Base levels are something which is rarely spoken about in health, fitness and dieting yet they are fundamental in the maintenance of whatever you gain. People who lose weight and then pile it back on, get fitter or stronger but then seem to lose it again often have one thing in common, not having base levels. This month I will explain this ‘secret’ and the role it plays in your life.
Having a base level to a healthy diet is one of the most sure-fire ways to keep a good physique all year round. A good base level would be drinking plenty of water on a daily basis, eating several servings of vegetables and some fruit multiple times a day and eating adequate protein for your size and lifestyle.
To obtain this base level, you simply need to eat in this manner consistently and then over time it will become part of your lifestyle immaterial of where you are or what time of year it is. This is your base line. Everyone who has a good all year physique will keep to this way of eating while also adding in ‘cheat meals’, a little of what they fancy, meals out etc.
When I talk about strength, I am not referring to Herculean levels. The ability to get up out of a chair or walk up a flight of stairs requires strength and if we do not practice certain movements on a very regular basis, we will lose even our most basic strength abilities.
I will often say to my clients before they go on holiday that they should keep practicing movement patterns like squats and lunges. You do not have to execute a daily workout as such, but doing a few of these each day keeps your body’s ability to go through that range of movement and therefore keep the strength of that movement pattern.
All the same principles apply to fitness too. The term ‘fitness’ is very broad but here I refer to it as cardiovascular ability. Again, I am not talking about everyone being able to run a marathon, but improving your cardiovascular capacity will have knock-on improvements to literally everything else that you do, including strength, muscle building and improving your physique.
The reason it affects so many areas is because it improves your work capacity ability. If your muscles get tired from training or moving around that is one thing, but often people also become fatigued from not having the lung capacity to recover quickly enough. Doing more cardio work on any level will also improve your digestion, your blood pressure, boost your immune system and your quality of sleep. And all of these things will affect your physique, your strength and your fitness.
The take home point from this article is that you have to treat your health as a long game. Yo-yo dieting and being hit and miss with exercise will not get you very far; often it will make matters worse. Your health is your ONLY life support. Once your health dissolves your ability to perform anything perishes. So please, take it seriously… but definitely make it fun!