Sussex Performance Centre

How To Have Your Most Healthy Year Ever Whilst Still Living Your Life

We all want to have fun and enjoy life as much as possible. However, there often can be a fine line between letting that compromise your health. This article breaks down the easiest ways to progress in the gym, eat tasty food, fuel your performance, sleep well and have plenty of energy for life.

What you can do daily

Aim for walking in fresh air outdoors everyday. Spending time in forests, hiking in mountains, and just being outside can lead to significant health benefits. Studies have shown that walking in the woods can improve blood pressure, boost mental health, and decrease cancer risk.

Eat a minimum of two meals containing vegetables. A diet rich in vegetables and fruits can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower risk of eye and digestive problems, and have a positive effect upon blood sugar, which can help keep appetite in check.

Drink 3 litres of water. Drinking enough water each day is crucial for many reasons: to regulate body temperature, keep joints lubricated, prevent infections, deliver nutrients to cells, and keep organs functioning properly. Being well-hydrated also improves sleep quality, cognition, and mood

Learn to destress through relaxation, exercise, socialising and seeing family. Research suggests that people who undergo relaxation training see better immune system outcomes. The reasons for these improvements vary, with rest influencing everything from blood pressure to sleep quality.

Turn off your phone 2 hours before bedtime. There’s evidence blue light could lead to permanent vision changes and impaired sleep. Almost all blue light passes straight through to the back of your retina. Some research has shown blue light may increase the risk of macular degeneration, a disease of the retina.

Making progress in the gym

Resistance train 2-3x per week with the goal of improving how you move (weight up, reps, timed rest etc). Alongside increases in lean muscle, resistance training may promote bone development, with studies showing 1% to 3% increase in bone mineral density. Resistance training may be effective for reducing low back pain and easing discomfort associated with arthritis and fibromyalgia and has been shown to reverse specific aging factors in skeletal muscle.

Perform conditioning that gets your heart rate elevated. In a study that highlights the efficacy of HIIT, subjects carrying out HIIT demonstrated improvements in endothelial function, VO2 max, body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage, blood pressure and glucose regulation, more so than a group just performing steady state cardiovascular training.

Keep supple. Activities that lengthen and stretch muscles can help you prevent injuries, back pain, and balance problems. A well-stretched muscle more easily achieves its full range of motion. This improves athletic performance — imagine an easier, less restricted golf swing or tennis serve — and functional abilities, such as reaching, bending, or stooping during daily tasks.

Train hard, get in and out of the gym. Learn to balance exercise with other areas of your life and you will never see it as a chore again. It becomes much more pleasurable this way.


Download our recipe guides. Make the food you consume taste nice whilst being good for you all at the same time.

Avoid snacking. New research found that eating snacks high in sugar or other starches after any meal was associated with a 50 percent increased risk of mortality and up to 57 percent increased risk of a heart disease-related death.

Learn to start cooking at least one meal per day. When you’re having a bad day, science says you shouldn’t automatically collapse on the couch; it might be a better idea to break out the recipe books. The emotional benefits of cooking are myriad; many programs around the world help people with mood disorders and other issues get into the kitchen as part of their treatment, a practice known as “therapeutic cooking.” And it’s something you can replicate in your own home, with a bit of effort and an ingredient or two.

Include protein with every meal. High protein diets have been shown to be an effective weight-loss strategy for overweight and obese individuals by reducing hunger. They also produce greater satiety in comparison to carbohydrates and fats and increase energy expenditure and diet-induced thermogenesis

Know that one “bad” meal won’t break you. If you are consistent with your food intake, you know that eating a meal with friends and family that you enjoy will not counteract all the hard work you have been doing.

Save alcohol for social occasions. A new study analyzed data from nearly 600,000 people who drank at least some alcohol, and monitored their health over time. They found that regardless of gender, higher alcohol consumption was associated with a higher rate of stroke, fatal aneurysms, heart failure, and death.

Fuel your performance

Sleep well

Sleep in a very dark room. Now, a recent study is exposing a new potential benefit of sleeping in a dark room that goes beyond feeling rested the next morning. The study, which was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, discovered that exposure to light while sleeping is linked to an increased risk of depression.

Sleep in a very cool room. One study found that sleeping in a room set to 66 degrees can help prevent certain metabolic diseases, like diabetes. Participants not only burned more calories when they were awake, but also nearly doubled their amount of brown fat, or good fat, which allows the body store fewer calories.

Avoid watching TV/phone in bed. A 2019 study found that sleeping with artificial light, such as that from the TV, was associated with an increased risk for obesity. The study found that this risk was increased even if there was no decrease in the quantity or quality of sleep that participants received.

Keep to the same sleep patterns as much as possible. People who have optimal bedtime routines have been found to perform better in tests of executive function, working memory, inhibition, attention, and cognitive flexibility. They also score higher in readiness and have better dental health.

Energy for life

Socialise! Communicate face to face with friends and family. Socialisation can help improve our mental and emotional health. Studies show – and wisdom confirms – being social decreases depression. Socialization also improves overall mental health

Learn to switch off social media. Researchers have looked at general anxiety provoked by social media, characterised by feelings of restlessness and worry, and trouble sleeping and concentrating. A study published in the journal Computers and Human Behaviour found that people who report using seven or more social media platforms were more than three times as likely as people using 0-2 platforms to have high levels of general anxiety symptoms.

Do 90% of the points above and you will have your best year too date! Let SPC help you make 2022 the best year ever!



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