Are you sacrificing your general health in order to put the most into your training? Putting all your energy into intense training sessions and general gym savagery? Are you letting your nutrition, rest, and emotional wellbeing take the backseat as you strive for your goal of martial arts perfection?
If you are… Well, that’s ok.
As athletes, it's easy to be caught up in the hustle and grind of our training. Showing up day after day, making lifestyle sacrifices and putting in the work to be the best that we can possibly be. This is combat sports. This is the way.
So as another World Health Day is upon us, it's time to refresh and reaffirm our ideas of what it means to live healthy, happy lives, fueling our daily performance and setting ourselves up for longevity not only in sport but in life. In this, we’ll cover what we see as the most essential pillars of a holistic health approach, so you can tick all the boxes in feeling your best.
The interconnectedness of health, performance, and nutrition.
When it comes to our health, it’s important to keep in mind that proper nutrition, rest, and recovery play a role just as important as doing the hard yards in the gym.
And our health isn’t just measured by how well we can physically perform in the gym - our everyday health and happiness is the fuel to the fire that gives us the energy and motivation to push the boundaries and chase our goals.
Happy life, happy training.
What many of us don’t realise is that in order to train our best and make the most of our time in the gym, we need to be happy and healthy in the hours that we’re spending outside of the gym.
It makes sense right? To make the most of the motivation we feel on our good days, and cultivate the discipline necessary on our off days, we have to be fighting-fit in not just in the physical aspects, but in the mental, emotional and nutritional aspects as well to fuel our fighting spirit. To fuel our passion.
The Importance of Diet
The gym isn't the only place where our nutrition comes into play. Optimum nutrition plays a vital role in fortifying our mental health and happiness, and without it, we can fall into patterns of stress, fatigue, anxiety, and depression.
Proper nutrition is all about balance. By choosing to eat nutrient-dense foods, we’re supplying our bodies with the essential building blocks to show up and perform at our best in all areas of life.
Here are some key aspects of nutrition to consider.
Foods rich in protein, carbs, and fats are essential to energising athletic performance and allowing for effective recovery.
Micronutrients in the form of vitamins and minerals play a pivotal role in helping us prevent and treat common colds and other illnesses and should be a part of everyone's diet. Specifically, ensuring your diet contains adequate amounts of zinc, vitamin C and vitamin D will help to bullet-proof your immunity so that you can spend less time on the sidelines and more times on the mats.
Rich sources of fibre that can be found in certain foods and vegetables are essential for supporting a healthy ecosystem in our gut by feeding and fuelling good bacteria. Plus, fruits and veggies feed our bodies with a range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. So if you’re not hitting your recommended two serves of fruit and five serves of veg each day, this is something to consider for healthy and convenient. snacks between meals.
Water makes up about 60-70 per cent of our body weight and is involved in almost every process that occurs in the body. Despite the importance of water, most people don’t drink enough of it and many fitness-minded individuals unknowingly fall victim to dehydration.
When you become dehydrated, your wellbeing and performance suffer in just about every aspect. Studies have shown that a 2% reduction in body fluids can result in performance decreases of up to 15-20%. Therefore, to ensure optimal wellbeing, hydration is key.
The results you gain from supplementation vary from person to person depending on many factors that vary from person to person, such as diet, exercise habits, and level of training intensity. Nutritional supplements are available to help take your results to the next level, however, consistency is key. You won’t reap the benefits from using a supplement once a week.
Pro Tip: Boost your output and overall health with our BCAA formula and intraworkout, CMBT Octane. This revolutionary supplement contains six organic, adaptogenic mushrooms to help overcome physical and mental stress. PLUS, it featues CellCharge™ Super Nutrient Booster, one of the most potent sources of natural fulvic acid in the world, used to increase energy, improve gut health, increase nutrient absorption, reduce inflammation, boost immunity and support recovery.
Supporting your mental and emotional wellness
If you’re starting to feel burned out by all the doom and gloom flooding your feed in the recent months, you’re not alone. Never before have humans had to deal with something like the social media algorithms that deliver content to our devices, and constant bombardment with tragedy and negativity can be too much to bear.
In this, it's important to set time aside to practice stillness in the form of meditation and mindfulness. Spending time away from screens and grounded in the reality of the present is a method of wellness that’s been proven over centuries of practice, helping people to cultivate a calm yet focused mind and improve their mood.
But sometimes, things just get hard. That's why its important to keep strong connections in times of hardship. Be open and honest with yourself about the struggles you are facing, practise acceptance, and reach out to people when when you need help.
Remember, a problem shared is a problem halved.
Being under stress for an extended period of time leaves your more susceptible to health threats, including everything from the common cold to more serious diseases. This is because a steady cascade of stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, weaken the immune system. Over time, chronic stress may put you at greater risk of heart disease and hypertension, and it can also have an effect on white blood cell function.
In order to fortify your health, look to develop a method for managing your stress levels. Whether it be getting a solid training session in, practising some meditation or mindfulness or taking some time for yourself to read a book or watch a movie - allow yourself the space to exist in a state of calm, even if its just for a little while. Your body will thank you!
The importance of sleep
Over the past few decades, sleep science has developed immensely, revealing the undeniable importance of sleep for virtually every system of the body. As research has delved further into the links between sleep and physical health, it has become increasingly clear that sleep and the immune system are closely connected.
Sleep and the immune system have a bidirectional relationship. Immune response, such as that caused by a viral infection, can affect sleep. At the same time, consistent sleep strengthens the immune system, allowing for balanced and effective immune function.
Lack of sleep, on the other hand, can throw off the immune system. Evidence indicates that in both the short- and long-term, sleep deprivation can make you sick. Aim to get between 7-9 hours of sleep every night.
Each of these points are cogs in the machine of our health. If any one of them aren’t are lacking or not functioning, our entire wellbeing can suffer. So if your ultimate goal is to perfect your training and become as much of a weapon as humanly possible, then your goal should equally be to take care of your general wellbeing too.