Sometimes it seems impossible to keep up with all the things that we need to do to maintain our health. One of the things that often gets neglected is fitness. I think that this is because a lot of people—including myself—get overwhelmed by all of the information out there. People get so overwhelmed that they just give up.
That’s why I think it can be helpful to break things like fitness down to their simplest, but most essential, elements.
Exercise: Consistency over intensity
It seems like there is so much information out there about the perfect workout regimen or routine, however, if we aren’t consistently working out in the first place, this is similar to looking at Ferraris when we don’t even have a car.
The most important thing when it comes to exercise is consistency. Lift some weights several times a week. Try to exercise your major muscle groups. If you can’t do that, do some pushups, pull-ups, and squats at home. Just do something. And don’t hurt yourself so you can keep doing it.
Remember three principles when it comes to exercise: Painless Consistent Progression.
Diet: Keep it Simple
Similarly to working out, there is so much information out there about the perfect diet. I really think that it’s so much more simple than that. Just eat healthy. I’m sure most of us know what healthy foods look like. Vegetables, fruit, fresh foods, whole foods, and not too much of them. Know that we won’t be perfect but at the same time, don’t make excuses. Just try to eat healthy.
If you have trouble eating too many unhealthy foods, maybe you just need to get a little clever about it. Don’t shop on an empty stomach and try not to buy junk food to keep in the house. Maybe keep some healthy snacks in your car to eat instead of going to the drive thru. Maybe find some similar, but healthier, alternatives to certain junk foods that you really love. Be patient and just keep trying to improve.
Mindset: Make it enjoyable
Ultimately, I think this is the biggest obstacle most people face. They try to force themselves to go to the gym, but they hate the gym. They try to force themselves to follow a strict diet, but they really love the foods they are cutting out.
Think of fitness and health as a long term way of life and set your goals accordingly. We all want to be fit when we’re old, but I’m guessing we all also want to be happy. Don’t make fitness and health burdensome activities that you hate to think about, don’t make them like homework in some high school class that you hated. Make it a personal journey and strive to find things that you enjoy but are also achievable.