The 8 Patterns of Fitness

In this series, I’m going to share some thoughts about the eight patterns of Integre8t Fitness. With these fundamentals in place, you can expect to see enhanced results from your mobile personal training plan. These concepts apply to all fitness and wellness programs. They are the patterns of your lifestyle. Within eight weeks, you can begin to make infinite progress.

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Eight Patterns of Fitness, part 1 of 8: Breath

The first, and therefore most essential pattern, is breath. You can survive weeks without food and days without water, but only minutes, or even seconds, without air.

Eight Patterns of Fitness, part 2 of 8: Hydration

There are many symptoms of dehydration, because a lack of water impacts everything in your body. Are you hungry, despite eating recently?

Eight Patterns of Fitness, part 3 of 8: Nutrition

Our modern world has made eating far more complicated than it needs to, and has become a point of confusion for many people. There is no mystery: Eat healthful foods in sensible quantities.

Eight Patterns of Fitness, part 4 of 8: Strength

Strength is not only the ability to move against forces, it’s also an important factor in control, stabilization and power.

Eight Patterns of Fitness, part 5 of 8: Conditioning

For decades the assumption has been that performing monotonously at a medium pace for a long time is a great way to burn fat; however, the more current research shows that this is not necessarily true.

Eight Patterns of Fitness, part 6 of 8: Flexibility

Doing a minute of bouncing around and grunting at the beginning, and then skipping it outright at the end is definitely not helping you. Healthy joints that perform efficient movements require a balance of strength and flexibility.

Eight Patterns of Fitness, part 7 of 8: Focus

Set aside a few minutes each day to experience something sensuous, or to allow your mind to wander. It isn’t good for your focus to always be so focused. You really do need to take your lunch break.

Eight Patterns of Fitness, part 8 of 8: Rest

Sleep, fasting between meals, time between sets during exercise sessions, days between training, personal time, play: All of these (and more) are opportunities to give yourself the ability to process and recover from all the living you do.

The second pattern is hydration. You can survive only a few days without water. Most people generally take drinking for granted, because access to clean water is (supposedly) ubiquitous. While consuming a wide range and vast amount of beverages that contain water, many people presume they have adequate hydration. In fact, many people no longer know how to differentiate thirst from hunger. But there are some strategies to consider here.

Water is essential for practically every process in your body. The largest part of you is water. It’s rather strange to think of yourself as a big container holding little blops of water together, but that’s what we are on a fundamental level. The systems, organs, cells and fluids in your body require a steady stream of water.

Caloric beverages

One of the often overlooked sources of excess calories in the diet is liquid foods. If you drink something, and if it isn’t water, pause before you have it. It will have other ingredients, many of which have may have no nutritional value, but which affect your metabolism nonetheless. This is true of many drinks, pourable yogurt products, alcohol, sauces, marinades, and salad dressings.

“Sports” beverages, “health” beverages, sodas, flavored waters, juice, juice beverages (whatever that means), coffees, and teas that are already prepared when you buy them are often laden with sugar, artificial sweeteners and/or caffeine. You should not count it toward a healthful pattern of hydration. Do they contain water? Yes. But their other ingredients are not helpful. Sweeteners cause fat storage and undermine the microflora in your bowels. Caffeine is a diuretic, so drinking it can actually dehydrate you. The same is true of alcohol.

 

Symptoms of dehydration

There are many symptoms of dehydration, because a lack of water impacts everything in your body. Are you hungry, despite eating recently? Do you have a headache? Do you feel dull or sleepy? Are you having trouble sleeping? Is your spit too thick? Is your nose, mouth and/or throat scratchy and dry? Are you grouchy? Do your eyes feel sticky? Is your skin ashy? Are your lips puckered, deflated, or chapped? Are you lethargic? Is your urine dark and/or smelly? Are you constipated? These are all symptoms of dehydration. If you are experiencing any of these, take a moment right now to go drink a glass of water. Check back with yourself in five minutes. Do you feel any better? It never hurts to try.

Improving hydration

If you want to drink more water, but can’t seem to commit to it, set small milestones. As with everything in fitness, your goal should ultimately be to adopt a healthier lifestyle. This takes time. Gradual and cumulative substitution, as well as journaling are very helpful. Consider alarms and reminders, if you don’t already have so many that you ignore them.

On day one, consider your beverage choices for the day. At one of those points where you would drink something else, have a glass of water. Just that new addition for the day (on top of any servings of water you are already in the habit of drinking). The next day accumulate another substitution. Now you have two. And on and on, until you have eliminated most/all the additives and achieved consistent hydration.

Benefits

When you properly hydrate, your skin will feel more resilient. Your lips will be cushiony, and the skin will not be tight or cracked. You’ll have more energy, strength and endurance. Your mood and concentration could improve. Joint pain, sticky eyes and dry mouth may decrease. Your bathroom breaks will be more pleasant (for everyone). When you drink enough water, you will experience better digestion, have faster results losing fat and/or adding muscle, and enjoy an improved sense of well being.

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Jack Kirven is a gay mobile trainer in Charlotte, NC who gives a free gift to people who subscribe to our newsletter.

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