1.) Drink Ĺ of your body weight in ounces of water per day (i.e. If you are a 120 pound person, you need 60 ounces of water per day). It is important to make sure that you are drinking quality, bottled water. I recommend Evian, as this is the best source available.
2.) Eat 3-6 meals per day. Try to avoid processed foods by eating quality, organic foods (whole, natural foods) whenever possible. Look at the labels to see how many ingredients you either canít pronounce or donít know what they are. Many of these multi-syllable words may look more like the ingredients of super glue than actual food. Try and be as careful as you can about what you put in your mouth. Remember, you are what you eat, literally!
3.) Always eat immediately following your workouts. The sooner you can feed your muscles, the more essential macronutrients your muscles will be able to absorb. This will help increase your lean muscle mass, which increases your metabolism and decreases unwanted body fat.
4.) Whenever lifting an object from the floor, it is important to bend your knees and think about lifting the object with your legs, NOT your back. This will help prevent injury and reduce your chances of back pain.
5.) If you sit for prolonged periods of time it is important to maintain an upright posture. Think about sitting up straight without slouching your shoulders, neck, or back. Proper posture will help eliminate muscle imbalances and will encourage a much healthier structural alignment.
6.) Always warm up by stretching all tight muscles prior to beginning each exercise session. This is particularly important because a good warm up will increase your metabolic rate, increase the blood flow to your tissues, and will prepare you mentally and physically for exercise.
7.) Always cool down with 5-10 minutes of stretching, or relaxing in a sauna or steam room after your exercise session. A cool down will help remove waste products from your system, minimize muscle soreness, and help improve flexibility.
8.) It is normal to become sore after an intense workout. This is your muscles way of telling you that they have been exercised. However, if you experience tightness more than usual it is a good idea to stretch the muscles that hurt. A good indication of this is if you have a hard time getting out of bed the next morning! By holding each stretch for at least 30 seconds you will relax the muscles and relieve the soreness. This will facilitate better movement patterns throughout your day.
9.) Throw away your scale! The scale doesnít tell you how much fat youíve lost or how much muscle youíve gained Ė both of which are vital to your health. This ratio is accurately measured with a body fat analysis. Remember, your muscular system is your fat burning machine. The more muscle you have, the harder your body (metabolism) has to work. This equates to your body burning more calories both during and after exercise.
10.) Get to bed by 10:30pm each night and try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep.
Reference: How to Eat, Move & Be Healthy by Paul Chek & OPT Training by the National Academy of Sports Medicine
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