So, you wanna get in the best shape of your life and have abs of your dreams? It’s not just about hitting the gym and eating clean. Here are the top five things you need to do to be the fiercest you can possibly be!
1. You better sleep, bitch
Think you can have a 12 pack while taxing your body to the max and not sleeping? Think again. While you sleep, your muscle cells grow and repair. If you cut your sleep, you cut your gains. Strive to get eight hours of uninterrupted sleep every night.
2. Stop stressing
Your body has a stress hormone called cortisol. When you are super stressed out, your body is flooded with cortisol making you feel agitated, irritable, and sluggish. Find ways to reduce stress in your every day life — yoga, meditation, taking your dog for a walk, not sweating the small stuff, you know, the usual stress busters.
Most Americans are chronically dehydrated. Even slight dehydration can impact your performance drastically. Exact recommended daily water intake varies on your weight and how active you are. To start monitoring your hydration, get yourself a gallon of water and try to drink it throughout the day. While it sounds gross, if your pee is darker than the color of straw, you’re dehydrated and need to drink more. And no, vodka sodas don’t count.
4. Exercise and lead an active lifestyle.
Wanna look fit and be fit? You have to move your body. A good fitness program will be periodized and include elements of strength training, mobility and flexibility, as well as cardiovascular conditioning. Seek the help of an accredited fitness professional to get your started. Try to be as active as you possibly can in your every day life. If you sit all day, try to take walking breaks. Take the stairs. Walk instead of driving. Do something active on the weekends instead of sitting all day at a boozy brunch.
Your diet obviously plays a large role in the success of your workout program. So much can be said on this topic, but as a very broad recommendation, try to focus on eating fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats and whole grains. Monitor your intake with an app such as Lose It or Fat Secret to ensure you are eating enough, and getting the right ratio of macronutrients (carbs, protein, and fat) to support your lifestyle. Most insurance plans will cover a visit with a nutritionist or dietician. We highly recommend doing this, even if only once, to find out what foods will best suit your specific needs.
So, there you have it. We’re about to dive into the holidays, so make sure that you’re being good to yourself so that you don’t burn out by 2015. Nobody wants that.
The Phoenix Effect, a metabolic bootcamp that gets you in shape fast, is offered exclusively at Mansion Fitness, 7914 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood.