28-Day Personal Challenge – Diet and Exercise Basics
Today, we’re covering diet and exercise basics. We’re going super simple. It’s a reminder that anyone can make changes in their life and stick with it.
So even though I’ve written on this before – it means that much to me – I’m covering it again.
Don’t Buy Into the Hype
Magazines, websites, social media, etc., will all have you believe that you can get in shape so long as you buy the right supplements, the right work out gear, the right diet, the right gym membership, or the right paid exercise plan.
That is enough to derail anyone on a budget or anyone who gets easily overwhelmed.
The hype is whatever is being sold. Protein powder to up your muscle build, compression leggings and compression sleeves for better circulation and muscle recovery, the proper shoe for running and a completely different shoe for walking and yet, another shoe for hiking, and don’t forget about diets. You need the “trendy” diet of the moment, Keto or vegan or juice cleanse. And you need the particular equipment a certain set of dumbbells, yoga mat, exercise ball, kettlebell, resistance bands, and gym membership. Oh, and of course all of this won’t do you any good if you don’t have a personal coach…a paid subscription service to guide you through targeted emails and videos. Except those “targeted” videos and emails are the same ones they send to everyone else.
Don’t buy it! You don’t need all that crap. It’s expensive, it’s overwhelming, it’s unnecessary.
My biggest peeve with the diet industry and magazines that create diet plans is that they give a week or more of recipes for you to follow. However, I have yet to see one that is realistic.
What I usually see is a list of items that I do not have in my refrigerator or pantry. The items listed in the recipes usually call for organic vegetables or items that I can’t find unless I hunt down a Whole Foods store.
Then I follow the diet plan. And the diet doesn’t take into consideration that there will be leftovers or you won’t be able to use up that one herb that you drove all over Timbuktu to find and only came in one size that cost $12. Of that $12 you only used about fifty cents worth.
I don’t like wasting money. And by the time the diet calls for that herb in another recipe, the herb’s gone bad.
I’m not a doctor. So if you have a doctor that tells you to go home right now and clean the crud out of your cupboards, then you know listen to them. They know the state of your health. They know more than I do. But if some coach or nutritionist or trainer or whatever tells you to clean house, walk away.
You don’t need expensive ingredients. You don’t need to throw away what you currently have. Just start making changes each time you go shopping. For example, finish off the loaf of white bread. When you go shopping, buy the whole wheat. Finish off the donuts, when you go shopping, buy the sweetest fruit in season. You’ll get there. And by the time you get there (your healthy eating spot), the person who dove all in on whatever diet, will probably have fallen off that plan and be hunting down a new one. You’ll be making steady progress.
It doesn’t get any easier than that. You won’t have a drastic body change, but you’ll be building a better diet that will pay off in the long run. We’re going to the basics. Where we don’t waste food and throw away money.
You don’t need fancy compression pants or expensive gear. All you need is the will to exercise. You aren’t going to enjoy all of it. Let’s be realistic, no one jumps out of bed, yelling “Woohoo, ab day!” or, “It’s raining buckets, awesome day for a walk!” If you do, I don’t want to talk to you. Sorry.
Yes, it helps if you can enjoy it, but sometimes, you have to start and keep repeating until you feel something different. You realize that you sleep better, you discover you’re happier, you aren’t as winded walking up staircases, you make better choices at the supermarket. Whatever, the small thing is, take note and feed off that. For me, it’s being happier. I do sleep better, I do have better will-power, but at the end of the day, it’s all about being happier and calmer. If I don’t exercise one day, I’m okay. Two days, I’m not okay.
The best and cheapest form of exercise is walking. You can wear jeans, you can wear sweats that are grimy, you can wear your skirt from work, whatever you have, put it on and a pair of tennis shoes and get out. Just start. If you only go a quarter mile today, aim for a third of a mile tomorrow.
If you don’t want to walk in inclement weather, walk in your home. Go up and down the stairs. Set a timer, ten minutes today, fifteen tomorrow. Stream a walking video from YouTube. Talk to your doctor, don’t do something if it hurts or doesn’t sound right. Use good judgment here.
I’m going to finish with a quick summary of some diet and exercise basics.
- Each time you go shopping incorporate healthier fare. Buy more fruits and vegetables. Whole grains. Lean meats.
- Also, decide what your weakness is and start on that. If you love to snack throughout the day, maybe cut out one snack each day. Or portion out your snacks by serving size.
- Begin your meals with a serving size. Wait ten minutes before going for seconds. Only take a half of a serving if you feel you need more.
- Walk around your neighborhood.
- Walk around the mall.
- Dance or walk in your home.
- Find some easy exercise routines on YouTube (clear with your doctor)
- Do weight-bearing exercises, lunges, squats, pushups, crunches, planks, etc… As you get stronger, do more or really squeeze the muscles to get more from the strength exercise.
A Few YouTube Recommendations
- Yoga with Adriene – 30 Days of Yoga
- Holly Dolke’s Indoor Walking Workout
- Leslie Sansone’s One Mile Happy Walk (Walk at Home 1 mile)
Those are the basics. With those basics, you can build a solid foundation, and with a solid foundation, you’ll set yourself up for success.
Previous 28-Day Personal Challenge Posts