Do you start each new year vowing to lose weight or improve your training performance? If so, are you among the 80 per cent of the population whose New Year’s resolutions failed by February?

One of the reasons so many health and performance-related resolutions fail is because they’re too unrealistic and unsustainable. The bigger the goal – the bigger the investment. Most people don’t have a clear view of the work they have to do for the desired outcome. You have a better chance of success if you focus on building enduring habits, taking small daily actions that move you forward towards your goals.

As I always stress, it’s not just one thing that will make you excel — you need to cover the basics because everything is connected. This article covers some of these basics that can bring you closer to not only achieve excellence in performance but optimum health.

1: Improve your gut health

The gut is central to the whole body, playing a fundamental role in overall physical and mental health. That’s why I typically advise my clients who want to address their health and performance goals to start with their gut.

The gut microbiome and intestinal barrier are two related determinants of gut health. When either is compromised, poor gut health may lead to widespread inflammation and many chronic health problems.

Many factors that harm the gut microbiome also damage the intestinal barrier, such as excess stress, poor sleep, antibiotics and a poor diet. Inflammatory foods in particular, such as refined carbohydrates, sugar, alcohol, and gluten can compromise the intestinal barrier and lead to leaky gut, a condition in which toxins and bacteria leak into the bloodstream.

Adopting good sleep habits, managing stress, and eating a healthy diet will help improve your gut health. Additionally, supplements can help replenish your body with micronutrients and more good bacteria to rebalance the gut. Two excellent choices are Designs for Health GI Revive™ and Chlorenergy.

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2: Adopt healthy sleep practices 

Sleep is one of the most potent components for mental and physical health. Sleep gives your body time to recover, conserve energy, and repair. It is during deep and restful sleep that your body produces growth hormone to repair damaged areas, build muscles, and keep your body healthy.

Any disruptions to your circadian rhythm conflict with your natural sleep patterns and force your body to try to adjust. For example, you may have more difficulty thinking and performing well when you’re jet-lagged.

However, symptoms can occur anytime your sleep patterns are disrupted, as well as impeding crucial recovery time. That’s why keeping a regular sleep schedule and allowing plenty of time for quality sleep helps you to perform best.

Along with good sleep practices and habits, sleep-promoting supplements can provide some extra help.

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3: Balance your blood glucose levels

Chronic high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) is responsible for the spiralling rates of diabetes today and other serious health issues like heart disease. However, any blood glucose imbalance can cause symptoms that affect your physical and mental abilities.

For example, if you go to sleep at night with high blood sugar, you’ll be dehydrated in the morning, which can impact athletic performance. Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) can also diminish sports skill performance and cognitive function. (2) Among other factors, physical activity can lower your blood sugar up to 24 hours or more after your workout making your body more sensitive to insulin. (3)

Diet, sleep, and work-life balance are all crucial elements in blood sugar management. Monitoring your blood glucose levels with a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) can help you see how food and daily activities affect your sugar levels and thus take proactive measures.

Further, supplementation can support healthy blood glucose levels and replenish micronutrient levels. Two products I recommend are Thorne MediBolic and ATP Lab Gluco Control.

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4: Reduce your toxic burden

Toxin overload in your body can impair your health and performance in many ways. Not only can it affect your ability to train and focus, but a cumulative toxic burden is an agent to serious health problems.

Your body’s main detox organs — the gut, the kidneys, the liver, and lungs — are essential for protecting your body from toxins. When any one of them is not working properly, accumulated toxins recirculate in the body through the bloodstream.

In addition to your detox organs, methylation is a critical biochemical process that helps to remove toxins from the body. Impaired methylation can block or inhibit detoxification. (4) Supplementing with YPSI ‘Methyl Komplex can help optimize methylation in your body.

Appropriate nutritional support also helps balance and support the body’s detoxification systems. Antioxidants like Designs for Health N-Acetyl Cysteine and YPSI Chlorella-Komplex work to protect against toxin exposure and strengthen your body’s ability to detoxify.

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5: Enhance your performance with supplementation

Supplements help replenish essential micronutrients necessary for your body to function well. In an ideal world, you could get most of the micronutrients you need from your food. However, levels of micronutrients in our food have decreased from modern environmental practices, increasing the importance of supplementation.

Supplements are also helpful to enhance athletic performance. These are among my favourites:

  • YPSI Amino Elektrolyt Komplex enhances performance before, during and/or between exercise sessions, and
  • ATP Lab E-nos, a stimulant-free pre-workout formula improves muscle performance, increases workout capacity immediately, reduces lactate build-up and ‘exercise fatigue’, and enhances body aesthetics by increasing vasodilation.

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We’re always here to help. If you have any questions or would like advice about supplements, nutrition, or training, please book in for a consultation.

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