It has often been said that how we respond to our environment defines us. But, what if we did not have to think about our responses….what if we have been so consistent that what was thrown at us could be handled much easier? The COVID-19 virus has sent our world for a spin and ultimately has changed our way of life. What has happened is that our circumstances have just defined us. Just 3 months ago we were in arguably the best and most efficient times ever, in regard to health and finances . Everyone had jobs, most had gym memberships and were working hard to better themselves physically and mentally. Fast forward to today and many are hanging on by a thread. There have been thousands of deaths and suicides due to our environmental happenings, many have dropped their gym memberships and a large majority have stopped pushing themselves physically and mentally as they were previously. This is undulating behavior, not healthy consistent behavior.

As we see more and more environmental changes occurring, it is clear that we have one option and that is to maintain our health…..physically and mentally. The only way to do this is to drive consistency in our lives. If we do not start with building blocks then our consistent healthy lifestyle will crumble under undue stress….just like has happened with COVID-19. Here are my 4 steps for you to use to help you build CONSISTENCY in your health over the coming weeks. Hammering these out will help you build a solid foundation to build off of going forward. It is important that you implement these now so that you will be able to handle the stresses that life throws our way.

  1. Plan your nutrition
    • Understand the things that you will be putting into your body. If you know you will be having bread, rice, pizza, or high carbohydrate foods for dinner, then plan the rest of your day accordingly. Eat higher amounts of fats and proteins the other times of the day so that you will have a good balance. The better the nutritional balance, the better the mental health, hence the blood-brain barrier function.
  2. Focus on your mobility weaknesses
    • One way to prevent injury and to keep yourself performing at the highest of levels is to have adequate mobility. If you are lacking mobility in a particular joint, then spend 10 minutes per day hammering out your weaknesses. As a physical therapist, the common areas that I see are:
      • Ankle Dorsiflexion – affects bottom of squat, snatches, squat cleans
      • Thoracic Extension – affects overhead positions in american kettlebell swings, snatches, overhead squats, overhead presses
      • Shoulder Internal Rotation – can cause rotator cuff strain, causes difficulty keeping bar close on cleans and snatches
      • Hip internal rotation – prevents deep squatting and causes strain on the low back.
  3. Challenge yourself physically each day
    • Pick a WOD (workout of the day) that you can complete. This can be any duration of time but you SHOULD be working out each day. Not just for your physicality but more for your mental health. If you complete a workout it has been shown to produce a positive after effect for energy levels and emotional/mental capacity.
  4. Rest
    • If you are not actively resting then you are missing a large component of your health spectrum. Rest does not necessarily mean clicking your favorite Netflix flick on and chilling….it means being intentional about your recovery. Spend 30 minutes in meditation with the ‘Headspace’ app, go for a 30 minute walk at a moderate pace, perform yin-yoga for 30 minutes, practice diaphragmatic breathing, sleep a little longer in a cool and dark room. Properly structured rest can help you prevent injury and NOT have to attend physical therapy sessions as often.