We seem to over-complicate the world of fitness. In a world where the resources of attaining information is at our fingertips, more and more people are failing with their fitness and health journey. Why is that? In my opinion, we muddle the water. We make things too complex. We forget how simple it can be to get fit and stay healthy. I understand that every”body” is different. People have different genetics, hormone regulation, immune and gut functioning and exercise responses. These differences are what make us unique and special. But we need to take a step back from the complex ideas and make the process more tangible. Please stress these simple concepts to your family, your kids, your friends, your co-employees, your teammates, basically anyone you care about. Let’s master these simple approaches and you will see a positive benefit in your health and vitality.
Simple Concept #1: Move
I have studied human movement, biomechanics and anatomy and exercise physiology. I can make an exercise program very complex by manipulating workout strategies, rearranging set and rep schemes, playing with various tempos and utilizing many exercise variations. But these detailed approaches are for such a small percentage of the population. Most general fitness enthusiasts need simple recommendations. I would encourage daily movement. Everyday do something that involves moving and being active. Walking, biking with the kids, going to the gym, gardening, playing golf with your buddies, water or snow skiing; do whatever you enjoy. I do recommend 2-3 strength and conditioning routines a week. Keep it simple here. Perform a mobility warm up, pull and push something for your upper body, work your legs and core and finish the workout with some intervals. These routines can be as little as 30 minutes if you are efficient. You do not need a fancy gym or equipment. You can do the above protocol with bodyweight exercises solely. These workouts done consistently will keep you limber, strong and able to do the things you enjoy in life. Don’t make excuses; just get it done because 15 minutes of something is better than nothing. The key is to be consistent.
Simple Concept #2: You don’t have to diet
Nope. I said it. You don’t need some unrealistic diet protocol to get results. What you need is to master a few basic strategies. Drink water, eat fruits and vegetables, eat lean proteins, eat healthy fats, and limit processed sugars and empty calories. That’s it. If you were to master these few tactics, you will be a step ahead of most of the country. I understand that we can get complex with nutrition. I have worked with clients who have been through the journey of nutrition and they have mastered the basics mentioned above but now may need more of a sophisticated plan. We can manipulate their macronutrient ratios, assess calorie intake, or implement protocols like intermittent fasting or detoxing. But first, we need to master the basics. That’s the key idea here. You can live healthy, be vibrant and have good energy by keeping it simple with your nutrition plan.
Simple Concept #3: Calories in versus Calories out
This seems like such a simple idea but yet two-thirds of our country is overweight. It’s because of the inability to be self aware of this basic concept. If you eat more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. If you eat less calories then you take in, you will lose weight. The only way you know is by putting together a detailed food log. You can use the “MyFitnessPal” app on your phone to log your foods. Take the time to measure and weigh and log your entire food intake for 7-10 days. This will give you a good starting point. If you have slowly put on weight over the years, you may need to decrease your calorie intake by 10-15%. Either that, or you may need to add more exercise/activity to your schedule. Either way, you are taking in less calories or burning more throughout the week. Yes, this can get complex and this formula does not work for everyone. But start here and know what your energy demands are and then adjust accordingly.
Moral of the story is to focus on the basics first. Do not get caught in the rabbit hole of making excuses and saying “x” diet or exercise program didn’t work for you. Just keep it simple, master the above concepts and then go from there.
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