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4 Easy Ways to Transform Your Physical Wellbeing
Staying in shape does not have to be long, hard or boring.
Welcome and thank you for checking out Optimise Me, a bi-monthly newsletter sharing research-backed, practical tips to help you optimise your self-growth and personal productivity.
Optimisation is holistic. You can’t really achieve that ig you neglect your physical wellbeing. After all, you only get one body (at least presently, and in this life), so it makes sense to invest in taking as great care as possible with it.
Physical wellbeing isn’t solely about aesthetics - although this can be a perfectly valid motivation. It’s also about functionality, and how your body feels. When I was about 50 lbs overweight, I wasn’t simply saddened by how I looked - I felt uncomfortable in my body, constantly tired, and always prone to injury.
When I started to take weightlifting and sprinting seriously, purely for aesthetics at first, I discovered something much more powerful than changing the way I looked. I changed the way I felt.
All of a sudden, I had greater mental clarity. I felt strong and confident. I stopped feeling lethargic after my meals. I had way more stamina. Eventually, I looked healthier.
Not because I looked ‘skinnier’, but because I had built muscle, dropped harmful levels of body fat, and had focused on becoming well.
It wasn’t complicated either. The ‘secrets’ weren’t secret or hard. In fact, conceptually, they were pretty easy. It’s always the execution that can be difficult - but we’ll get to that in another article.
Here are 4 easy, science-backed ways to improve your physical wellbeing - today.
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Make time for regular exercise:
I am a huge gym rat, and for good reason. It has been a significant way to ensure I stay in shape, has become a psychological outlet for me, and has allowed me to build the body of my dreams. Now, you don’t have to be a gym rat to find some kind of physical activity which can have this impact on you.
The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week, to improve cardiovascular health and maintain a healthy weight. This might seem daunting to beginners, but it starts with finding an activity that you enjoy and make it a regular part of your routine. This might involbe going for a walk or jog, biking, swimming, or taking a fitness class.
⚡️ ACTION: Commit to exercising at least 3x per week over the course of the next week, for at least 45 minutes each time.
Focus on whole foods and moderate your calorie intake
Eating a diet rich in whole, nutrient-dense foods can help you fuel your workouts and support your fitness goals. Whatever your weight or body composition goal is, you can reach them much more quickly if you prioritise eating for these goals.
For example, I managed to lose an initial 50 lbs and rebuild 10 lbs of lean muscle tissue, by focusing on a eating a whole foods, high-protein based diet. I calculated my TDEE (average Total Daily Energy Expenditure), and ate in a calorie deficit over the course of a few months to lose roughly 1-2 lbs per week.
Aim for a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats to provide your body with the nutrients it needs to perform at its best.
⚡️ ACTION: Try to eat at least one source of whole foods, and one source of protein, at every meal this week.
Prioritise high-quality sleep
I love sleep, and not because I’m lazy, but because it is essential. Getting enough sleep is essential for physical fitness and overall health. It restores energy levels, improvesbrain function, boosts your immune system, and allows your body to produce less cortisol - the hormone associated with stress.
Research has shown that lack of sleep can increase the risk of weight gain and obesity, decrease athletic performance, and impair recovery from exercise.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that you aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night to support your fitness goals.
You can further enhance your sleep by implementing a regular bed time, removing all technology and harsh lighting from your room at least two hours before sleeping, and aiming to finish eating for the day at least 3 hours before bed time.
⚡️ ACTION: Aim to sleep at least 7 hours per day over the course of this week.
I love water, and find myself astounded time and time again how much it can impact my productivity and wellbeing.
Drinking enough water is important for maintaining physical fitness and performance. It is Aim for at least 2L of water per day, and more if you are exercising or in hot weather. Dehydration can impair exercise performance and increase the risk of injury, so staying hydrated is essential for optimal physical fitness.
⚡️ ACTION: Aim to drink at least 2L water per day this week.
Commit to exercising at least 3x per week over the course of the next week, for at least 45 minutes each time.
Try to eat at least one source of whole foods, and one source of protein, at every meal this week.
Aim to sleep at least 7 hours per day over the course of this week.
Aim to drink at least 2L water per day this week.
💥 Extra Goodies
My New Book
Pleased to announce that my new book, To My Sisters: A Guide to Building Lifelong Friendships, will be released this week! Since we’re all about optimising hollisitcally in this community, grab a copy to learn more about how to build and sustain fulfilling friendships - based on our own 10 year+ friendship, as well as case studies and our independent research.
I’m pleased to announce that I have been appointed Board Member at The New Creator Fellowship facilitated by the Student View - a brand new multi-year programme which aims to increase accessibility to the journalism industries, combining education with inspiration and experience, that will set off our participants on their first steps in their careers. The 2023 programme takes place from 13th April - 13th October 2023. Applications are open now until 15th March at noon, so get applying! 🚀
I’m listening to:
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”