Everyone has a physical goal. From the most sedentary of people to the elite athlete at the peak of his or her career, it is something we all have in common. The goals themselves will vary dramatically from wanting to lose a few pounds or get off a prescription medication, to shaving another five seconds off a mile time or adding another 50 pounds to a maximum lift, but we all have somewhere we'd like to be. The routes to achieving these goals may vary even more widely than the goals themselves, but there are a few things every goal has in common, and without these foundational bases covered, your own goal may remain out of reach.
1) You must have your foundation in place.
If you want your body to work for you, you must cover all of its basic requirements so that it can devote all available energy and resources into creating the changes you're after. These basics are nutrition, hydration, and sleep.
Nutritionally, strive to consume most or all of your daily calories from whole plant foods, making sure you get each of the four food groups (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes) every day. This is essential to fulfill your minimum requirements of macronutrients, micronutrients, and phytochemicals.
For hydration, strive to take in about one liter of pure water for every 50 pounds of bodyweight, as a minimum. Water is required for every single chemical reaction that takes place within your body, and as soon as you become even a little dehydrated, your progress and recovery will slow or halt.
Sleep is also incredibly important, because sleep is when your mind and body both recover from the day's efforts. Without enough sleep, your energy level, physical and mental performance, and hormone profile will suffer, so strive for 7–9 hours every night. Challenge yourself to provide your body with only the best fuel, optimal hydration, and adequate sleep and it will reward you with excellent health.
2) You must train with technique, focus, and intensity of effort.
If you're just getting into shape, technique can mean the difference between rapid progress or slow progress, and for a more advanced athlete, technique can mean the difference between winning and losing, or even a career stalling injury. Likewise, focus is essential to your progress. If you train with intent and drive, you will work harder and progress faster—simply showing up won't get you to your goal. To that end, intensity of effort will go hand in hand with how quickly you reach your goals. As with anything else in life, those who are willing to work hardest for something are the ones most likely to get it, and in the shortest order. Pursue your physical goals like you mean it, and your body will have no choice but to respond.
3) You must be consistent over a long span of time to allow the changes you want take place.
Success in any pursuit doesn't come from days and weeks of consistent effort, but from months and years of it. Yes, you may witness rapid progress in the first weeks of working towards your fitness goals, but rest assured that at some point you will hit a plateau or a setback. The difference between those who achieve their goals and those who don't comes down to sticking with it over the long haul. If you make striving toward your goals a natural part of your lifestyle, every day will bring you another step closer to where you'd like to be.
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Claims on this site have not been evaluated by the FDA. Information on this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We encourage you to do your own research.. Seek the advice of a medical professional before making any changes to your lifestyle or diet.
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