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Travelling for summer? Here’s how to maintain a fitness routine

With travelling on the horizon again for summer, maintaining a fitness routine during these months becomes of utmost importance.

The UAE-based fitness expert, Jackson Litchfield is an internationally renowned health and fitness coach who is passionate about helping his clients to a happier and healthier lifestyle. With a slew of certificates and trainings under his belt, Jackson has been able to deliver great results as well as full control of health and fitness for his clients.

Overall, Summer can also be a great time to focus on fitness due to the longer days and often more flexible schedules.

To delve into this, Emirates Woman & Emirates Man spoke to Litchfield to discuss all the wellness elements to keep in mind for carving out a summer body.

What do the first 30 minutes of your day look like, your morning routine?

The first 30 minutes of my day are easily the most important as they predictably put me in a peak state to serve. I like to break it up into three components spending ten minutes on each. It should be for the Soul, Spirit, Body and Mind. Overall, the sequence is very important as the first ten minutes are for the spirit and soul for priming, three minutes are to list what I’m grateful for, three minutes are for pure breath work to be in the present moment, then three minutes are for letting my imagination create what could happen if I was my best self.

This 10 minutes is dedicated to giving my body the nutrients it needs to thrive, with protein and fats, bone broth and Sauerkraut for gut health and Supplements which include Zinc, Multi, omega 3, curcumin, PQQ for overall health. Then I go over all the technical side of my day ie clients programs, my training, education, recovery, and general matters to take of. I generally prioritise the most critical tasks first and then work backwards. When energy is the highest, it makes sense to undertake the tasks that carry the most relevance.

What is the daily schedule for you as a health coach? What do your training sessions consist of?

I begin my day at 4am, with a morning ritual outline for one hour. Then my PT sessions take place from 5pm to 12pm, followed by training, studying, blog writing and content production until 3PM. I then schedule time in for an online PT check in or an in person PT session. I end the day with some social interaction, meditation, prayer and play from 6pm to 8pm. Overall the main theme is individualised programming and constant progress. With all clients I do Bi weekly check ins to ensure that we are on track to achieve the results we are after whilst making the necessary changes to make it happen. I like to look at 4 main pillars when it comes to designing any regime., which include Body composition, Health markers, Mindset and cognitive function and Performance levels.

Diet is an important part of any fitness routine; tell us about your overall diet?

My diet at any one given time is typically reversed engineered to an outcome ie drop body fat, enhance brain function, increase energy and longevity foundations. I am always passionately experimenting with new protocols to see what works and perhaps discover new methods of eating that can lead to heightened results. So as you can imagine that will slightly change how I distribute things like calories, macronutrients, micronutrients, meal timing. My typical baseline looks like me having my first meal at 4:15am with Bone Broth, Animal protein on rotation, Good fats on rotation, Seasonal vegetables and Sauerkraut. My second meal is at 12pm and includes Animal protein on rotation (large serving), Good fats on rotation, Seasonal vegetables and Sauerkraut.

I then fast for the rest of the day. I like to eat early as I have found it highly complementary to bodies natural rhythms ie hormones, neurotransmitters and digestion, it also does wonders for sleep too. In addition, I classify light exposure as apart of my diet as it contributes towards the production and function of energy within the body. So, I must add grounding and viewing sunlight at sunrise + sunset as a core staple in the entirety of it all.

With a busy schedule and always being on the go – how do you unwind on a daily basis?

One of the things I’m grateful for is choosing a career that I’m passionate about. This makes it easier to embrace a busy schedule as I am working and living in accordance to my highest values. As I am organically energised and satiated on a soul level for the most part, I prioritse meditation and reading, which means I’m either looking to give the body time to connect and reset or I’m feeding the mind with new ideas and insights.

What’s the biggest myth you’ve seen when it comes to exercising?

