Personal Trainer’s Healthy Habits
As a health professional, I often get asked these questions:
What do you eat?
What do you do to stay fit?
How often do you work out?
I’m sure most personal trainers have similar ideas but here are the healthy habits that I practice.
- Follow the 80:20 rule for food. By making sure that I eat quality foods 80% of the time, I don’t worry about what I eat the other 20% of the time. Basically I count nutrients, not kilojoules or calories. Typically, half of my plate is piled up with vegetables (six or more different types each day) and the other half will be protein (chicken, fish, beef) and carbs (potatoes, sweet potatoes, pasta, rice). Also included in my diet are good fats (avocado, almonds) and two fruits. I enjoy a glass of wine or a good beer but I don’t eat fast foods – not because they’re not healthy, but I don’t reckon they taste any good and I feel hungry too quickly. I love my food so I prefer to spend my $$ on quality food than the cheap fast foods.
- Drink plenty of water. I carry around a 1-litre stainless steel bottle with me everywhere and normally would drink two to three of these each day. I also have a cup of green tea with lunch on most days.
- Never go more than two consecutive days without exercise. Exercise can be any form of structured exercise (such as working out at the gym, training with a personal trainer, doing an exercise class, jogging, playing sport) or moving (walking, gardening, washing the car, mowing the lawn). I’m fortunate that I have an active job but I still do my own workouts three to five times each week. My primary goal in working out is so I can function and move properly in 40 years time. When I’m on holidays I have a rule that I don’t work out at all, but that doesn’t mean that I just lie by the pool the whole time. I enjoy kayaking and surfing in my down time.
- Train smarter, not longer. Generally I don’t work out for more than an hour. My workouts are mainly resistance training and I mix up the exercises and intensity to keep “shocking” the body. Every now and then I would go for a 7 km run to get the heart and lungs going.
- Relax. Recovery is an important part of working out. I normally fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow and wake up around six hours later feeling refreshed and ready to attack another day. Listening to music, reading and watching movies are my favourite ways to relax.