How Do I Get Started?
This question can be answered either very simply, which might be perfect for some of you, or answered in great depth and detail, which might be perfect for others of you.
What’s important is that it’s answered in way that resonates with you, that sticks with you, that you can easily follow, and that produces results.
I’m willing to bet that most of you have tried to follow a diet and exercise program before. You might have seen results, but for whatever reason you didn’t continue.
Maybe it became a burden to follow after a while- too many decisions to make, too many don’ts- don’t do this, don’t do that, maybe you didn’t see the results you wanted quickly enough, or perhaps you just ran out of will power due to decision fatigue.
Also, you all have different starting points- some of you may be exercising now, some of you may be dieting now, some of you may be doing both, some of you may not have done anything for years.
But what you all have in common is that you want to become more fit and more healthy.
So here’s how I’m going to approach this: I’m going to start off by giving you a foundation of easy to follow basic principles that will give you results. Then I’ll build on that and give you more detailed information as we go. Absorb as much as you want, absorb as much as you can handle. You can always come back for more.
The last thing I want to do is make it burdensome for you. Because if it is, you’re not gonna do anything.
3 Easy Steps To Fitness
Alright, let’s get going. Here are your three easy steps to fitness:
Step 1. Eat real food.
Step 2. Resistance training.
Step 3. Just do it.
Let me repeat those-
Step 1. Eat real food.
Step 2. Resistance training.
Step 3. Just do it
Can’t get easier than that. When things are simple, they’re easier to follow and easier to stick to, because there’s fewer decisions and less “decision fatigue”.
1. Eat “real food” means staying away from packaged foods, processed foods, and diet soda. They all have added sugar. About 75% of how healthy and how fit you are is based on your diet.
I think we all know that nutrition and health are closely related. I came across an article from the March 24, 2014 edition of The Atlantic. The title was Science Compared Every Diet, And The Winner Is Real Food. The conclusion reached by Dr. David Katz of the Yale University Prevention Research Center was, “A diet of minimally processed foods, close to nature, predominantly plants, is decisively associated with health promotion and disease prevention.”
So let’s talk some more about “real food.” Let me answer the question that’s probably going through your mind right now. What should I eat?
When I talk about real food, I mean food as close to its natural state as possible, without any preservatives, chemicals, artificial colors, artificial flavors, or words none of us can pronounce. It’s food that hasn’t been changed, processed, adulterated, or added to.
You want to eat fruit and vegetables that look the same as they did when they came off the tree or off the bush or out of the ground. You want to eat dairy, whole grains, grass-fed meat, wild caught fish, poultry, legumes, and nuts. Ideally, you want to eat organic food that hasn’t been sprayed with pesticides.
There are lots of definitions of “real or whole food”. Here’s the best one in my opinion and the easiest to remember:
Eat single ingredient foods. That’s the goal. Anything with more than a few ingredients should be avoided.
Single ingredient foods are usually those found on the perimeter aisles of your supermarket- fish, poultry, meat, vegetables, fruit, and dairy. In the frozen food section you can usually find frozen vegetables that contain nothing but the vegetable- frozen peas, frozen broccoli, etc. and sometimes I’ve found frozen turkey patties or salmon patties that contain nothing but turkey or salmon- no additives, preservatives, or anything else.
2. Exercise using resistance training. Resistance training is any exercise that causes your muscles to contract against an external resistance. It could be lifting weights, using resistance bands, or pushing your own body weight.
Resistance training is incredibly important. As we age, if we remain sedentary, we lose muscle size and strength with each passing year. It just happens naturally. If you combine that with a sedentary lifestyle (no exercise) we gain weight and become fat.
Resistance training allows us to continue to develop strength, gain muscle size, increase bone density (protecting us from osteoporosis), protect our joints from injury, and allows us to move our muscles and body in a full range of natural motion which increases our flexibility, all of which adds up to a more active life as we get older. See my post, How To Build Muscle The Right Way- It’s Not What You Think.
Keep a workout log and each time you do a specific exercise, try to do more than you did at your last workout, either more reps or a little more weight. I always suggest that once you can complete a set of 12 repetitions in one set, increase the weight with the smallest increment available for the next workout.
If you’re wondering where cardio exercise fits into things, see my post, Aerobic Or Anaerobic Exercises- Which Will Burn Fat, More Quickly?
3. Just show up and do it. Don’t think about it. Just do it.
Yesterday, you said, “I’ll start tomorrow,” that’s today.
If you’re tired of starting over, stop giving up.
Just do it.
Take a moment and do one pushup or one jumping jack right now. Go ahead. Finished? You didn’t think about it did you? You didn’t have to plan for it did you? You just did it.
Now, do two pushups or two jumping jacks. Go ahead. Finished? Again, you didn’t have to think about it, you didn’t have to psyche yourself up for it, did you?
No, you just did it.
And you also just started down the road to better health and better fitness.
Just show up and do it.
Be the exception. 😎
Please leave a comment- give me a thumbs up, a thumbs down, whatever, just leave a comment, like my page, but most important of all, be the exception.