3 Ways To Boost Your Fitness Results Outside Of The Gym, According To An Ex-Marine

It is easy to think that fitness gains only happen in the gym. But when you take a more holistic approach to fitness, you find out that there's a lot more to it. Sometimes, what happens in between your workouts is just as important as what happens during your reps. In an exclusive interview, Health Digest spoke with Patrick Dale, an ex-Marine, PT, and freelance writer covering fitness content from books and articles to exercise videos. Dale has in-depth knowledge of fitness and gives some tips on how to get the best results.

For starters, Dale recommends that you prioritize a healthy balance between working out and the other parts of your life. "In general, it's recommended to do between 45 minutes to an hour of exercising each day, even if that is light exercise such as walking," says Dale. "Going over this isn't necessarily a bad thing, but if you are going too overboard then it can affect this balance ... [You may] lack energy to do other things such as perform well in your job or socialize with friends and family." Having the self-awareness to recognize when working out starts to take over your life can prevent burnout and enable you to have a more balanced life.

Beyond a balanced approach, Dale also provides some tips on three other important factors that can help you maximize your fitness outside of the gym.

Diet, hydration, and sleep

Dale notes that diet is the most effective way to boost results when you are not at the gym. "Food is filled with so many important nutrients that give your body the energy it needs to exercise, and of course the ability to build and repair your muscles," says Dale. "Things like portion sizes and meal frequencies will vary for different goals. But some foods can be beneficial for many people regardless of what you wish to achieve, including high-protein foods like chicken and whole-grain carbohydrates such as brown rice in your diet."

Another aspect of diet is hydration, an absolute must for effective results, notes Dale — even on rest days. "Staying hydrated is an absolute must for effective results, even on rest days. Water gives the nutrients that are required for producing protein and glycogen structures in your body, and without it, you limit the muscle growth and even risk muscle mass breakdown," says Dale. "Not to mention, water is vital for your strength and control, so it will help you during your workout to push yourself harder — aim to drink about a gallon of water a day."

Finally, sleep plays a role in your recovery and energy. "Sleeping allows our muscles to release amino acids that build protein into our bloodstream, therefore contributing to growth and recovery," says Dale. "Try to get between 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night."

To find out more about Patrick Dale, you can visit the Fitness Volt website.