Without question it would be thinking that results are achieved mostly from just hard work. I’ve seen countless amounts of people put in the hard yards day after day for years and get very little return. The best results are always at the intersect of a great strategy and hard work. If you increase one without the other, the outcome will most likely fall short of expectations. When thinking about progress, consider implementing an elaborate strategy and an elevated effort equally.

Cellular health plays a key role in optimal anti aging – tell us more.

In a nutshell, Cells are the basic building blocks of the body. Our cells are programmed to divide, multiply, and then go on to perform basic biological functions that keep us healthy and alive across time. But over time the more cells divide, the older and more damaged they become. In turn, cells eventually lose their ability to regenerate and perform coherently within the body. The real genius is the race to understand what plausible interventions can actually impact the life of a cell and subsequently slow down the biological aging process (with some experts even suggesting we can reverse it)

I am most definitely on the side of believing that we will inevitably be able to enhance and reverse aging via discoveries and advancements in cellular health. The areas that offer the most promise in my opinion are Cellular nutrition, Photobiomodulation, Quantum biology, Detoxification strategies, Water , Geographical locations and their properties.

Jackson Litchfield

Our modern lifestyle can drastically affect our posture – how does this work?

Issues with posture these days are most likely the norm and not the exception. There are a few main reasons why this is the case Alignment is probably the most predictable and easy to assume. This comes from sitting down all day which essentially shortens the hip flexors, brings the shoulders forward and sometimes even causes the next to tilt forward over time. The good news is, posture can be restored faster than most people know. By using Targeted strength training, precision stretching, a nutrient dense diet for bone, tendon, ligament formation, focused breath work or meditation and Vitamin D via sunlight can all help contribute to a better posture.

Many people believe in calorie counting – could you elaborate?

There are many ways to unpack that question, so I’ll try come at it from a practical angle. The term calorie counting is generally referred to in relation to weight loss. For instance most people by now are familiar with the “golden rule” which is, Calories in vs calories out. Where a tilt in either side of the equation will lead to weight loss or weight gain depending on the level of inputs.

To begin with honouring an energy balance equation successfully will lead to weight loss and or weight gain depending on what the person is looking to achieve. Many people believe that maintaining a calorie deficit boils down to nothing more than sheer willpower. If you’re disciplined enough, you’ll succeed; if you’re not, then you’re bound to fall off the wagon. However, nothing about this way of thinking takes into account the highly complex, beautifully intricate systems that our bodies operate on.

It overlooks the many factors—both internal and external—that influence our eating habits, energy levels, and overall health. Being unable to maintain a diet usually isn’t about a lack of desire or will. It’s not a personal failure . Instead, it’s often a sign that the approach might have been missing important elements of preparation and proper support. Weight loss, especially sustainable weight loss, isn’t a solo journey, and it isn’t a straightforward path. It requires a deeper understanding of your body’s needs, a recognition of the psychological aspects of eating, and, most importantly, an acknowledgment that sometimes, we need a bit more than a calorie counter app to get us through and lead us to success. The key isn’t only about focusing on eating less and moving more in a generic sense but about a whole-body approach that addresses our unique physical requirements, our environment, and our psychological well-being.

Building muscle takes immense discipline – tell us more.

It definitely requires intense discipline with the addition of a well formulated strategy. Building muscle goes way beyond just working hard in the gym. To give a basic insight, I believe there are three main phases to muscle building that require significant energy and preparation, the first half includes preperation where the body must be in a state of nourishment and good health in order to be ready to take on the stress of muscle building training. The second half includes a push where training must be performed at a high intensity with immaculate technical execution in order to create a successful response and the third part includes repair, where the body must be adequately rested and nourished in order to recover and be in a state to perform again at a higher level. This cycle is repeated over and over until ideal muscle mass is achieved.

This is ‘The Body Issue’ – what are your non-negotiable self and body care practices.

The most important self-care practices include loving relationships, Sunlight and grounding, a nutrient dense diet, prayer and meditation, movement and contributing to something greater than myself.

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Images: Supplied & Feature Image: Instagram @bala

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