The human body is an amazing creation that functions best under a variety of particular conditions. Fitness professionals primarily focus on the specific design of exercise programs, assessments and the development of clients’ fitness levels. While a well-designed exercise program is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle, there are a number of other important health behaviors that greatly contribute to optimal functioning of the human body.
Actively incorporating a variety of healthy habits—in addition to exercising—promotes greater success and improvement in our clients’ overall physical fitness and performance levels. Furthermore, physical gains may be more significant and sustainable when more complete healthful conditions are provided for the human body to flourish.
Here are five crucial healthy habits every fitness professional should actively promote as part of a clients’ fitness program:
1. Sleep at least seven to eight hours per night.
For more information on sleep, check out my “Everything You Need to Know About Rest” article.
2. Drink at least nine to 13 cups of water per day.
3. Eat at least three to five servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
4. Abstain from harmful substances.
Smoking and using drugs, and the consumption of alcohol, caffeine and sodas all can have detrimental and harmful effects on the body. While some argue that everything in moderation is just fine, here are two questions worth asking:
1. Could the human body perform better during fitness sessions and throughout the day if harmful substances were completely avoided?
2. Do the benefits of using or consuming harmful substances outweigh the costs?
Try answering these questions with your clients, writing down the benefits and consequence of drinking alcohol or caffeinated beverages, for example. Then evaluate whether the choice to drink these beverages actually helps one to be more successful and productive, and to experience optimal functioning in relation to physical fitness.
5. Sit less and move more.