Reaching your ideal health and fitness goals doesn’t have to painful. Keep it Simple: Do this, and take control of your health and fitness!
There’s much talk about fitness routines and how they must be challenging, regular, disciplined, planned, and all of that with no exceptions. If you don’t follow this “conventional wisdom,” you’ll not succeed, they say. Therein lies the problem; the industry scares most of its potential customers and clients into a passive panic mode before they even attempt to get fit and healthy.
Sure, the right attitude and a positive mindset help to reach your fitness goals; however, it’s equally important to be flexible and listen to your body and mind. The key is to understand that your health is what you have made it, to be able to change it. Therefore, you need to look back in history and look at nature.
You used to be fit and healthy at some point. It would help if you thought about how that changed and why.
The answer to finding ideal health and fitness lies in nature, and what we are naturally supposed to do with bodies.
No Pain, No Gain?
“No pain, no gain,” is one of the most misleading sayings ever made up. So-called health and fitness companies and their marketing teams put a lot of “pain” into misleading their customers for their financial gain.
People push themselves far too hard every day, not realizing they are hurting their heart, body, and mind without burning any fat.
Overweight folks are running or biking too fast, huffing and puffing, as if they are about to keel over.
Fit looking guys and girls are pumping iron as if they are about to enter an Arnold contest tomorrow, and they think they are on top of the world. Yet, they have no idea what they are doing to their hearts and joints by following this type of health and fitness routine.
Side note: if someone looks fit and healthy, it doesn’t mean they are on the inside.
What’s the driver behind all of this?
The majority of the health and fitness industry doesn’t want you to be healthy and fit. If all this stuff these companies sell would work, well, then everyone would end up being healthy and fit, and there would be little to no market for most players in the industry.
Unfortunately, most people are followers, not leaders: we have the herd mentality, that goes like this:
- If Arnold was pumping iron and is so successful, it must be good for me.
- The guys in the gym are all downing protein shakes, so I must too drink them too.
- My neighbor is fit and runs every morning for an hour or more, so I better do the same.
- The spin class instructor is so strong; I have to go spinning every day if I want to look like her.
- My personal trainer tells me working out six days a week, with only one day rest, is the best way to succeed. He must know!
I could write a ten-page list of all of these wrongs, and trust me; it’s all wrong.
There’s a massive disconnect between health and fitness marketing and the health and fitness methods that really work.
Let’s think about one more small but well-known fact. The January 2 is known to be the biggest day for gym membership sign-ups, world-wide. Another known fact is that only one month later, half of those newly recruited gym members never show up again.
It’s not because those people are lazy louts, nope, it’s pretty much all designed to work that way. Push to join, promising great results if you listen to them, then, once you joined, subscribed, are buying something, nobody cares.
How to keep it Simple.
Living a healthy lifestyle and keeping to a health and fitness routine is far more straightforward than most people think. Your workouts don’t have to be daily nor grueling. Cooking and eating real natural food is not that hard.
Okay, you have to make more effort and cook some meals at home, instead of living off restaurant food every day. Home-cooking, once you get used to it, is fun, addictive, and a lifestyle in itself.
Keeping it simple both in your exercise and food department is the key!
How to do it.
Okay, okay. You got me. It does take a little discipline and dedication. Meaning, you have to get out of bed early and make a promise to yourself to be accountable and to do it! That’s it.
Follow your circadian rhythm.
Wake up and get up around 6 am, or around sunrise. You may be thinking, why? Well, we are supposed to wake up and sleep with the sun, following our natural circadian rhythm and the sun.
Going to bed with the sunset is a little tricky, especially in winter. However, we are indeed wired this way. It’s important to understand this and to make going to bed earlier a new habit.
Most people stay up far too late, binge-watching TV, which makes it harder to rise early in the morning. Staying up late, especially to watch TV, is a waste of your time and energy. It’s essential to make sure you get your precious and restful sleep.
Hydrate and kick start your body!
First thing in the morning, always be sure to hydrate well. I always drink three glasses of room temperature water with fresh-squeezed lemon juice. Lemons are yellow because they are little bundles of “health gold”, loaded with vitamin C and antioxidants. Lemon water helps kick start your system in the early hours and will get things moving. If you don’t believe me, read the science here.
Coffee or Tea & Fat.
I’m Keto, so I’ll have a couple of cups of organic coffee (or tea) with a healthy dose of heavy cream before I get moving. I love my coffee and the coffee routine in the morning, as it sets the tone, peaceful and happy!
