Embrace the basics to solve your health-and fitness-related problems
The other day one of my relatives, a well-learned and overweight gentleman who has been suffering from knee pain asked me, “I understand the obvious action is to lose weight, but is there any special exercise I can do to reduce knee pain?” I said, “Yes. Losing weight.”
Last week one of my fat loss clients asked “Is it true that I need to supplement with Vitamin D to lose weight?” My answer was “No. You need to stop eating dessert everyday to lose weight.”
And yesterday one of my strength athletes asked “I’m very strong but I can’t run at all! Can you give me a customised plan to help me run better?” and I replied “Sure. But have you tried getting out there and running a few times a week?”
When it comes to fitness and health, you want the most perfect programme or plan and you want it customised to your needs. What is the diet plan that will help me lose weight the fastest? What is the best exercise programme in town? What burns the most calories — running or swimming or the elliptical? As a result, you are in an infinite loop looking for that perfect pill, powder, potion, programme or plan.
The thing is, like most of us, you like to be special. You like to be told that you’re a unique snowflake. You like it when something is customised to your needs. You like “intriguing intricacies” and you dislike “the obvious”. Why? The obvious isn’t exciting enough or special enough for you.
But what you don’t realise is that the obvious accounts for 90 per cent of your results and the intriguing intricacies only adds up to the remaining 10 per cent. But here’s the catch — you need the obvious 90 per cent before the special 10 per cent even applies to you. To draw an analogy, if you want to be successful professionally you need to go to work first. Reading “20 secrets of the supremely successful” all day long and not showing up at work won’t take you anywhere.
So what is “the obvious” that we’re talking about here? It is all the obvious solutions to your problems that you know very well are great solutions but neglect because they aren’t new and exciting. Let me give you 10 obvious solutions to all your health-and fitness-related problems.
- Eat more vegetables. More than you do now.
- Drink enough water. Never be thirsty.
- Quit smoking.
- Get angry less. Keep your stress levels down.
- Eat as little sugar as possible.
- Keep desserts to once a week.
- Walk as much as you can. Always take the stairs.
- Do some form of exercise three days a week.
- Sleep at least seven hours a day.
“The obvious” is where the magic is. Stay diligent. Stay focused. Stay true to your goals. Do the most important steps first. Embrace the basics. Do the obvious.