Integrating the 5 VITAL Vitality Principles
Over the years we noticed that there were some key themes that stood out as being vital for people to achieve their fitness goals and maintain long term success. From these themes we developed five principles. Whilst these principles originated from Stuart's approach to exercise, we came to realise that they applied to all areas of health and even life itself whether it was the food we eat, how we support our digestive system to how we minimise stress and live life to the full.
These principles are based on our wholistic and practical philosophy. It is not about making drastic changes overnight that are challenging to maintain over the longer term. Following these principles will help you to make changes easily and without needing to live like a whiter than white health guru. We hope these principles will help you to achieve your goals, whether it’s making some minor improvements or transforming your health and fitness:
The 5 VITAL Principles
1 Value your body and your potential
2 Incremental steps for synergy & balance
3 Take consistent action - do what you love
4 Actively listen to your body
5 Less is more
To keep them at the forefront of your mind, here's a postcard to download:
Principle 1: Value your body and its potential
The human body is capable of incredible things. Unfortunately, social conditioning inhibits many people who have consciously or sub-consciously been influenced by the broadly negative view on ageing in society in general. It perpetuates the erroneous belief that maintaining great health and fitness for life is impossible after a certain age.
Age need not be the inevitable barrier it is often portrayed to be. Ideally getting older simply means being young for a very long time!
Our bodies have an amazing ability to self-heal and thrive throughout our lives. This principle is also about valuing ourselves and our potential. Given the right support we can all be stronger, fitter and happier.
“Don't underestimate what you’re capable of. Don't let age be a barrier.” Stuart Roberts
Principle 2: Incremental Steps for Synergy & Balance
It’s not about making big changes over night. You can achieve incredible results by taking incremental steps.
Even if you choose to integrate just a few small changes, you will be amazed at the impact they can have. Synergistically combining as many strategies and healthy habits as possible is the secret to attaining and keeping amazing health as you grow older.
It’s easy for our bodies to get out of balance, whether it’s too much stress in our lives, a diet that lacks variety or placing too much emphasis on one type of exercise. Our focus therefore needs to be on aiming for balance.
Principle 3: Take consistent action - do what you love
Obstacles can often get in the way when we want to make changes in our lives and it can be difficult to maintain momentum when we don’t feel we’re making progress quickly enough.
Taking consistent action is key to success. Focusing on establishing new habits that become an integral part of your life are a brilliant way to create consistency.
It’s easier to do this if you’re doing what really suits you. This includes finding ways to exercise you really enjoy, selecting recipes you love to cook and eat, choosing fun ways to reduce stress and simply doing what you love.
”If our true nature is permitted to guide our life, we grow healthy, fruitful and happy” Abraham Maslow
Principle 4: Actively listen to your body
To keep your body in optimal health it’s important to learn to take notice of even the simplest symptom as it’s your body’s way of telling you it needs help. Learning to do this can help you identify problems early on and contribute significantly to your long-term wellbeing.
This doesn’t mean turning into a hypochondriac! It’s about noticing the clues our bodies continually give us such as headaches, energy dips, skin problems, feeling bloated etc.
As symptoms are inconvenient and stop us getting on with life, it’s easy to ignore them or simply to put them down to age!
“Tuning into our bodies is a vital skill to master if we want to achieve our very best health and well-being for the rest of our lives.” Stuart Roberts
Principle 5: Less is more
Achieving outstanding health and fitness for life does not require a huge amount of time. Once the fundamentals are in place, you will see that it is the quality rather than the quantity that wins every time.
“Forget no pain no gain. It's about working smarter, not harder” Stuart Roberts
When exercising don’t over train. Using time efficient and incredibly effective workouts like HIIT and HIST. See example workouts in the Exercising Well section. It's important to make sure you have adequate rest days to enable you to make faster progress.
“Work is not always required. There is such a thing as sacred idleness, the cultivation of which is fearfully neglected” George Macdonald.
In this turbo charged society there is a strong focus on achievement and action orientation. Taking the time to switch off and relax is crucial to give our bodies chance to repair and re-charge as well as a worthwhile investment in our long-term health so we can be stronger, fitter and happier.