Don’t Over Complicate Your Health & Fitness. Keep It Simple
Have you heard of Occam’s Razor?
“The simplest explanation is usually the right one.”
A lot of people including me love to over complicate things, especially health and fitness. Because we tend (in my opinion) to overlook the obvious and go straight to the complicated. For example, if you want to get stronger, lift weights.
People who are smarter than me like to throw the latest hacks/shortcuts out there to get you where you want to go faster. In my opinion, simple doesn’t sell but complicated and shortcuts do.
Want proof? Click here to see how many diet books are for sale on Amazon. It’s not that I have anything against complicated. Complicated has its place like for example, rocket science. And it has its place in health and fitness too, depending on your goals but for most of us it pays to keep it simple.
Because life is already complicated enough without exercise muddying the waters.
How Keeping It Simple Works With Health And Fitness
When it comes to lifting weights, there is no shortage of choices or information. It’s a matter of doing something over nothing and being consistent. Someone who picks up a dumbbell will be in better shape than Mr. Couch Potato.
It’s that simple.
But if you’ve spent any time in a gym or on the internet, there are a multitude of bright shiny toys and ‘hacks’ when it comes to resistance training. Some good, some bad and some very ugly.
Now these (probably) work so it’s not my job to cast doubt on these shiny toys (except the shake weight) and methods, but I do want to bring to your attention to fundamental human movements. What do I mean by fundamental?
Movements you do daily and should play a starring role in your exercise routine, no matter what tool or method you use and they are
· Sitting down to go number 2. – Squatting.
· Bending over to pick up something from the floor. – Hinging.
· Walking, running, carrying groceries, or climbing stairs- Carries and Locomotion.
Taking the view from 10,000 feet and looking at what’s worked in the gym since the dawn of time keeps your routine simple and stops you from falling for the latest and greatest fads and hacks. Because fools and their money are soon parted.
Now, I realize there is no money in this because complicated sells and simple doesn’t. But whatever the program you use or buy please make sure to run it through the fundamental human movement filter. If it doesn’t come up to snuff, move on.
Keeping It Simple With Nutrition
First, I must admit, I’m no expert when it comes to nutrition, so take everything I say with a grain of salt. See what I did there? Forever the funny man and I’ll be here for the rest of this article, if you choose to read it.
Anyway, there are a few things healthy eating (I don’t like the word diet much) individuals have in common, They
– Limit their added sugar intake
– Reduce their intake of refined carbs that are of stripped of fiber
– Eat fruits and vegetables like your mother told you
– Eat enough fiber
– Limit their intake of fats like trans fats, Omega 6, and vegetable oils
– Drink enough water for their activity levels
– Eat enough protein for their activity levels
The above can be summed up in three words. Eat like an adult.
But what do I mean by that? Think back to your childhood and all the crap you used to eat.
Chicken nuggets, pop tarts, sugary cereal, donuts, candy, chicken strips, fish fingers and frozen pizza. Yeah, all the good stuff. But this combination of sugar, fat and salt is exactly what you DON’T need if you’re trying to improve your health.
You got away with it while you were young because you had the metabolism of a Ferrari. You burnt off those calories even before it even hit the stomach. But being an adult, your Ferrari like metabolism morphs into tortoise and weight gain can result.
This doesn’t mean all processed food mentioned above is bad for you. There are no such thing as good and bad foods. But when it’s your goal to be healthier and lose a few pounds, you need to limit these foods and start eating like an adult.
Here’s What You Need To Steer Clear From
Nutrition, diets, and training ideology is a murky area. People in certain food and workout camps (not mentioning any names here) hold strong to their beliefs even when there is evidence to the contrary. Some people have the opinion if it’s good for them and it’s good for the planet then it’s good for you too.
And the rest be damned.
Here’s my thing. Demonizing food groups, having a bunch of rules of what you should and shouldn’t eat, and what you should and shouldn’t do in the gym is good for some but not good for others. What it does is make health & fitness unnecessarily complicated.
Some like complicated but not me. My life is already complicated enough with marriage, fatherhood, work and dealing with life’s ups and downs. I imagine yours could be too.
I’d advise to steer clear from ideology, camps, and strict rules and regulations that tell you what you can and can’t do. These things can make your health & fitness complicated. Instead, be flexible, do you and take the view from 10,000 feet.
Then adjust when life throws you a curveball. Because health & fitness is not about perfection. It’s about consistency and doing you.
It’s in our nature to complicate things because life is complicated and full of ups and downs. Instead of complicating things more than you have to with your health & fitness, keep things simple. Your body, mind and waistline will thank you.