July 11

Tokyo – Travelling Intelligently

Tokyo – Travelling Intelligently

Richard East

The Beginning

Everyone I have spoken to recently has been intrigued about my upcoming trip to Japan. It is certainly a controversial event in light of the recent, and ongoing, pandemic.

Should they go ahead, should they not? Opinion is divided but I think the no’s probably win the argument. However the ‘show must go on’ as they say and this show certainly is happening.

I am not sure if it should be happening myself but either way I find myself sitting in my hotel on Day 5 of my 14 Days quarantining period. I have to say it is not exactly a glorious existence and is a bit tedious as you can probably imagine. However I am not one to dwell on negatives or self-pity for too long. The fact is I am in a place that I have always wanted to explore. I am being paid to be here and I get to be involved with what will be an unforgettable Olympic Games that is for sure…!!

At the same time as being away and enjoying the Olympic Experience I also want to ensure I keep not only myself fit but also my clients and friends that train with me everyday. I want to show you all that going away for any amount of time does not mean that you have to let your fitness standards slide.

I am away for just over 5 weeks. A lot of damage can be done in 5 weeks. It is not just the weight that you can easily gain through poor eating and food choices but also the effect it could have on your mental health. For me if I don’t train or eat well then I quickly begin to feel….blurrrrggghhh. This can then easily lead to that awful point where you almost decide that you just can’t train whilst away and then the food choices get worse because you feel a little depressed and need a quick pick me up…in walks chocolate, crisps, cake etc to cheer you up.

These work…for 5 minutes…but then you need something else to make you feel good. Maybe this is when fast food steps in to fill the void.

Oh and what’s that?….fast foods old buddy alcohol. They go so well together….

I’ll leave this here…sound familiar? I know it all sounds a bit extreme but it’s the truth and can so easily become reality. When we fall out of routine, and the comfort of being at home, we can easily slide into a downward spiral and it is very difficult to save ourselves.

This is where accountability is important. Who are you accountable to? Who is watching out for you and making sure you stay on track?

We can also bring in our ‘why’ that we have discussed at length in previous blog articles. Having a strong why is very important especially when we are tested with trips away from home. It is this that will keep you pushing. It is your why that will get you moving when your jet lagged butt can’t be bothered because you are a little tired.

I intend to train everyday that I am here. Even if it is just a 20-30 minute session. It doesn’t matter too much about duration. It is about the quality of the workout and more importantly it is about keeping a routine.

Consistency, consistency, consistency will win every time.

Match this up with a good diet and you are on to a winning combination. We all know by now that we have our 3 pillars to a happier and healthier life.

  • Physical Fitness
  • Mental Fitness
  • Nutrition

No one element is more important than the other but they all effect each other. We must keep up our physical fitness. In doing this we make sure our mental fitness is kept in great shape and it is all stuck together with a varied and healthy diet.

If we lose one element then we will effect the others. An equal balance must be found so that we can feel strong and healthy both in our mind and our body.

Physical, Mental, Nutrition

The Japanese diet can be very healthy. Lots of sushi, fresh fish, rice, meat, noodles.

Having said that I could also say this…the Japanese diet is very unhealthy. Lots of deep fried meat, battered fish, battered veg, heavy sauces, thick noodles, battered meats.

It is all about choice and your ability to make the right choices. Yes I am in a new country. Yes I want to try out all the new and wonderful dishes. I want to experience the culture…however deep fried chicken balls, tempura battered everything, thick heavy sauces, battered/breaded chicken should be a treat and not a way of life.

I would go as far as saying that the national dish is probably Sushi which includes rice as its base. Also lots of plain cooked meats and thinly sliced fish/meat carpaccio style. Fresh food which has been minimally altered by human hands. This is what you want to make your day to day food.

Then as a rare treat have something naughty. Push the boat out…have it with a few beers and a dessert. However follow a rule. A 70/30 or 80/20 rule is a good one to follow wether home or away. Eat sensibly and in a healthy manner 70 or 80% of the time and treat yourself 30 or 20% of the time. For me this falls down to 5 days a week of being super strict and eating/drinking as perfectly as possible and then 2 days where you can be a bit experimental and let down your guard slightly.

In regards to Mental Fitness. This is led by how you feel. Eating well is a great way to make sure you keep your brain healthy. Also mindfulness and meditation. Don’t forget about ‘me’ time when you are away.

Mental Fitness must also be stretched and pushed with physical fitness.

Movement is so important. It doesn’t just mean cardio intensive fitness but also just walking. Breathing. Take in your surroundings. Rushing around at a 1000mph is not doing you any favours. Slow down. Smell the roses. Take a breath.

So with all this in mind I intend to make the most of my Japan trip and use it as a time to improve myself not only physically but also mentally.

  • Daily meditation and mindfulness exercises.
  • Daily exercise.
  • Good daily nutrition.

If you are not moving forward then you are going backwards.

I will certainly be posting regularly on social media so keep an eye out for some helpful and interesting posts. These may be around general fitness or about the Olympics themselves. Either way you will find benefit from the information contained.

It could be benefit for your mental health, physical health or help internally through recipes and nutritional information. Whatever it is I hope you find it useful and get some motivation to better yourself in some way.

There is always room for improvement in every area of our lives.

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