The Simple Steps to Health and Fitness?
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Everywhere you look you’ll see promises regarding the next miracle pill, fitness plan, and/or health tonic; all to gain better health and fitness. Some systems utilize lifestyle changes, which seem easy enough, at first at least. These changes become harder to follow once the guided plan is over. The more extreme plans, which completely overhaul your eating style, can be the hardest to master.
People often are afraid to lose their food identity, this makes initiating the change difficult. Still, after the miracle plan is over, going back to the same eating style is typical, then the cycle begins again.
There are the claims of miracle pills that allow you to eat whatever you want, while the pounds just fall off. Seriously, if any plan allows you to eat in the same style, without change, then what is the point. Wasn’t your old way of fitness and nutrition the reason you started thinking you need to get healthy and fit in the first place?
Insanity, according to Einstein,
is defined as of doing the same thing over and over again,
yet expecting a different result!
Are you confused by all the hype? Don’t feel alone, the drum beat to improve yourself, will get louder as the year-end draws near.
Soon you’ll see the resolution talk, you too will promise yourself that this will be your year to shine, starting the pressure to plan an all in approach to health and fitness.
BUT! (wait there’s more said the late night ads)
Are you are totally confused with what to do, where to start, and worse, which source to believe? With all the different variables out there, things can be confusing to the professionals, so don’t feel alone when you’re like, WT(F).
Change is hard, it’s impossible when things appear confusing, which is why people tend to give up before trying. When change is overwhelming, it makes trying not worth it as feelings of failure are there before starting.
There are a few easy button steps that you could try to improve your overall health, without driving yourself crazy doing it.
Plan your approach:
- First, ask yourself what your end goal is.
- Then, list things that need to change to get you to your there.
- Next, Pick one thing at a time, work through that until it becomes part of your new routine.
Making broad, across the board changes, all in one day, is a recipe for disaster. I’ve seen far too many people who resolve to: quit smoking, eat healthier, and start exercising on January 1st; most are off the rails by the end of the week.
[bctt tweet=”Rome wasn’t built-in a day, your habits can’t change in a day either.”]
If your goal is better health, through improved nutrition, perhaps changing the way to cook or prepare foods could be a good first step.
Review the below list and work on getting these to be more routine, things like:
Pick a day to plan and prep foods for weekly meals:
- Try to chop/peel/slice more fresh things, do a few days worth at once
- Make two casseroles: One for now and freeze one for later
- Precook proteins for food prep during the week
- Salad greens make for a nice quick meal in a pinch, prep up your salad fixings
- For faster prep times: keep precooked ground meats with onions and peppers available
Things to consider when planning meals:
- Plan your workday lunches in advance, pack your lunch the day before
- Eat proteins and carbohydrates with each meal; a little bit of fats won’t hurt
- Keep fats in check, but don’t completely eliminate them
- Make vegetables a main player in your carbohydrate meal choice
- If your food is varied in natural color, your nutrients will most likely be varied as well.
When grocery shopping, keep this in mind:
- Reduce or eliminate foods with chemical additives
- Buy foods with minimal processing, when possible
- Don’t discount frozen vegetables, all the nutrients are sealed in when fresh
- Shop the perimeter of the store, the inner aisles contain most of the processed foods
2. Add fitness
You really don’t need to kill yourself at the neighborhood kiddy park attempting to do muscle ups. Sometimes it is the simple things that matter, like:
- Go for a nice 15- to 30 min brisk walk daily (start slowly, building up walking speed/distance over time)
- Add some body weight/strength exercises 3 times a week
- Find a local fitness class, locate something that interests you and join.
Adding these simple things have shown to make vast improvement in overall health, according to Ace Fitness. Poor nutrition, mixed with the lack of fitness consistency, foul up the best laid plans. We’ve seen people who’ve participated in various fitness challenges lose weight with exercise and better nutrition, then are lost when the challenge is over because nothing changed in their personal lives.
Often, those who have made health improving changes, reported that their: blood pressure, heart rate or diabetes issues have improved enough to lower, or go off, medications.
The cost savings, from fewer prescriptions, should motivate anyone to improve their health.
What if I told you one of the most successful ways to make lifelong change is to set an end goal,then commit to one small change a week or so, maybe two changes if you feel inclined.
All those small changes add up, soon they become new habits, until your new habits are how identity with yourself. If you wake up believing you are a fit and healthy person; over time, you will behave and believe that is who you are. Make a list of where you want to be in 1 month, 2 months, 3 months; better yet, next year. List all the small, and/or large changes, you will need to reach your goal(s) and work on them one at a time.
Changing your health and fitness takes a plan, plans take action!
You can do it, I believe in the power within you to make those changes for yourself.
One step at a time, practice makes perfect.