt fitter and am stronger. Despite this my weight has not dropped. I couldn’t understand why the scales didn’t budge despite hours doing WOD after WOD. My coach pointed out the now obvious fact that strength exercised build muscle which in turn adds weight. By taking regular photographs I can see progress that would otherwise be masked by my Garmin Index Smart Scale.

10. Reward yourself regularly

Keeping to a balanced diet isn’t easy. Squeezing in 30 minutes of exercise every day is difficult. Achieving fitness goals is a result of many hours’ hard work and dedication. Whenever I achieve one I reward myself. This might involve a night on the town, a meal at a restaurant with friends, trip to the spa with my wife or even easing muscle pain with a Thai massage.

How to follow the 10 commandments of fitness

It took years to compile this list of fitness tips. By realising the hurdles that disrupt my progress or hinder my motivation I’ve been able to draw up a list that works for me. Every day when I awake I aim to live life by my fitness mantra.

What are your fitness commandments?

Everyone has different motivations in life. Fitness tactics that work for one person won’t always work for everyone. Let me know your suggestions to add to The 10 commandments of fitness commandments.

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