Go out and Walk, morning, noon and evening.
Walking is the most underrated form of exercise, and it’s my silent weapon to ideal heart health, weight loss, or weight management.
Go for a fast-paced walk for around 2 to 3 miles each time, every morning, noon, and evening. Walking elevates your heart rate within your aerobic fat burning zone, without pushing you into the anaerobic nonfat burning zone, which I call the stress zone.
The morning walk is the ideal way to wake up your body and mind and set the tone for the day. The noon walk will relax your mind from your work, and help you focus again. The evening walk will soothe your soul and prepare you for a restful evening.
Walking is the best cardio routine you can do every day, any day! You can read in more detail about why that is here.
Work hard, but move, all day.
When at work, try to spend no more than one hour a time sitting at your desk. Every hour stand up and walk around your place of work, hit the stairs (there are usually stairs in offices or at home) or do 30 to 50 squats and a mini stretch next to your desk, and go back to work.
I call this “mini-workouts,” and I categorize them as a daily movement routine. Moving frequently throughout the day is essential to staying fit, alert, and agile.
Staying put at your desk for hours on end is counterproductive as your brain tires, you lose concentration, and your joints and muscles stiffen. Additionally, instead of upregulating your caloric burn, you’re keeping it to a minimum, which doesn’t help fat burn.
Workout only 2 to 3 times a week, no more!
There is no need to spend hours at the gym every day or any day. All you need to work out is you and your body because Your Body Is Your Gym. You can do all you need at home or anywhere for that matter, and that’s what makes it simple.
Working out every day in any shape or form is bad for your heart, and known as overtraining. This behavior results in overproduction of the stress hormone, cortisol, that’s pumped into our hearts. Excessive cortisol production will, over time, lead to heart disease.
How to Train Safe and Simple:
Using your body as your gym is the best way to workout, and I’ll tell you exactly why:
- You only need 3 to 4 exercises to work out every muscle group.
- By using your body weight, you minimize injury risk.
- Complete a full-body weight workout in 15 to 20 minutes.
- Do it anywhere, anytime, efficiently, and effectively.
- Save time.
- You don’t need an expensive gym membership or equipment.
If you are ambitious, you can add one weekly short sprint training session. Sprinting is a fabulous way to burn fat and build lean muscle fast. Everyone can sprint. It’s a bit tricky to start, so I don’t recommend it the beginning unless you are in decent shape.
The simplest and safest ways to sprint are:
1. Stationary Bike Sprints
Sprinting on a Stationary Bike is the simplest and safest way to start your sprint training. You are in a controlled environment; you won’t fall off the bike or get hit by traffic.
2. Swim Sprints
If you are a decent swimmer, I can highly recommend this option. Swim Sprinting works every muscle group and is fantastic for your cardiovascular system.
Sprint training is more complicated than basic cardio training. Before attempting a sprint session, you should understand your heart rate, the intensity you are performing the sprints at as well as the needed rest periods.
Eat real food.
I do have to bring your attention to food and your eating habits. Without the right food intake, you can pretty much do whatever you want for your health and fitness routine; you won’t succeed and reach your goals. I’m sorry to have to say that, but it’s the truth.
Home cooking with Organic Food.
Home cooking, using as much as organic food as you can, is the best way to good overall internal health, and the key to an excellent health and fitness routine. By cooking, you know what you are eating and that it’s fresh as you can get.
The restaurant’s food is not only bad for your bank account, but also your health. You don’t know where it came from, do you?
Winding it all down.
Winding down at the end of the day, starting shortly after sunset, and preparing for your evening to be relaxed and pleasant, is an integral part of your overall health and fitness routine.
Getting enough quality sleep and time sleeping is equally as crucial to moving enough every day.
Spending time in nature, preferably walking, is something you want to build into your schedule and make it a habit you can’t miss.
Keeping your strength training and sprint workouts short and sweet, and limited is all you need to build extra strength and increase fat burn, without damaging your heart.
Getting out of bed that little earlier and setting your positive habits will allow you to succeed with your health and fitness routine, the natural, simple, and safe way!
Thanks for reading, and please send me any comments or questions you may have.
Former Olympic Athlete & Certified Health Coach.
“It is my mission to educate people on how to lose weight, how to build a healthy, strong heart, body, and mind, supporting a longer life.”
If you enjoyed this story, sign up for Rob’s Health Crunch below. You will enjoy my weekly articles on health, fitness, food, travel, and living well, along with daily news feeds on the blog, tons of workout videos and health tips!