Control What You Can, Buffer What You Cannot
By Colin Farrell
There are three major areas that often need to be addressed when looking at how to maximize one’s health:
- Fitness Regime
Fitness regime and nutrition are immensely important, and–arguably–the two biggest pieces of the puzzle. However, one’s fitness regime occupies, maybe, 3-5 hours of each week for the average CrossFitter. The importance of eating real food and avoiding sugar cannot possibly be understated, but there are vast amounts of time spent outside of the gym, and not eating, that need to be considered as well.
How much of your day are you sitting? What is your quality of sleep like? Are you setting and tracking goals for yourself? Are you having a cup of coffee at 2pm to make it through the last hours of your work day? Are you doing any sort of stretching or mobility work at the end of the day?
Do an evaluation of your day, break it down into progressively smaller portions. Once broken down, ask yourself, “Is this the most optimal way I can be doing this?” Notice, the question is not, “Is this the most optimal way to do it?” Some things are simply not realistic, so we have to control what is possible to control, and do the best we can to buffer against the things that our beyond our control. As an example, if you have young children, getting sound sleep for 8+ hours is often a near impossibility. However, you can control the temperature in the room and do some light foam rolling to increase the quality of the sleep you can actually get.
What is your morning routine like? Your commute? Your day at the office? Do you come early or stay late at the gym; what do you do with that time? What are your goals for this month, this year… personally, professionally, and health-wise? Do you do meal prep or grocery shopping on the weekends? Break each piece down, and figure out the best way for you to be able to do it, and make it a habit. Make it a routine.
Building routine into your week/day can buy you a good amount of time back, and with just little bit of extra time each day, a lot can be accomplished. For example, doing meal prep or laying out your outfits for work for the week on Sunday can buy you back anywhere between 15 minutes to upwards of an hour each day. Let’s average that to 30 minutes of saved time each day. That’s thirty extra minutes to do some ROMWOD, come to the gym a little early to work on getting that first pull-up, or spend a little extra time with the kids, your roommate, or a good book.
If you spent an extra 30 minutes a day working on pull-up progressions, listening to a Great Course on Audible, hanging out with your family, or knocking out some movement and mobility work, your health and fitness are surely to increase.
Get a standing desk at work. Dial in your sleep hygiene. Set up a system of “eat this, not that” for yourself if you must eat out while on the road or at work. Set goals for yourself, and actually track your progress. Keep track of how much sleep you are getting, and the increase it if you can.
If you’re coming to the gym 3-5 times a week, eating real food and avoiding sugar, you have some of the difficult parts of staying healthy nailed down. While you continue to work on that, start dialing in these other little bits and pieces of your life outside the gym and outside of the kitchen. You’d be surprised at what that can do for you physical and mental well-being.