First things first: what the heck is a health and fitness reboot?
Simply put, it refers to the process of evaluating your current health and fitness level to identify issues, come up with solutions, and then implement those solutions so you can improve.
And now that we got the definition out of the way, it’s time to find out if you actually need to do it.
Key Areas to Focus On
Before we get to the signs, though, we have to first identify the three areas you need to focus on during your health and fitness reboot.
- Nutrition (including hydration)
As long as you get these three things right, you’ll be fitter, healthier, stronger, and more productive than you ever thought possible.
And with that said, we move on to the first sign you need a health and fitness reboot:
Sign #1: You’re Always Low on Energy
Do you constantly struggle to get anything done because you feel lethargic all the time? Well, it’s probably time for you to reevaluate (and improve) your sleep and nutrition.
You see, your body is a machine. If you don’t give it the fuel it needs to run (i.e., quality food), it won’t get you anywhere. The same thing happens when you don’t charge it up by getting enough sleep.
But what kind of food and how much sleep do you actually need?
In terms of your diet, all you really need to do is get a mix of the essential macronutrients carbs, protein, and healthy fats, preferably from wholesome sources—which usually also happen to contain all sorts of micronutrients (i.e., vitamins and minerals) that are also good for you.
Junk food like pizza, cake, and chips are okay too but only as occasional cheat meals because they can cause cravings and hormonal imbalances that would screw your body up.
As for sleep, on the other hand, individuals under 64 years of age should get anywhere between seven and nine hours per night, while those 65 and up need seven to eight, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
Sign #2: You’re Getting Sick More Frequently
It doesn’t even have to be something serious. A simple cold or fever that happens more and more frequently may be your body’s way of telling you to take a step back and see if you’re doing anything wrong.
Are you eating right? Are you exercising regularly? Are you getting enough sleep? If you answered no to any of these questions, then you may want to make a change before things get worse.
You see, the strength of your body’s natural defenses against diseases rely heavily on your overall health—which, in turn, depends primarily on the food you eat, the amount of vigorous physical activity you do, and the hours of quality shut-eye you get per night.
Sign #3: You’re Always Bloated
A bad diet is one of the most common causes of bloating—especially if you have food intolerances.
So, if you’re always gassy, then the first thing you should do is cut the amount of junk food you eat and replace it with more wholesome alternatives like lean meats, fruits, and vegetables. Just make sure you don’t go overboard with your fiber consumption because that can cause bloating too.
If that doesn’t do the job, then you need to also see your doctor so you can find out if you have food intolerances or any other stomach-related issues.
Sign #4: You’re Breaking Out
Another sign that you need to fix your diet is acne.
You see, things like refined sugars and excess dietary fat—which are both found in abundance in most junk food—are known to cause breakouts. So, the less bad stuff you eat, the less acne- prone you’ll be.
Of course, if you have food intolerances, you’ll need to avoid foods that cause a negative reaction in your body too. Talk to your doctor about it so you know exactly which foods, if any, you need to stay away from.
Sign #5: You Can’t Seem to Focus
Poor nutrition and lack of sleep are both known to cause impaired cognitive function. So, if you’re struggling to stay alert throughout the day, then you may need to start supplying your brain with more quality fuel in the form of nutritious foods and giving it time to recharge by getting enough shut-eye at night.
And if you want to further improve your focus, visual learning, and decision-making skills, then you should try squeezing a quick morning workout in before starting your day. Studies show that moderately intense physical activity works better than caffeine at boosting cognitive function.
Sign #6: You’re Never in the Mood to Do Anything
Always in a bad mood? That can also be linked to a poor diet, inadequate sleep, and lack of exercise.
Not getting enough quality calories means you don’t have the energy to do anything. Insufficient sleep, on the other hand, causes your emotions to go haywire.
Now, as for lack of exercise, things work a bit differently. Its absence doesn’t actually affect your mood, but getting more of it causes your body to release more endorphins, which are known as feel-good hormones.
Long story short, if you’re tired of being in a bad mood all the time, then you need to start eating better, sleeping more, and getting more exercise.
Sign #7: You’re Irritable
This one has more to do with lack of sleep than the other two keys to health and fitness.
You see, getting insufficient shut-eye negatively impacts your ability to handle stress, especially when it happens over an extended period of time. Things that you’d normally just let go would suddenly feel way more overwhelming.
To make matters worse, the more stressed you are, the more challenging it would be for you to fall asleep at night. And even when you do manage to get some shut-eye, it still wouldn’t be as restful as when you’re in a more positive state of mind. The result? You wake up crankier and more easily stressed the next day.
The goal, then, is to make it a habit to get at least seven hours of sleep a night so you can prevent this vicious cycle from ever starting—or from gaining even more momentum if it has already begun.
Sign #8: You’re Getting Softer
Another obvious sign that you need to get your nutrition, sleep, and fitness right is increased fat storage.
In terms of nutrition, the more junk food and excess calories you consume, the more prone you become to not only storing more fat, but also developing serious medical conditions such as heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes.
In terms of fitness, the less you work out, the more fat you store, the weaker your bones become, the more lean muscle you lose, and the slower your metabolism gets as you age. Of course, all these things, in turn, increase your risk for various illnesses and even injuries.
Finally, in terms of sleep, the less shut-eye you get at night, the higher your blood sugar and cortisol levels go, which, in turn, can cause diabetes and increased fat storage, respectively.
Sign #9: You’re Getting Injured From Doing Everyday Tasks
Have you ever pulled a muscle from picking up a grocery bag or strained your back from simply turning a little too fast?
We’ve got bad news for you: you are out of shape. It doesn’t matter if you’re not overweight. The fact that you’re starting to struggle with basic everyday movements means you need to get a little stronger, more mobile, and more flexible.
To do that, you’ll need a sensible workout plan that’s specifically designed to make you a little more ‘functional’ through compound movements that cover all seven fundamental human movements:
Sign #10: You’re No Longer Able to Move Without Getting Winded
If you’re getting winded from climbing up a flight of stairs or, worse, from just walking around the mall, then it’s probably time to start changing your approach to health and fitness. That’s your body clearly crying for help.
But what is it exactly that causes you to gas out from performing simple everyday tasks anyway?
Well, while lack of sleep and poor nutrition definitely play a role, it has more to do with your cardiovascular and muscular endurance—or lack thereof. SImply put, your heart and muscles are so underdeveloped and weak that they’re struggling to perform basic movements.
Fortunately, the solution is simple: do more cardiovascular and resistance training. Talk to your trainer if you need help designing a training program.
So, How Did You Do?
How many of the 10 signs we’ve shown you today do you have? If you have zero, then congratulations! You’re on the right track! Just keep doing what you’re doing now and you’ll be just fine.
If you got at least one, though, then you definitely need to do a health and fitness reboot ASAP.