Exercise, Rest & Diet – How To Get The Perfect Balance | Physio4Life

Exercise, Rest & Diet – How to get the perfect balance without sacrificing your happiness and sanity! By Gary Delahunt, Senior Physiotherapist at Physio4Life

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Ok, so it’s that time of year again….well in fact 2 months ago it was that time of year again but you’ve just realised that those new year resolutions to get fit for summer have been sitting quietly, undisturbed, neatly placed beside the unopened Christmas pudding in the back of the cupboard.  Maybe you’ve been busy with work, maybe the weather hasn’t been quite good enough or maybe you’ve just decided that things haven’t slid quite so far as they have. But now it’s nearly June, the days are longer, the sun is shining and you’ve become acutely aware that summer holidays are around the corner and you may very well be expected to take off your jumper beside the pool.

So, what do you do? Well if you’ve been motivated and disciplined you will have started to incorporate small amounts of exercise as early back as January (yes I know it was cold in the evenings back then), and then gradually built up your fitness and strength levels, so now you’re toned and healthy and look forward to exercise. For the rest of us, we will panic-exercise, crash diet and a large number of us end up injured and unable to do any exercise. Why? I hear you ask. Well, crash diets have a terrible habit of making a person’s weight yo-yo, so any weight lost may be regained, often times with a bit extra for good measure. When someone does not exercise, or reduces the amount of exercise they do, their bodies become deconditioned. This means that the muscles they once had, may not be able to do the exercise they once enjoyed, which in turn may a change in how someone moves and can put increased pressure through the joints. Cartilage can also become deconditioned; causing pain and swelling, particularly in the knees, if a person returns to the same intensity or distance they were once used to running, but haven’t done so in a considerable amount of time.

This might sound like a lot of scaremongering, but all too often we see people coming through our doors that have gone gung-ho with exercise, starved themselves of proper nutrition, not had adequate rest and have now have developed injuries.

So here’s some advice on how to obtain that beach body without sacrificing your health, happiness and sanity!

exercise rest nutrition gary article


A balanced lifestyle change, rather than a quick fix approach can offer much greater results, both in the short and long term.


It is recommended that everyone partakes in at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise 5 times a week. This is to consist of a combination of aerobic (running, walking, swimming, Zumba) and resistance training (free-weights, kettle bell classes, cross-fit). I would advise anyone starting a new type of exercise to be shown by a trained professional so correct technique may be used and any muscle imbalances can be identified. I would also advise that any niggling injuries be assessed and treated prior to commencing new exercises, as these can be exacerbated.


With professional athletes such as Roger Federer and Usain Bolt advocating 10-12 hours sleep a night, why are you only getting 5-6?

  • Muscles need rest in order to grow and become stronger
  • Rest helps your muscles recover from exercise, thus reducing the likelihood of injury
  • If your body and mind are over-tired you’re more likely to skip exercise
  • Resting can reduced resting heart rate and improve sleep patterns
  • Over-training may lead to a dip in performance

–         Sleep is known to aid in weight loss

Below a link to a diagram which indicates some of the benefits of getting a good night sleep.



When it comes to weight loss, the most important influence that we have on our bodies is our diet.

There are plenty of people who will swear by different fad diets such as the 5-2, Paleo, Atkins and juicing diets etc. These may work for some people and not for others. The general consensus being that when choosing foods, it’s best to stick to a wide variety of nutrient dense foods and limit your intake of simple carbohydrates (sugar), which are abundantly found in today’s ingredients..


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