Get Sunlight Early
When we expose our skin to sunlight, we’re taking in Vitamin D. Vitamin D is an absolute powerhouse of a vitamin, and one of its key benefits is its ability to help regulate our circadian rhythm. Our circadian rhythm is our body clock, so getting some sunlight early in our day helps us wake up and get going straight away.
It doesn’t have to be pure sunlight either, even on cloudy and grey days we still take in Vitamin D. And actually it’s even more crucial is darker countries like the UK to make an effort to take in Vitamin D, as we’re less exposed to sunlight.
The last thing I like about getting sunlight early in your day is that it gets you out of the house. As many of us work from home at the moment, it’s easy to have days where you never leave the house (especially when it’s cold and dark). Building some outside time into your morning routine fights against this habit. It ensures you’re taking time away from the screen, and out of the house.
Eat Enough Food
As many people pursue their new fitness goals for the year, some may be doing it for the first time. For these people, it’s easy to get poor information about health and nutrition. One of the most popular issues in our industry is under-eating. We tend to think that to achieve our dream, ‘summer ready’ body we need to be eating 1000 calories a day.
Actually, this will likely do more harm than good as we don’t have enough energy to train hard, and even carry out day to day tasks. It’s important to fuel your body correctly so that you can achieve your tasks. Under-eating will likely result in decreased gym performance, a ‘depleted’ looking body… and you’ll be starving all the time!
Don’t fear food! If you are unsure, there are plenty of good nutrition coaches out there who can help you understand how much food you need to be eating per day.
Don’t Judge By Appearance
As we’re talking about finding good people to seek fitness advice from, I'd encourage everyone not to judge by appearance.
Some of the smartest nutritionists and personal trainers do not have six pack abs, crazy, I know! Social media has given us the expectation that every personal trainer or coach should be ripped all year round. The reality is that’s hardly ever the case (and is not conducive to making gains anyway!).
It’s very easy to find people on social media offering poor quality advice. But, because they’ve been on a diet for the past 2 years, or have jumped on certain performance enhancers… they look the part.
When you’re seeking out fitness advice, look for credible sources. People who can point to scientific evidence (or even better, write research papers themselves) are typically a safe bet. Be wary of the shirtless model with 1,000,000 views telling you to cut carbs year round!
Take a Good Quality Multivitamin
Let’s start with the why. A multivitamin is the best bang for your buck supplement out there. You can get a strong hit of a wide variety of vitamins in 1-2 convenient capsules.
Now, if you’re someone who eats a varied diet and is consistently on top of their nutrition, then you might not need a multivitamin. But the reality is, hardly any of us are! A multivitamin acts like a safety blanket to your nutrition. You can be sure your health and performance is constantly getting the support it needs.
In terms of quality, look for multivitamins that use sources with high absorption. For example, not all sources of Calcium are the same (and the cheaper brands tend to use sources that don’t absorb very well).
I’m also wary of consuming supplements that use artificial ingredients and nasty fillers. They aren’t needed in supplements and are mostly used to reduce manufacturing costs. Artificial ingredients can cause things like bloating, nausea or skin irritation - best to avoid if possible.
Sleep And Wake At The Same Time
Finishing this on a similar note to how we started, let's talk about sleep. Research shows that going to bed and waking up at the same time every day can help us ‘operate efficiently, keeping our system strong and energized’. Sounds pretty good to me.
The reason why it does that is because it allows our body to get into a rhythm (of the circadian type!). If we wake up every day at 8am, our body will start to realise this and get everything firing for when we wake up.
A regulated circadian rhythm is crucial for maintenance of a healthy balance of hormones and digestion. If those two things are out of whack, we’ve got problems!
And there you have it, 5 easy and actionable tips we can do today to get our 2022 off to a great start.