For the health- and fitness-minded, discipline and behavior change are key tenets of keeping ourselves on a strong physical track. Whether it’s literally scheduling our workout time, thoughtfully planning and preparing our meals, or tracking our daily activity, we are pretty consistent about making these things happen.
With evidence-based resources and practical application strategies at our fingertips, fitness professionals should be as close to healthy as healthy can be.
We may be a step ahead of most, but in my frequent conversations with our authors, presenters and IDEA members—all of whom I consider to be at the apex of the health and fitness pyramid—I keep hearing an unsettling theme. Like most working people around the world, we are stressed-out, in pain and sleep deprived. While our body composition may be exemplary, thanks to good nutrition and plenty of physical activity, we are neglecting critical factors that balance the equation—namely, rest and recovery.
This issue focuses on both these factors, bringing you up to date on sleep and alternative recovery science and providing suggestions for prioritizing these aspects of self-care that are so easily overlooked. If you’re sick of hearing your clients make excuses about why they can’t change this or that, tune into your own self-talk and the reasons you concoct for why you feel grumpy after watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel until midnight and then getting up at 6 a.m. to work out! I will sheepishly admit that this is me. Midge Maisel may give me a good belly laugh in the moment, but the healing sleep I so badly need has been permanently drawn from my health account for yet another night (and I’m already way overdrawn). Perhaps lack of sleep is the reason my elbow tendinitis won’t heal—or maybe I should be following a specific recovery strategy to take care of the elbow. I have no one to blame but myself for feeling tired and sore; particularly because, as an informed purveyor of health and fitness education, I absolutely know what I should do to heal myself.
It all comes back to discipline and behavior change. Review the learnings that led you to solid nutrition practices and consistent movement strategies and start applying them to getting more sleep, calming your mind, and recovering fully from your workouts and injuries.
Before we coach our clients on these lessons, we must care enough to adopt them ourselves. Be kind to yourself. Get some rest, and give your body and mind a breather.
In the meantime, enjoy some great reading!
Sandy Todd Webster
EDITOR IN CHIEF