Boost Your Discipline and Focus: The Benefits of Fitness
Sep 23, 2023 by Vreny Blanco · 8 min read · Interviews
Are you ready to embrace a healthier and more focused lifestyle? Join us in the latest edition of our Ask the Expert series on the 1Focus Blog, where we introduce you to Marius Nguedia, a biomedical engineer and fitness trainer.
In this inspiring interview, Marius shares his journey and how he maintains discipline and focus on a daily basis. He also explains how he balances work and family life, maintains his diet in social situations, the factors involved in weight loss and muscle development, and much more.
Get ready to dive into the exciting world of fitness and learn how to effectively incorporate it into your own lifestyle to enjoy its numerous health and focus benefits.
Tell us something about yourself.
Hi, I’m Marius, I am from Cameroon, and I’m a biomedical engineer and fitness trainer.
During my studies, I developed a passion for fitness and healthy eating. Currently, I help other people get the best body of their life and develop a healthy lifestyle.
My motto: If you take good care of yourself, you will never need to go to the doctor again.
What motivated you to start exercising?
I come from a country where physical activity is part of everyday life: walking 3 to 6 mi (5-10 km) to school, working in the fields on weekends and holidays, walking 3 mi (5 km) while carrying heavy crops on your head, climbing trees, playing outside, …
When I came to Germany, I missed this very much. I was underweight then, and a friend of my brother’s introduced me to strength training to help me gain weight.
When did you start training?
I joined the gym in November 2016 and have been training 3 times a week ever since. That was almost 7 years ago.
How do you balance work and family?
It’s not an easy task.
It’s important to understand that you can’t do everything, even if you want to. That is why prioritizing has become a must for me. I always ask myself: what is the most important thing right now? I plan my time according to the answer and do what I have promised. This allows me to balance the most important areas of my life.
How do you maintain food discipline in social situations?
I used to abstain from food by sheer willpower. Today, I have acquired more knowledge and methods that work very well for me and my clients without abstaining and without willpower:
- I always prioritize foods high in protein because they keep you fuller for longer.
- I drink 1-2 glasses of water before eating to help me feel fuller and eat less.
- If I have already eaten a lot that day, I drink a lot of water and eat mini portions.
What are the most important factors to consider when trying to lose weight?
The basis of weight loss is a small calorie deficit. This is achieved through nutrition and/or physical activity:
- Nutrition: not dieting, but an adjustment of your current eating habits.
- Physical activity: Do the sport you like.
Stick to your diet and exercise regularly for a period of time, and you will see the results.
What are the most important factors to consider when trying to increase muscle mass?
Just like for losing weight, there are two things you can do:
- Nutrition: The basis is a protein-rich diet with a calorie surplus. So you can eat a lot, but be careful: only healthy food.
- Exercise: Muscles grow through high mechanical stress, such as weight training. Bodybuilding is the best sport to build muscle mass.
But it takes time. Building muscle is not a quick process.
How often should one exercise?
3-4 times a week is enough.
How can you lose belly fat?
There is no specific way to lose belly fat. So, no exercise, pill, machine, or diet in the world will help you. Headlines like this are marketing ploys to lure people in.
When you lose fat, you lose it all over your body at once and eventually in your belly.
Maintain your calorie deficit and exercise, and you’ll lose belly fat!
How long should you sleep?
Sleep is an essential part of life; we spend a third of our lives asleep. The official recommendation is 7-9 hours a night, to maintain energy and concentration.
What helps you focus and be productive?
I use Parkinson’s Law: I set aside a certain amount of time for each task, even during training or free time.
How do you avoid distractions?
The biggest distraction for me is my phone.
I have an app (minimalist phone) that makes my life easier. I no longer have flashy, colorful icons, just names in a list on a boring black background. Every time I go into an app, I am asked how long I want to stay in it, after which I am kicked out of the app (Parkinson’s Law).
Do you have any routines that help you, like a morning routine?
My routine is to do the most important things first, right after I get up, until 12.
What is the link between diet and concentration?
A healthy diet provides your body with quality nutrients that affect concentration—for example, omega-3 fatty acids for brain development and cognitive ability.
Mineral and vitamin deficiencies can cause concentration problems and affect mental clarity.
What is the link between exercise and concentration?
When you exercise, your heart rate increases, and blood flow to the brain increases, bringing more oxygen and nutrients to the brain. Happiness hormones (endorphins) are released, and stress is reduced. Exercise makes you sleep better.
Less stress, more happiness, and better sleep positively affect concentration.
How do you manage to work when you are unmotivated?
It doesn’t actually happen that I am unmotivated because if my goal is to do something, then an action to achieve that goal automatically follows.
How do you overcome doubts and fears?
I jump into the cold water without preparing myself for it and adapt to the situation. Thinking about it creates even more doubts and fears. Sometimes I practice positive communication with myself, followed by a power pose.
What sacrifices have you made to succeed?
To understand that I can not satisfy everyone. The time is limited.
What do you do to recharge?
Exercise, jog, and read documentaries on astrophysics and biographies of billionaires.
When do you come up with your best ideas?
When I am recharging my energy (see previous answer).
Where can I get more information about you or contact you?
You can contact me through my Instagram accounts:
Tips to Remember
Tips for more discipline and focus:
- Identify your life goals, whether physical, professional, or family, and set clear priorities.
- Set specific goals and always remember the why to stay motivated.
Integrate Exercise Into Your Daily Routine
- Incorporate physical activity into your daily routine, even if it’s just a short walk. Every movement counts.
- If your goal is to build muscle mass, train regularly and follow a protein-rich diet.
- Plan regular workouts that fit your lifestyle.
- Remember the relationship between physical activity, stress reduction, and increased concentration.
Take Care of Your Diet
- Prioritize protein-rich foods to keep you satiated longer.
- Drink water before meals to control portion sizes.
- Keep in mind that a healthy diet affects your concentration and mental clarity.
Think Long Term
- Avoid extreme diets and focus on long-term changes when adjusting your eating and training habits.
Set Realistic Expectations When Trying to Lose Abdominal Fat
- Avoid unrealistic promises.
- Abdominal fat is lost through caloric deficit, exercise, and patience.
Get Enough Sleep
- Make sure you get enough sleep to maintain energy and focus.
- 7 to 9 hours of sleep a day are recommended.
Manage Your Time
- Use Parkinson’s Law to plan tasks and use your time efficiently.
- Use an app and website blocker like 1Focus to eliminate distractions.
- Block distracting websites and block distracting apps such as social media, YouTube, Netflix, Twitter, texting, emails, games, etc.
Establish a Morning Routine
- Start the day with specific goals.
- Complete the most important tasks first.
- Train positive self-talk.
- Use power poses to overcome self-doubt.
Increase Your Discipline
- Establishing routines and setting clear boundaries can significantly enhance your discipline and help you lead a more organized life.
- It is crucial to maintain consistency in your daily activities and prioritize your tasks to achieve your goals effectively.
Find a Balance Between Work and Self-Care
- Schedule time for activities that energize you and disconnect you from your work life, such as sports, reading, or a hobby.
Success is a personal journey that demands persistence and patience. With unwavering determination, you can overcome any obstacle and achieve your goals.
Keep moving forward, and remember that every step you take brings you closer to your dreams.
We thank Marius Nguedia for his valuable insights and advice on discipline, fitness, and concentration.