“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it is not the same river and he’s not the same man.” Heraclitus
As a human being, you change. Hour by hour, day by day, year by year. You don’t have the same needs, wishes, goals, whether you are a teenager, a grown adult, or an ageing person. And even if your goals were the same, your body would react differently to how you treated it in every stage of life.
You want to be healthy, look good, be sociable, strong, lean… and you have an infinity of information you have free access to called the internet to help you.
Ten years ago, it was great. World wide free information.
As time went on, as the internet grew exponentially, we started getting bombarded by media, social media, and constant attention by people and companies.
Parallel to that, science is being revolutionised daily, then synthesised, vulgarised and sent out without care to you.
It is hard to stay focused and know where to start, and where to go with all of this.
So I would like to give you a few tips on how I manage my health and fitness, hoping these few tips can help you get stronger, healthier, leaner, and more energised in every situation and stage of life you are in.
0 – Stick with basics
This is such a great principle that it is principle 0.
Don’t go for the new gadgets, toys and silly programs that promise incredible results in not enough time, they are fads that will be debunked before this article is over, and you will be disappointed.
Stay with simple.
1 – Try Stuff
Whatever you are going to start doing, look up different options, and you should know what feels like the best option for you. I don’t like packages group activities, so trying Zumba would have been stupid for me.
Chose it, try it, see if you liked it THE FIRST TIME YOU TRIED IT, and if it doesn’t stick immediately forget it. Go to the next option.
Once you have found what you like, do it for a while.
2 – Do It Long Enough
Decide on something you have tried, and liked, and do it.
Do it long enough that you see changes, or progress that you have carefully logged, and that you should review daily, weekly, and monthly. If you see that you are still making progress stick to what you are doing. If you are making progress then you are doing something right.
Depending on the activity, this can take a while. But if you like it, sticking to it shouldn’t be problem. Go for at least 3 months before giving on progress.
3 – Do What Works
« if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it », Burt Lance May 1977 issue of the magazine Nation’s Business
There is nothing worse than running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off. Chose a path and follow it. If it work for a week, a month, a year, several years then good! Why change it if it is working. The new shiny objects out there won’t help you for the moment. just get good at what you are doing and stick to it.
- You found a diet that help you lose weight and stay energised? Good, keep doing it.
- You found a training program that allows you to increase your muscle mass, and do either more reps, sets or weight every week? Perfect.
- You found a meditation method that you like and helps you stay calm and focused? Excellent.
- You know at what time you should go to bed at and allows you to feel refreshed in the morning? Great!
As long as you are making progress you are on the right track. But if your logs tell you otherwise, then it is time for a change….
4 – If It Stops Working, Change It
Yes I know, this ain’t rocket science, but you would be astounded at how easy it is to forget this. If something isn’t working, change something, or figure out what has changed.
Maybe you have reached a limit, in which case a new stimulus might be required. Changing exercises, fasting for a day, turning your mattress over, start a new style of meditation, take a week off… anything.
But only change ONE metric at a time. Go for a week, and see what the results are. Tiny tweaks can go a very long way, and this method is the best there is to understand what works for you and what doesn’t. Little changes, over a very long period of time. Slow Building for solid foundations.
This basically means back to square 1) Try new stuff. Only you have accumulated knowledge over the months and it isn’t about finding a new activity, but finding ways to push through obstacles.
Here are a few things you can change in your nutrition, training programming, work, hobby, anything :
And it doesn’t have to mean MORE. maybe what you need is LESS. I love going to the gym, but if I go too often (more than 4 times a week) I tend to get burnt out and injured. I have to cut out a session to make progress. MORE sometimes means LESS.
If after another month of stagnation you still can’t seem to make any progress, find a coach. Or send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is my take on how to help your growth in the most simple way I could find. It has worked for me over the years and hopefully will take you, and me, much much further.