3 Health and Fitness Tenets That Will Never Change

(U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Xiomara M. Martinez)

Information overload is a common issue in today’s world of constant screen time on every topic, and fitness is not excluded. It can be hard to know where to start. Luckily, three basic concepts of fitness never change, no matter what the latest trend may be.

Knowing and understanding these concepts can help you reach your fitness and health goals regardless of the equipment needed or your age and abilities.

1. Get Moving

The first of these basic tenets is doing something physical every day. Call it exercise, working out, yard work or just walking, the key is to move. It is primarily done to improve one’s health or fitness level, but you can also accomplish manual labor tasks in the yard and around the house.

Exercise can be as basic and essential as walking, jogging, swimming or biking. It can also be more intense, such as strength training, HIIT and competing in races and competitions. Whatever exercise you choose, getting some movement into your day is crucial to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

2. What You Eat Matters: Always Has, Always Will

The second concept is understanding the calories consumed daily as part of a nutrition plan. Eating a balanced diet of natural food (non-processed) is essential for both physical and mental health as well as the basis to your energy to want to exercise. Making sure to get enough lean proteins, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates and fruits and vegetables every day is essential.

However, what you eat will also help you recover better from physical activity and prepare you for consecutive activity days. Additionally, staying hydrated is an integral part of maintaining a healthy diet, especially if you exercise regularly and sweat. Drinking enough water will help keep your body and mind functioning properly.

3. Consistency Is Key

Whatever you are doing, keep doing it like clockwork. When it comes to staying fit, you should exercise at least three to five times a week for 30 to 60 minutes a day, and it’s essential to stick to a schedule.

Make it a habit that you feel awkward if there is a day you miss it. We are all creatures of habit but can get into lulls in performance if we keep doing the same thing repeatedly.

If you are not feeling or seeing the results you seek, make a change. Add intensity, repetitions, sets, miles or time to your activity. Mix in new equipment or calisthenics exercises occasionally to not grow stale with your training. But always keep moving. Variety is also a key component of staying fit.

It’s important to understand that you don’t need to exercise for hours daily to see results. Research shows that 30 to 60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days a week can have significant health benefits. So don’t feel like you need marathon workout sessions; focus on quality over quantity regarding your exercise routine.

Understanding and following these three basic fitness concepts can create a successful and sustainable workout routine to help you stay healthy and active. Exercise, nutrition and consistency with whatever is working for you are the foundations of a healthy lifestyle.

By incorporating all three into your daily routine, you’ll be able to achieve your fitness, health, and wellness goals.

Don’t be overwhelmed with the clutter of options available when considering how to get started and how to add variety to your health and wellness. Finding something you enjoy or at least don’t hate doing is the first critical step. Test these out and be open to suggestions.

Start with 5 to 10 minutes of movement that can start with stretching on the floor, calisthenics, and walking that requires no equipment. It is fun when you start something, and within a few days or weeks, you start to see progress in how you are performing, feeling and finding the process much easier than a few days ago.

So when in doubt, remember to get moving, eat clean and work consistently. You may find that the easy part of these tenants of health and well-being is carving out time to train each day. Being disciplined with calories consumed for the remainder of the day requires discipline, but once you start to make disciplined choices, you start to feel rewarded for the decision and not like you are sacrificing all that is good in life.

This addition of discipline goes hand in hand with the most crucial part of the three tenets -- consistency. Get moving, keep moving and never quit.

Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Visit his Fitness eBook store if you’re looking to start a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle. Send your fitness questions to stew@stewsmith.com.

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