THIS ISN’T DIFFICULT
And it isn’t complicated. But there is significant benefit within these habits, if we adopt them to our lifestyles. This is primarily for those who are not currently into fitness, but who may want to get started, slowly and without great expense or time investment.
Advanced fitness advocates may not need these bits of advice, but may benefit from a quick review, as I often do.
Simplicity is the key, but simplicity does not emerge from the minds of “simpletons”. Here are some examples
- Leonardo da Vinci – “Beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity”.
- Lao Tzu – “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”.
- Neil Degrasse Tyson – “Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand”.
- Albert Einstein – “A little simplicity would be the first step toward rational living….”
I have known men who did not want to enter fitness gyms because they felt that they would be embarrassed by their relative lack of strength. (As if working out would be a test of their strength, rather than a means to acquire strength or fitness).
THE 7 HABITS
- Drink lots of water – we need water to flush out toxins and to maintain moisture in our eyes, nose, throat and ears. Our entire bodies depend on water for function. A good rule is to daily drink at least one ounce of water per half of our bodyweight in pounds (80 ounces per day for someone weighing 160 pounds). This amount of water would be actually increased by water within foods that we consume. See my article on healthy hydration here.
- Practice deep breathing and meditation – this will favorably affect your sense of calmness and even your blood pressure. It is especially important to breathe deeply before eating, particularly if you are a compulsive eater. Also, some form of meditation helps me to go to sleep more quickly and to achieve better rest. See my prior post on this subject.
- Elevate your feet above your heart – we can do this during the day as we read or watch television. It will relieve muscle tension and swelling. Also, we can drastically improve our blood circulation to our brain and even improve immunity by cleaning our blood. See my article on “Health Benefits of Leg Elevation and Inversion”. I have been told by chiropractors that the best inversion tables are made by Teeter Hangups. Here is information on the inversion table I use and the picture is shown below. This is from Amazon (as an Amazon affiliate, I may earn from qualifying purchases).
- Choose exercises you enjoy – this doesn’t suggest that we will benefit from exercises that are easy or not challenging. But we tend to stay with routines that we like. For example, I played tennis for several decades and never thought of this as any kind of workout. Similarly, we may prefer cardio to resistance training or vice versa. Both are crucial, but we may give more of our time to one or the other. I don’t find treadmill walking especially exciting, but I play music during this time to make it more enjoyable.
- Get started – or as Nike says, “Just do it”. Walk around your neighborhood. Use your bodyweight as resistance. Do push-ups, planks and crunches. Do lunges and bodyweight squats. Keep it simple, but get started. Then enlist some exercise partners so that you may encourage each other and be accountable.
- Use tracking tools – I personally enter my weight, blood pressure and pulse, calories consumed, resistance sets and cardio minutes every day on my computer to be accountable to myself. I don’t believe that I could otherwise accomplish my goals. I am motivated to make favorable entries. It’s just as simple as that. A fitness journal is shown below and here are the details (also from Amazon).
Another fitness tracker is shown below, the popular Fitbit, from Amazon. Learn more here and see below:
- Include resistance training – we may prefer cardio exercise, but let’s include weight training for optimal results. A study by Wake Forest University shows that older overweight adults did better with resistance training than by cardio alone. Here is that study. My personal preference and recommendation is to include both, but I have talked with many seniors who do lots of walking but no resistance training. The resistance need not be heavy and the movements need not be difficult, but we can at least try to increase our intensity slowly. For beginners, here are a couple of options, both from Amazon. First, consider resistance bands. They provide full body workouts and are reasonably priced. Click this link and see the image below.
Here is a set of light dumbbells for beginners. They are also shown below.
My goal with this article is to suggest easy guidelines for those who want to participate in the workout lifestyle. The first several suggestions were not even related to workouts, more to general fitness.
I know that there are many who understand the wisdom of exercising for fitness, but who may think it is more complicated than it really is.
You may choose to do bodyweight exercise and walk/run outside, But simple equipment for your home is available at very reasonable price points.
Please leave me any questions or comments in the “Comments” section below. Or email me, firstname.lastname@example.org.