Bread and butter
Bacon and eggs
Black and white
Strength and conditioning
Fit and healthy
There are some words that just seem to go together perfectly in the English language.
The problem is that, in the world of sports and fitness, we’ve heard phrases like “strength and conditioning” and “fit and healthy” so often. that we’ve completely lost the meaning of them.
And while losing their meaning isn’t actually that bad – what makes these phrases both ridiculous and dangerous is the fact that we’ve become oblivious to the harm we’re doing to ourselves (and our clients) by focusing on one of these words over the other.
Let’s take “Fit and Healthy” for example.
It’s not that much of a leap to assume that if we focus on getting fitter, we become healthier.
And to some degree we do.
When we begin increasing our exercise, we often combine this with better eating habits and cutting out other damaging practices like smoking and/or drinking.
Which is good – but the longer we focus on getting fitter – the less healthy we become.
At the start, our goals are usually to complete a race or to lose a certain amount of weight, but once we’ve done that – that’s when the problems start.
Because we want MORE.
We want to do the race again but faster this time, or we want to do another one that’s longer, or we want to lift more than we could before.
That’s when our focus slips from “fit and healthy” to just “fit”.
That’s when we stop resting as much as we should.
It’s when we start pushing harder in every single training session.
And it’s when our bodies stop being able to handle it.
We stop being able to sleep properly.
We seem to catch every cold or flu virus that’s doing the rounds.
Our bodies start feeling stiff and sore.
And before long we’re carrying little nagging injuries that seem to come and go but never seem to go away properly.
Why does this happen?
Increased stress hormones.
When we exercise, our bodies produce stress hormones that keep up alert and ready for action.
As our exercise intensity increases, so does our stress hormone production.
And the persistent over-production of these hormones is damaging to our health.
It reduces our immune system (making us ill more often).
It increases the muscle tightness in our bodies (making us more likely to become injured).
And it increases our anxiety levels (making us more prone to mental health issues).
So how do we keep training hard, without causing this over production of stress hormones?
A proper cool down.
It might sound crazy, but laughing and playing games like children is a super-effective way to reduce these stress hormones because it gives our brains a very clear signal that the need for being alert has gone.
This instantly switches our brains from producing stress hormones, to producing ones that help us to relax.
This restores the balance, which boosts our immune system, which means that we can easily fight off colds and flu.
It reduces the muscle tightness in our bodies, which reduces our risk of injury, so we can keep training hard without pain.
And it decreases our anxiety levels, meaning that we can better cope with our busy lifestyles without getting irritable and cranky!
Cooling down in this way is a super-powerful way to improve our health – even though it might seem a bit crazy to some, and learning how to harness the power of simple techniques like this is just ONE of the things I’ll reveal in the SMARTT® Coach Certification Course.
You can get your invitation to join the waiting list for the next available course, find out more about it AND get my FREE “Little Black Book of Injury Prevention Secrets” here!