If you haven't heard there is this thing that happens every year around after the New Year. It's called people making New Year's resolutions. Which are nothing more than goals (usually vague) that just happen to be declared in close proximity to the New Year.
Yeah people get crazy about these resolutions and attack them with the same ferocity Eddard Stark and Robert Baratheon captured the Iron Throne with.
It's also rather common for these resolutions to be in some way shape or form related to being healthier or in my experience "getting fit" (whatever that may mean to the individual saying it.).
No I'm not pulling your leg this really is a phenomenon.
You know it's all about seizing the moment, living your best life, and kicking ass (I write that with sarcasm, but seriously it is really about doing those things.).
Anyways the most common way people set out to accomplish these health related resolutions is to join a gym, buy a gym bag and some new athletic wear, and then try to hit the gym five nights a week after work usually between 5pm and 7pm.
Side Note: If you have never been privileged to see a New Year's rush at a gym well then you are just missing out. It is quite the scene.
Although I commend there effort, recognize the good intentions they have, and have mad respect for the courage it takes to workout in a commercial gym I can't help but shake my head a bit. Not like in a condescending-how-stupid-can-you-be kind of way, but more in a oh-no-here-we-go-again kind of way. And it is because time and time again I have seen really awesome deserving humans with honest intentions of improving their health spin their wheels, try really really hard, and then give up in frustration when nothing happens in the first 30 days.
This is the purpose of this piece. I want to give some simple advice about how to "get fit" that will actually make New Year's resolutions successful and have you "getting fit" and being fit for many more New Year's to come.
Thus here is my distilled list of shit to do that yields that highest return for "getting fit" in terms of time and effort invested.
1. Drink water. Drink lots and lots of water.
Seriously go right now to the sink, fill up a cup, and start drinking.
That's so actionable advice right there.
2. Take a multivitamin, fish oil, and vitamin D daily.
This one takes no effort. You just have to pop a few pills everyday. This will give you some insurance and make sure you are getting a regular dose of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. And while I will admit the research is rather confounded on whether or not multivitamins actually do provide nourish I am just of the opinion that it is really inexpensive and at the very worts it isn't going to cause you any harm.
3. Get atleast six hours of sleep.
I know I know that episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians isn't going to watch itself, but seriously it can wait and it sure as hell shouldn't take priority over your overall health.
Research in sleep is numerous and continually growing, but what we do know is that proper quantity and quality of sleep is essential for proper neurological function, immunological function, and physical recovery.
I am not fucking around you, must prioritize sleep.
4. Manage stress. I might even suggest changing the way you view stress.
Stres is stress is stress.
Doesn't matter if it is physical, mental, or emotional in nature our body interprets and responds to it all in the same way.
This means stress is cumulative and if you don't manage it and clear it you are going to be negatively impacted physically which means deterioration of physical health and perhaps more motivating, increased abdominal fat.
5. Learn to cook.
Eating high quality, nutrient dense food is awesome!
But I guaran-dam-tee it that you will not keep eating this food if every time you prepare it it ends up tasting like cardboard.
You need to develop the skills and knowledge to prepare this food in a way that you find appetizing. This will make this way of eating manageable and sustainable for the long term.
I know you might think you actually know how to cook, but taking a box or bag out of the freezer to thaw and popping it into the oven for 20 minutes is not cooking. If you don't believe me that you can't cook then try buying some chicken breasts, jasmine rice, and your favorite vegetables and cook them. If you can't prepare these so that they are at least edible then you likely will need to get some lessons because these items are some of the staples in a budget and health friendly weekly diet.
6. Buy Tupperware and a nice cooler.
You won't get or maintain the health you desire eating out several times per week.
This means you need to get comfortable with packing and preparing meals ahead of time and bringing them with you.
In order to to these things you need the required equipment.
7. Buy a 30 to 50 pound kettle bell and yoga mat.
I am a big believer in the home gymnasium movement.
Having one allows you to train when you want and instead of throwing money way every month you can invest it into items that will give you the most bang for your buck. This way your only spending money on things that directly contribute to improving your health.
I recommend starting the home gym with these two items because they are reasonably affordable for just about everyone any day of the week. And with them in addition to your body you can train every essential movement required to developing a balanced-injury-free-attractive physique.
8. Be consistent with anything you start. Remember consistent doesn't mean perfect. It just means you do it more than you don't do it.
You are what you do most often. It is just a simple fact of life. This means in order to have good health you need to practice good health building habits regularly.
[Bonus (or Shameless Plug)] 9. Hire a coach, in-person or online.
Having someone oversee and plan your training and nutrition for you is one of the best ways to kick start this whole "getting fit" process. It also gives you the support, accountability, and guidance to navigate those first few months of uncertainty.
Oh and funny you should ask I do offer online training. -------------> COACHING
Yeah none of this is the most sexy advice, but it sure is damn effective and when put into practice can be quite life changing.
Please just give it a shot.
Happy moving and heavy lifting!
Practical, Purposeful, Effective Training