It can be hard deciding what to focus on when faced with an entire health and fitness plan. There are so many different aspects to take into consideration if you want to consistently generate the best results. While it would be great if we all had limitless time to do everything we should do, the simple truth is that we usually have to toss something by the wayside.
But what gets tossed first is not always the best choice. A lot of people know all of the different things they should be doing for their body but when there is a time crunch things are slowly eliminated from the program until they are just going to the gym. The mentality is that, “At least I got my workout in!”
But that mentality is wrong.
The Moving Parts
Let’s look at everything that is involved in an average day if you wanted to create the optimum situation for you to reach your fitness goals. People read all the articles and know they should be doing most of these items.
- Morning stretch
- Eating healthy all day (with proper portions)
- Pre-workout meal
- Workout (including proper warm-ups and cool-downs)
- Post-workout meal and supplements
- Full nights rest
Now realistically you might not workout every day or maybe some days you workout twice with weights and cardio then take a few days off. But the stretching, food, supplements, and rest should be there every day.
The Sum is Greater
So why do people think they can get rid of everything else in that list as long as they workout? From a true healthy standpoint the workout is one of the easiest things to drop from the daily schedule because it typically takes up the most time and energy. The other items end up being a lot more valuable to your overall health and state of well-being and shouldn’t be dismissed. So why do we do it?
We drop the other items because it is easier. Stretching and food prep is often thought of as boring and you can’t ‘feel’ those like a workout. Also many people don’t realize exactly how beneficial everything else is compared to working out.
Stretching keeps your body loose, less prone to injury, and helps reduce stress while increasing blood flood. A healthy diet can change your weight and way your body looks much more efficiently than just working out because eating badly adds to the work you have to do. On top of that eating properly can help your energy and sense of well-being. Supplements such as vitamins and other items help your body run better and stay healthier over your entire life. A full nights rest is like rebooting your computer; it just fixes everything.
So how can you think that dropping any or all of those is better than a workout which can burn fat and tone muscles?
So What Do You Drop?
Obviously people don’t want to drop the workout because mentally they feel like it does the most for them and truly your body needs it. But on a day to day basis I would recommend cutting back on workouts first and trying to use that time to help in other areas. If you can only get in three good workouts a week but can do everything else then you will see much better results compared to working out every day and missing out on everything else.
If you are facing a time crunch then skip the workout. Use that time to prepare some food for the next day and eat right that day while getting a good night’s sleep. You can even get up a little earlier for your stretching. Then you have more time the following day to make sure you don’t miss you workout.
Sometimes it is hard to ‘get it all’ but when you do have to let something go, make sure it is the least impactful thing first other than one of the most.