I am an ex-Taekwondo player. For over 16 years it was my sport, I won national tournaments and joined the national team until I ruptured my ACL (elrobat el saleeby) I reconstructed it, made my rehab just fine and decided to quit. Taekwondo is a very intense sport on the knees and I wasn't willing to take that risk and undergo another operation. The key to me was staying healthy, or what I sometimes call improving the quality of life. That was to be done in other methods.
What I'm about to share here is nothing professional, it's what is commonly known in Egypt as "ask someone who tried" (es2al megarrab) It's my tried and tested, revised and revisited, taught and researched simple manual for staying fit and living healthy.
Leading a healthy lifestyle couldn't be simpler. Stick to the basics and prioritize the priorities.
The basics are: exercise and eat clean, I like to add rest well to the mix. Easy, right? But it's definitely easier said than done.
Here's the truth that you know too well but you're hiding it from yourself. You say you want to lead a healthy life and remain fit but you don't really want it, you just kind of want it. If you really want to do something you have to give some sacrifices for it, you have to challenge yourself a bit, get out of your comfort zone and just start making a difference in your life.
What is needed of you is nothing radical, nothing shocking. You only need to start making a gradual change, bit by bit, and the results on the long run will be of a scale that will make you stand proud. Just make for yourself a bit of a timed goal of increasing your physical activity and improving your eating habits and stick to it. After all what comes easily goes away as easy, and almost everything in life that is worth having is hard to get.
So here's my take on each factor (exercising, nutrition and resting) in a bit of a nutshell.
- Find a physical activity that you enjoy and just do it.
- Go an extra mile every now and then, it is there where improvement happens.
- 45 minutes 3-4 times a week is perfect to maintain your form.
- Over training is a myth.
- Gradually increase the length and intensity of your workout routine.
- diversify and change your routine every now and then.
Here's what I do:
There's always the problem of finding time, and in our beloved Cairo and its traffic time comes even more scarce, I personally build my days around the avoidance of the most catastrophic driving times. So what I do is that I wake up early around 6 AM go to the gym work out and do cardio for an hour to 90 minutes total, shower and head to work fresh and at the peak of my output from minute one while everybody else is still reaching out for coffee to sober up. It was a bit tough for me to get used to that system but after the first week it was free sailing.
If your work location or gym timings wont help you with that then I suggest heading to work with your gym bag and head to the gym directly after work. Don't go home first you'll end up doing nothing.
- Eat smaller portions more meals. aim for 6 small to medium meals a day.
- Don't deprive yourself from anything. But generally, no soda or salty snacks and extra sweets.
- Drink water forcefully. Winter is coming and not feeling thirsty doesn't mean that your body doesn't need water.
- Fruits instead of deserts, baked better than fried, don't do fried food at all.
- loose the salt shaker.
Here's what I do
I always go for whole foods over processed ones. picture this: a tomato vs tomato paste. Read on the pack of the paste the ingredients you'll find plenty of stuff that you're body will have to process and sometimes it'll fail; where the tomato has only one ingredient, tomato. Same dilemma strikes me with soda and diet soda, I believe that the body is better equipped to process the sugar than the chemicals added to make for the sweet flavour.
One thing I never do is counting the calories, of course common sense dictates that if you burn more than you take in then you'll loose weight, nut not all calories are created equally. 500 calories obtained from a bar of chocolate isn't the same thing as 500 calories obtained from a spinach and grilled chicken meal. So instead I concentrate on eating clean, whole foods, I get the protein, carbohydrates and fats my body need in a balanced fashion (30, 40, 30 percent roughly) and keep off from the usual suspects in food.
Here's what I do
Don't plan your resting days, train everyday if you can, because at the end there will be days where you wont be able to train and these days will be your rest days. I do that and I find myself training 4-6 times a week, never more than that .
Finally, don't major in the minors, keep it simple and stick to what is more important, the recipe is easy just take it step-by-step and you'll get there. You'll be fit, healthy and happy.
Always strive to be the best person you can be.