By Cliff Smith
Experts are now saying that nearly two-thirds of your fitness potential will come from dietary choices, so whole foods and herbal health drinks can be an important part of that. Here are 5 steps you can take today to upgrade your fitness performance now.
1. Nourish the cells, organs, and tissues of your body with the highest quality whole foods. 70% - 80% of your fitness potential will come from your diet. This means taking in whole foods that boost metabolism and generate long-lasting energy. Metabolism is the sum of all the chemical reactions that take place in your body. Not eating slows down metabolism and not exercising leads to the same results. For healthy energy, you need complex carbohydrates and vitamins and minerals from whole foods, not from caffeinated drinks and synthetic vitamin boosters. Avoid hidden calories in processed foods, and beware of binge eating. The goal should be maximum nutrition from a minimum number of calories.
2. Cleanse the cells, organs and tissues of your body through proper hydration. By consuming antioxidant-rich herbal health drinks, you can effectively cleanse the body of the toxins we take in each day from air and water contamination, radiation, poor dietary choices or other modern day pollutants. Free radicals damage our cells, causing premature aging, but antioxidants neutralize those unwanted invaders, allowing the body to regenerate rather than degenerate.
3. Cardiovascular training is an essential, obvious step toward maximum fitness potential. The importance of movement and heavy breathing cannot be understated. Cardiovascular exercise is activity involving the large muscles, such as your legs. The word 'aerobic' refers to something that needs oxygen. During cardiovascular or aerobic exercise, oxygen is constantly delivered to your muscles. So, you want to get the heart pumping and the oxygen flowing freely. Cardiovascular exercise delivers numerous health benefits like lower blood pressure and healthy weight management.
4. Resistance and Stretching are components of fitness that provide visible results as well as intangibles like greater longevity, strength and stamina. The goal of resistance training, according to the American Sports Medicine Institute (ASMI), is to "gradually and progressively overload the musculature system so it gets stronger." Research shows that regular resistance training will strengthen and tone muscles and increase bone mass. Stretching is important to keep those muscles flexible and avoid injury.
5. Rest and Recovery comprise the fifth pillar of fitness. The body requires 7-8 hours of sleep each night. This is very important time that the body can use to regenerate cells, muscle, tissues and organs without having to burn energy for other activities. Think of cardio and resistance training as Yin and rest and recovery as Yang and you understand the principles of Yin and Yang to produce total body balance inside and out. Think of it as inhaling and exhaling or squeezing a muscle and relaxing a muscle. It's all about balance.
Nourish + Cleanse = Balance
Balance = Maximum Fitness Potential