Wednesday, November 28, 2018
I have written extensively about health and fitness on this blog, but the subject never gets old and is never dated. In fact, the older we all get the more important our health becomes. It is my hope that all I have written before on the subject has inspired someone in a positive way. This post is also meant for inspiration, but I want to present it very simply for anyone feeling down and unmotivated…thus a “back to basics” approach.
Recently I have been exposed to a very effective program called O2X. I have used it to inspire myself and jumpstart a lifestyle change that is rooted in the basics of health and fitness. These four simple pillars revolve around diet, exercise, rest and attitude.
No matter what your health or fitness goals are, your diet plays a profound role in it. When I say “diet”, I’m not talking about any particular program, but instead simply referring to the food you eat. Most of us don’t make the best choices all the time, so it’s probably safe to say there is room for improvement. Eating “healthy” has become debatable these days with so many people going vegan, but what can be agreed upon is what it means to eat unhealthy…especially when talking about the extreme (fast food all day, everyday).
Balance your food with a good mix of protein, carbohydrates, and vegetables. Depending on your goals, these mixes should vary, but the basic start is to have the mix, instead of neglecting one or more categories.
This is the part people most focus on, to the detriment of the other factors that go into good health and fitness. I’m an advocate for being active, regardless of what physical activity you do, it’s better than not doing anything at all. That said, get regular with working out.
Get specific with moving your body. I once read that Bruce Lee would purposely park in a far space in a store parking lot just to increase the distance he had to walk to get to the store. It sounds inconsequential, but all those trips to the store add up, in a good way…not to mention that walking is one of the best things you can do for your overall health. You’d be surprised what an hour of walking can do for you, especially if you take an extreme approach to it.
The basic start to exercise is to do something that increases your heart rate and makes you sweat, making sure to properly warm up and recover.
You may not believe this or even agree with what I’m about to say…but proper rest is probably the most important component to the entire health and fitness discussion.
Regardless if you are working your body through exercise or abusing your body through lack of exercise and improper diet, your body needs time to recover and heal…from whatever you are putting it through.
Many people have sleep disorders, and of those that do…some are completely unaware they are afflicted. Sleep disorders double your risk for cardiovascular disease and getting into an auto accident, and triple your risk for mood and anxiety disorders. If you know you have a sleep disorder, get it treated…all others get checked out to see if you do, or make sure you don’t.
The benefits of proper rest are tremendous (the list is extensive and my fingers are tired, so google it). The basics of sleep is that adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night. Adjust your schedule to achieve this, or get as close as possible.
Sometimes people look at their health and fitness in slices instead of looking at the total picture. A lot goes into maintaining ourselves and even more with improving ourselves.
You might be looking at your life, keenly aware of the negativity in it, and thinking you are not where you want to be with your health and fitness. You may not know how to get where you want to be, how to begin, or where to even get the motivation to start.
Fitness doesn’t have to be a war, but sometimes it is, and we have to embrace the warrior within us for our daily taste of victory. That’s just one attitude that might work for you, there are others. Adopting the right attitude that commits you to the basics presented here is exactly where you should start.
Stay positive and focused with the goal of creating a better you today than you were yesterday. Take yourself back to the basics…and build from there.