My fitness journey started at the age of 15 when I had just finished my Grade 10 exams and wanted to use my vacation constructively. I joined a gym and after a month when I was just about getting used to my gym trials, I had a life-threatening accident which brought my life to a halt.
The recovery process took very long, and I lost a tonne of weight and muscle too. Health took a different turn and that’s when I realised, I couldn’t go back to my old gym routines but had to maintain my strength and fitness somehow.
During those years we lived in a condo. We were the only ones in the whole building. It had no elevators and it was 8 storeys tall. I would fill 2 litre water bottles and climb up and down the stairs for an hour or an hour and a half, at times. I would use the long sticks from mops to do stretches and other flexibility exercises. Sometimes it would be plain aerobics in the form of dance. Sometimes it would be evening walks with mom. All this apart from daily college and home chores kept me fairly abreast of my health goals.
Nutrition wise I took care of my protein requirements through soaked & sprouted beans, homemade healthy food with very little exposure to junk food and restaurant eating.
Not once did I have to ponder about gym memberships or clothes, how to calorie count, what my macros were, whether I got enough sleep or not. The only supplementation was in the form of B-complex, vit E or some multivitamins, courtesy my dad who spent his life with GSK the pharma giant. Every other year we would be given a deworming for safe sake.
That’s it. My health and fitness were sorted.
Cut to life now and we make such a big deal of everything! How much BCAA does one add in their protein shake? Whether one should add that before, in between or after their work out? Every macro and micronutrient whether it is high or low and its impact. Everyone is an expert and yet no one clearly knows what to eat, how to work out, how much water to drink and many hours to sleep!
It’s hilarious and mind-boggling the rate at which new information and products flood the market. Deciphering all that can drive anyone crazy.
Does anyone know who to ask or how to get help? For most parts, no. We either try googling or ask the closest expert but they only know what they are exposed to and that changes every few years too.
When did living get so complicated? If you can identify with my journey here then I am sure you know the struggle is real!
So, I sat down to write down some basics for you without complicating any information.
Here are my top 5 –
How much water do you need to drink?
Let your body guide you. The more carb rich foods you eat, the more water you’ll need. 8 glasses are an indicator but you might need more depending upon your activity, time in the sun or indoors, kind of food you eat, how you’ve slept, how much you sweat and how much you pee.
What kind of diet is the best?
Whole foods, plant based, home cooked, with little bit of the kind of foods you think are cheat meals should keep you in the happy zone at all times. The more process food we add, the unhealthier it gets.
How much sleep do you need?
6-8 hours or a little more at times of deep restful sleep. (Not ridden with caffeine, alcohol, heavy rich food please!)
How much do you need to work out?
Irrespective of your fitness goals, daily mindful movement ranging from a minimum 4000 steps to a desirous 10,000 should keep all your blood parameters in check and your body fairly fit. If you aim for more, there is always room for more.
How do you manage stress?
Be present. Feel the texture of your shirt or dress, take a deep breath, sip some water, go for a walk. The options are endless. So next time, don’t feel helpless and tackle it the right way.
To hold yourself accountable to your health & fitness goals, please get in touch with us at www.ctrlaltzen.com.