Following on from last weeks post (which has become our most shared and liked Blog of 2016) I am going to finish with the final 3 lessons I will be bringing back from Mauritius with me.
As said previously, things are obviously very different when we return to our ‘normal’ routine but I am going to endeavour to keep up these routines and patterns of behaviour when back at work because I see (and have felt) the huge value in them. As with the previous blog, if any of these points will help you please give them a go or share with friends/family that they may help. Nothing amazing, nothing new, nothing revolutionary just good old fashioned common sense which sometimes slips by the wayside.
Here we go……….
One of the beautiful things about being out here is we have hardly turned the TV on. There are a few foreign language channels and CNN for English speaking news.
I had already made a commitment before coming away to read as much as possible on holiday (which I always do). I brought away with me about 7 books, not with the expectation of reading them all but so I had a selection and could see which ones jumped out at me to read depending on mood, focus and interest at the time.
I’ve managed to read 4 very different books out here; ‘The Millionaire Clown’ by James Sinclair, ‘Before We Go’ by Dan John, ‘Shut the Duck Up’ by Pete Cohen and Bobby Cappuccio and ‘The Starbucks Experience’ by Joseph A. Michelli. I’ve found them to be a great mix of Personal Development, Business and Fitness and have made lots of notes as I’ve read. I personally rarely read fiction as I prefer to read for information so business books, personal development books, fitness and training books and autobiographies. I enjoy watching movies for entertainment and escapism.
I don’t know about you, I can waste hours sitting in front of a TV watching mindless crap or whatever happens to be on. Granted, this has improved with SKY+ as I rarely watch live TV and record what I want to watch and fast forward the adverts BUT I don’t read nearly enough at home.
I’m committing to reading daily when I get back to my ‘normal’ routine. A minimum of 30mins per day and being much more selective with what I choose to watch on TV.
This has been a big one for me. When at home I work very long hours with little breaks so usually end up going for very long periods without eating a proper meal. I have also been prone to snacking in the past on things that aren’t good for me such as chocolate, flapjacks, coated raisins etc for quick, short term boosts of energy.
Again, the word here is consistency and I have come to realise it’s probably about the most important word there is when trying to maintain a healthy, balanced, active life.
My daily routine out here has been to wake up in the morning about 7am and have an Organo Gold black coffee. Cycle to the gym and train for an hour. Cycle back home and have a proper lunch at about 12.30. Then have a proper dinner at about 6.30pm and go to bed about 9pm. I haven’t been snacking in between meals. This coupled with a good amount of water (2-3 litres per day) has left me feeling satisfied without being stuffed, energised throughout the day, has given me a good level of energy for training each day and has maintained the same bodyweight as when I came away (maybe 1kg lighter on my return). I also feel stronger and in better shape than when I left England.
The food we have been eating has been simple but delicious. Mauritius is very Indian in culture so we have been having lots of rice, vegetables, chicken, fish, curries (and a few ribeye steaks at a local South African restaurant).
My commitment when I get back is to develop a routine that I can stick to. To avoid sweet snacks, keep my water up, fire up my Nespresso machine at home in the mornings and take ‘real’ food to work and enjoy proper meals at home that are high in protein, vegetables and with a moderate level of carbohydrate. This will probably be the most challenging commitment for me as food is very often an afterthought for me (or has been in the past.)
The final point I am bringing home is the importance of daily activity (not training). There have been a number of studies done in recent years that show that even an hour of daily exercise in a gym or outdoor setting is not enough to counteract 23 hours of inactivity each day – no matter how intense that hour is. This is becoming more and more important with more of the population engaged in desk based work, sitting down for large portions of the day.
I borrowed a bike from one of Steph’s family for the duration of my stay which was stuck at the back of a shed with flat tyres. We cleaned it up and pumped up the tyres and it was perfectly useable for me to get around. I used it every day to cycle to the gym and back – 25mins each way, so that was another 50 mins of activity each day. I have also swam each day in the ocean and walked with Bella for about half an hour (while she had an afternoon nap).
Now, when I get back home into my ‘normal’ routine I realise I won’t have the luxury of the ocean a stones throw away but I am committing myself to cycling to and from work throughout the Autumn and Winter (as I was throughout the Spring and Summer). This adds up to about an hour of additional cycling each day. I will also be taking Bella out for walks in her pushchair at weekends and at times throughout the day that I’m not working.
So that’s it then, my 7 Life Lessons from Mauritius that I will be endeavouring to bring home and implement consistently into my daily routine.
I hope this may have been some use to you or may be some use to someone you know. Please feel free to ‘like’ and ‘share’ this blog with those in your network to help more people FEEL healthy, LOOK healthy and BE Healthy!
Yours in health,
James St Pierre