Health & Fitness Kickstart
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After years of exercising and dieting I have collected a few tips and tricks that make achieving your goals a little easier.
Below are a few things I use to form a relatively simple protocol that can be the foundation for your health and fitness journey.
To ensure you are setup for success you will need to prioritise 3 things: Sleep, Exercise & Nutrition.
If you listen to Andrew Huberman you will know how important this step is. Doing this will help set your circadian rythym.
Viewing sunlight in the morning causes ~50% increase in circulating cortisol, epinephrine and dopamine. These leverage healthy increases in energy, immune system function and mood.— Andrew D. Huberman, Ph.D. (@hubermanlab) August 3, 2022
Full episode of Huberman Lab Podcast on tools for immune-neural health and mood coming soon.
Consistency is key. If you are going to bed at 10pm and waking up at 6am, try to do this every day. This will help you get into a routine and ensure you are getting enough sleep.
Consistent sleep is important for your circadian rythym. Your circadian rythym is your body's internal clock. It is responsible for your sleep/wake cycle, hormone release, eating habits and digestion.
I aim for 8 hours of sleep a night which means I need to be in bed for around 9 hours. I use a Whoop to track my sleep and recovery.
No amount of alcohol is good for you. It is a poison and should be treated as such. If you are serious about your health and fitness, cut it out.
Alcohol affects your restorative sleep and can cause you to wake up in the middle of the night.
If you do drink, try to limit it to 1-2 drinks and stop drinking a few hours before bed.
There is a great episode on What Alcohol Does to Your Body, Brain & Health that goes into more detail.
Exercise is extremely important and has so many health benefits. The key is to find something you enjoy and will stick to.
Try different activities and sports to find something you love. I personally enjoy Crossfit as it combines weightlifting, gymnastics and cardio.
It is a good idea to find a fitness program that you can follow. This will help you stay consistent and ensure you are getting a balanced workout.
I am currently following the HWPO60 program from HWPO Training. It is a shortened version of the HWPO Flagship program and takes about 60-80 minutes to complete.
When losing or gaining weight you want to do it slowly to avoid losing too much muscle or gaining too much fat.
I aim to lose or gain 250 - 500 grams per week.
Use an app to log your food to ensure you are accurately tracking your calories and macros.
In one weight loss study of nearly 1,700 participants, those who kept daily food records lost twice as much weight as those who kept no records.
Protein is the most important macronutrient when it comes to losing weight. It is the most satiating and will help you retain muscle mass.
Clinical trials have found that favouring protein not only reduces body weight, but also enhances body composition by decreasing fat mass while preserving fat-free mass in both low-calorie and standard-calorie diets.
I aim for a 40 / 30 / 30 split of protein, carbs and fat. This is a good starting point but you may need to adjust it depending on your goals.
Depending on your daily activity you should aim to drink 3-4L of water per day. I use a 800mL water bottle and aim to drink 3-4 of them per day along with a few cups of tea.
If you are doing a lot of exercise you may need to add some electrolytes to your water.
Weighing yourself daily will help you track your progress and make adjustments to your diet if needed. It allows you to see the trend over time and not get caught up in the daily fluctuations.
Blood tests are the only way to truely see what is going on inside your body. I get a blood test every 6 months to track my progress and ensure all my markers are in range.
Here is a sample of some important markers to track:
|Apolipoprotein B (ApoB)||Attaches to negative types of cholesterol that cause plaque buildup in your blood vessels|
|Insulin (Fasting)||Diagnose insulin resistance|
|Total Testosterone||Measures both free and attached testosterone|
|SHBG||Binds tightly to 3 sex hormones found in both males and females|
|Free Testosterone||Free (unbound) testosterone|
Taking a progress photo every day will help you track your progress and keep you motivated. It is a great way to see how far you have come.
High blood pressure is a silent killer. Aim to have a blood pressure of 120/80. I measure blood pressure every 3 months for a week (morning & night). Take 2 readings and average them each time. I use the Omron HEM7361T.
A DEXA scan is the most accurate way to measure your body composition. It will tell you your body fat percentage, lean mass, bone density and visceral fat.
I try to get a DEXA scan every couple of years to track my progress.
A great way to increase your knowledge on health and fitness is to listen to podcasts. Here are a few of my favourites:
Ice baths, cold showers or sauna all have great health benefits. We aim for 3 x 25-30 min sauna sessions per week. I also do a 1-2 min cold shower after every workout.
Exercise snacking is a great way to get in some extra exercise throughout the day. It involves doing short bursts of exercise.
We do a 3 min workout at 1:30pm at work to break up the day and get the blood flowing. Try something simple like 3 min of squats, pushups, situps or burpees.
Last updated September 2023