Ever read a fitness or exercise article? Do you notice how complicated this stuff has gotten? Nutrient timing, muscle confusion, and the effect organic vs. conventional produce has on ATP generation…From the literature it seems as though I need a staff of trainers, doctors, and nutritionists before I can start doing push-ups!
Well screw that! Listen, regardless of what product makers say, living well and feeling good doesn’t have to be a complicated and confusing mess. You can be in shape and feel good about how you look without needing to buy the latest book, drink, pill, or join an expensive club. Below you will find my fitness principles that have guided my health, diet, and exercise decisions all my life.
1. Like in martial arts, in fitness it is the journey, not the destination.
Health and fitness is not an event to be trained for, won, and enjoyed for the rest of your life. It is a lifestyle; a way of thinking. Once I adopted this mindset my life, in relation to diet and exercise, became much less complicated.
2. Say “no” sometimes.
Honestly, “sometimes” should probably be “often” especially since I discovered that I can order a pizza from my Kindle. Saying “no” to cake, ice cream, or pizza can be challenging sometimes. But you do it for your health.
3. When you say “yes” enjoy the hell out of it, but don’t over indulge.
Know what I love? Oreo cookies. Damn those things must have nicotine in them or something because every time I walk by them in the store I feel a pull to them. Well last week they were on sale. I bought it and I have no regrets. But this is because I limit myself to three per day; and not every day at that.
Want a burger? Go for it. Hell, you might as well add bacon and cheddar on top. But skip the fries (and I mean tell the waitress DO NOT BRING THEM OUT). Or better yet, substitute it for steamed broccoli or a salad. Yes, it might cost you an extra dollar. But it will save you from having to buy a new pair of jeans.
5. Avoid drinking calories.
I love my morning coffee. I usually go for Dunkin Donuts brand and add Baileys Irish Creamer (non-alcoholic unless it’s on the weekend). And when I add sugar, my morning concoction is around 150 calories! But other than this I am generally a water and tea drinker. Why? No rocket science here. By rarely indulging in soda or sugared drinks I am reducing my calorie intake and thus my need to exercise it all off.
6. Exercise, dammit!
Knowing that I am mostly addressing a martial arts crowd, I expect that this will not be a hard sell. But I want to combat what I have seen as a rise in “nutritional advice” that down plays the importance of exercise. Yes, you can loose weight through dieting alone. But then you’re just skinny, not fit.
Health and fitness demands that you move your ass! But it is more than just “working out”. Remember, fitness is a lifestyle so you have to find exercise that is meaningful to you personally…Something that you enjoy while you do it. For me (outside of martial arts) it is running and hiking. For you it might be swimming or dance. Just find it and do it.
That’s it guys. Now I know that I have left out the latest and greatest in health tips that let you hack your body to good health but that’s just not me. Like in most things, I try to adhere to the good ole’ KISS rule.
Do you have a health rule like these? Post it in the comments!