Being healthy requires hard work. It’s a simple yet concept to understand, but one that is sometimes difficult to apply. The road to a healthy lifestyle is riddled with challenges that may, or may not break your will to succeed.
We have put together a list of the most common challenges that you might face on your path toward a healthy life, and how to overcome them. As you’re about to find out, some challenges only appear difficult to overcome.
Lack of Motivation
Motivation, or lack thereof, is one of the most commonly named reasons why people can’t reach their fitness or health goals. Mind you, this is a valid reason as well. The way to overcome a lack of motivation has nothing to do with reading inspiring testimonials or watching success stories on YouTube while listening to one of the more epic tracks from the Pure Moods compilation.
No, the solution is very simple and straightforward — don’t rely on motivation. That’s it. As it so happens, motivation has a much better alternative that isn’t fleeting or circumstantial. It’s called discipline, and it’s something you can develop.
Discipline works 24/7, 365 days per year. Once introduced to your lifestyle, it becomes a constant you can base all your activities around. Developing strong discipline is a good way to approach any fitness goals, but also any other goals in life.
If you’re struggling to become consistent with working out, discipline is the solution. That being said, you only need to rely on discipline for the first 3 months. It has been proven that once you do something for a period of 3 months, it becomes a habit. At that point, you can let your discipline take a break while the autopilot takes over. After 3 months, going to the gym will become a part of your daily life and something you’ll miss should you skip a session or two.
Nutrition is a massive part of fitness and a healthy lifestyle in general. You can follow the strictest, most aggressive workout routine and do everything right, but it won’t matter unless you’re providing your body with all the fuel it needs.
Unprocessed, healthy foods are an important factor for success, but so are vitamins and various minerals. While we take most of our vitamins through food, many turn to supplementation. In the USA supplements are extremely common. So much so that 4 out of 5 adults are using some type of vitamin supplements in their diet.
That being said, nutrition is also essential as far as weight loss and muscle gain go. It’s a common misconception that fat is burned on a bike, or in the gym. Although these activities do help, 90% of the weight is lost in the kitchen. It’s all about what you eat and how much you eat.
The same goes for muscle gain. When you hit the gym and lift heavy weights, you’re breaking down muscle fiber by pushing your muscles to the edge of their abilities. Once aggravated, your muscles require sustenance to repair the damage you’ve done in the gym. That sustenance comes from food.
Building muscle is all about providing your body with enough protein and carbs. If you do right in the gym and in the kitchen, you’ll experience consistent muscle growth.
Lack of Sleep
Sleep is an extremely underrated, yet incredibly important health factor. Our bodies need sleep for reasons that we’re yet to understand. However, the things we already do understand about sleep should be enough to force every single individual to get at least 8 hours of sleep per night.
Sleep has been associated with higher chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease, and a number of other disorders. When you sleep, your brain is going through a self-cleaning process where it’s shedding all of the residues it collected during the day. Skipping a night of sleep is a massive shock for your system and something you can’t compensate for.
As far as fitness goes, the effects of sleep are tremendous. The process of building muscles goes something like this: – Gym – We’ve already mentioned that going to the gym and lifting heavy aggravates your muscles, breaking down muscle fiber. This part is important as it forces the muscle to adapt to the new level of stimulus. – Nutrition – The damage you’ve done to your muscles in the gym has to be repaired. To do so, your body will need enough clean fuel in order to rebuild muscles and make them slightly stronger than they were before. – Sleep – Sleep is when the process of repair begins. As such, sleep is invaluable to muscle growth.
If you lift heavy and do so frequently, but you don’t get enough sleep, your muscles won’t grow. In fact, several studies show that lack of sleep causes almost no change in muscle mass. Sleep is an extremely important part of fitness and one that you can’t afford to ignore.
Lastly, to see any actual results, you’ll need consistency. Yes, we’ve already talked about discipline, but consistency goes a step beyond forcing yourself to go to the gym on a cold winter morning when you really don’t feel like it. Consistency is about finding ways to exercise while you’re on the road, or finding time to meal prep even if you have an extremely busy week at work.
Being consistent almost always depends on your ability to make a plan. You’ve got that conference coming up next month? Plan ahead, find a gym near your hotel, prepare food or find a suitable place to eat out. You get the picture.
Most challenges you face on your way towards a healthy, fit body, can be overcome. You’re not alone in this journey. Millions have gone the same path before you, and millions more will do so after you.
The key is to stay consistent, look for solutions, and find what works for you. Each of our bodies is slightly different in the way it reacts to certain foods, exercises, and other factors. That unknown variable means that solving some of these challenges has to involve a certain amount of trial and error testing.
Tags: Discipline, Fitness, Fitness Challenge, Healthy Lifestyle, motivation, Nutrition, Repair, Sleep, USA supplements
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