Many of us have trouble trying to figure out the best option for our health and wellness goals. Turn on your computer or scroll through your social media feeds and you’ll see hundreds of different products and services ready to get you lean and mean. For instance, if you want to start exercising you have a range of options, from Zumba, Pilates and Yoga, to P90X, Crossfit and Parkor. On the nutrition side things are even more complicated. Should you do the Mediterranean Diet or Atkins? How about the Zone Diet or Paleo? Should you have gluten in your diet or dairy or carbs? The options are literally endless. And this is where our story begins.
Having choices is something that all of us enjoy. We want to be able to pick a brand name product over a generic product, or vice versa, because we hate feeling stuck with only one option. Ironically, though, there is a point on diminishing returns when it comes to choices. In actuality, when we get to a point where we have too many choices, we are generally unhappy with the decision we end up making. This is the Paradox of Choice. In a world of abundant options, we get stuck in this endless cycle of having to make decisions. And most of the time, those decisions lead us to be unhappy about our given choice.
Which brings us back to fitness and nutrition. We’ve already pointed out a few of the numerous options we have when it comes to health and wellness (and this is only the tip of the iceberg). So, knowing that having abundant choices typically leads to being unsatisfied with your decision, we are already set up for failure by not knowing which option to pick for our exercise regime or our nutrition plan.
The good news is; it doesn’t have to be as complicated as it seems. We are all individuals, and as such, we have to figure out what works for us: what worked for your friend, Sally, may not work for you. However, there are general guidelines that all of us can follow to get moving in the right direction. And they are pretty consistent from one person to the next:
1. Drink lots of water
Water is the Liquid of Life. The vast majority of our body is either made of water or needs water to function. Without water, you can not properly assimilate nutrients, dispose of waste products or maintain quality muscle mass. It surprises many people when they increase their water intake and start losing weight. Give it a try.
2. Eat whole foods
If you look back to the beginning of human existence, our bipedal ancestors did not have the option to grab a Little Debbie snack cake or even a Hungry Man because they were in a hurry. Although there are some quality options when it comes to bars and powders and other snacky foods, whole foods have always been the tried and true source of quality nutrients.
3. Do basic human movements for exercise
We have certain movements that we perform are a regular basis throughout our daily living. These movements are called the Basic Human Movements. These are the types of movements you should perform while doing your purposeful training regimen. Here’s your list of Basic Human Movements:
Most of these are self-explanatory. The everything else category involves most anything outside of the other 5 categories. Decide what is important to you and do these movements often.
It seems silly to hear the word PLAY when talking about staying healthy, especially for an adult. Play has been, and still is, one of the best ways to decrease stress and anxiety while staying active. But play doesn’t have to be what it was as a kid (although it can be that kind of play if you want). Play can mean going for a bike ride, canoeing, hiking, climbing trees, skiing, playing basketball…whatever you enjoy doing OUTSIDE of work. Make sure to play on a weekly basis AT LEAST.
Stick to these 4 basic ideas and you’ll be off to a great start with your health and wellness. These ideas could carry you through the rest of your life. Remember, always KISS (Keep It Simples Stupid) when it comes to your health. Don’t make things any more complicated than they have to be and you’ll be set.