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Eat, Train, Sleep, Repeat: Are You Striking a Healthy Balance?

Hey guys, I’m back after a super busy week & weekend!I’ve been working my butt off on a film analysis for uni that I realised was due… 2 days before it was actually due.

Well, okay, when I say “working my butt off”, it’s all relative really. I define that as punching out 1000 words in about a total of two hours over the weekend (most likely less admittedly) and referring to relevant readings maybe twice, if I’m lucky. I actually had to check half way through that I was talking about the right movie… Hello, high distinction, you are clearly mine!

Pffsshh, tutors love me. Such a teachers pet. Other than that, I’ve been working a lot, and on my Saturday shift my manager did the cutest, most gorgeous thing!

I just have to share it, because I swear it restored my faith in humanity! (Hey, retail will make you a bitter, cynical person…)She’s new, and I personally love her, and we get on really well. We have not yet learned the art of shutting up and actually doing our job?! Eh, in time. Anyway, she said she was just popping out for a second (all elusive and mysterious-like), I was a bit confused but didn’t think much of it. Then, at the end of my shift I was exhausted and ready to drop dead, and she gave me a pressie she’d picked up! It was this beautiful turquoise stone from Just Gems (this cute little jewellery shop) and wrote a little note saying, “Thanks so much for all your hard work this week, you’ve been amazing! I chose this stone because it means success and ambition, and can also be used in moments where peace and calm is needed.” Officially. My. Favourite. Person. Ever. Well, okay, definitely my top 10! Some people are just… genuinely nice people. Simple as that.

Put a huge, goofy smile on my face for the rest of the night!

Okay, so after my little cutest-moment-of-the-week award there, I just wanted to talk about a little something that is really hard to get right. Hell, I can’t quite pull it off either!But I’m referring to that elusive trifecta: eat, sleep, train. In all its perfect-balance glory. If you’re into fitness and healthy living in general, you know it’s something we all strive for, but it’s incredibly difficult to actually achieve! Whether you fuelled up for your last run with a piece of ice cream cake, after a big night out, still hungover; or you’re a clean eating machine who gets at least 10 hours sleep every single night, and looks awesome in pink booty shorts at the gym (who is this person and do you even exist?! Email me!); we could all use just a little bit of advice to go for gold with our eating, training AND sleeping.

THE EATING PART:We all know how important our nutrition is for both our performance and our recovery, but what exactly should we be doing?! I explore this little doozy.Before a workout:It’s really important here to snuggle up with both complex and simple carbs, and become best friends. This ensures that you get that slow, steady energy release during your workout to keep you going and going and going (like the Duracel bunny, if you like).Some ideas? How about noshing on some of these tasty morsels before a workout:A slice of whole wheat toast with sliced banana on top, and a dash of cinnamonA small bowl of oatmealA piece of fruitA granola/muesli barAfter a workout:Right about now is that magical window you should be taking advantage of to build that muscle and recover to the best of your ability! The best thing to do here, is to get a meal in with a great balance of carbohydrates and protein. This will ensure both your glycogen stores are replenished, and your feeding your muscles with that quality protein to help them growww! here are some awesome combos:Yoghurt with some almonds and fruitPeanut butter sandwich (um, yes please?!)Chicken breast with veggies and brown riceOatmeal is quite possibly the best thing to happen to me. Drastic? Whatevs.(source)

THE TRAINING PART:Oh my gosh, I could write about 50 separate posts just on this topic alone! So I’ll just take it back to basics here. The best training regime incorporates all aspects of werkin’ that body of yours. That means strength and resistance training, cardiovascular/HIIT training, and the often forgotten about stretching (don’t worry yoga and pilates, I still love you!)So aim for at least 2-3 strength training sessions a week, and try to get in all those major muscle groups! And dont forget to rock those new Asics in the gym ladies – I got mine from The Running Shop – cool!Don’t be like one of those guys in the gym who forgets he even has legs: does chicken legs with the most massive biceps it looks like he’s about to topple over himself ring a bell? Uh huh.With cardio, you don’t need to overdo it, because it’ll starting chipping away at that precious muscle you’ve worked so hard to build! So aim for 3-4 sessions a week, and they don’t really need to be more than 30 minutes at a time. This could be swimming, running or spinning intervals, as a bit of an example.And now for the bit that I’m absolutely horrible at. Who’s guilty of letting life get in the way, and letting stretching fall to the wayside? (waves hand sheepishly).Stretching is so important to keep nice and flexible, and it also helps in injury prevention (Yeah okay, I could learn a lesson or two here…)Yoga and pilates ate a great way to get in an awesome stretch, and a sneaky strength workout too. Win-win!

THE SLEEPING PART:You’ve got a uni assessment due at 9am you forgot about, you’ve got a work presentation the next day, or you’re a new mum/dad and your bub thinks it’s highly entertaining to scream as loud as possible as soon as you’ve fallen into a kinda-sorta-peaceful slumber. Can you relate to any of these?Life can definitely get in the way of good quality sleep sometimes, and that’s okay, it happens. I’m a prime example!(Hello, caffeine high leaving me bouncing off the walls at 3am). During deep sleep our body repairs itself, and produces new little cell armies. We gotta let this happen, especially if we’re really active and workout on a regular basis. Of course eating well helps this process a lot too.Aim for at least 8 hours of sleep a night, but if you can only manage to snatch 7, don’t hit yourself over the head with a frying pan or anything. It’s alright, but it’s just something to try for most of the time!Me all day err’day. Except with more hair. And not a guy

I hope this was helpful to someone! I’m not claiming to be a professional or expert by any means, but this info is all either from my own experience or from my extensive research. Which part do you fall short in?Which part do you kick butt in?!Hope you all had a lovely/awesome/relaxing/party-party weekend!Back to reality tomorrow. Many deep breaths will be taken in the next hour.

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