5 Health and Fitness Principles

5 Health and Fitness Principles everybody should adhere to

There’s no shortage of nonsensical information in the world of health and fitness. How many contradicting claims are there… Do we really know what is good for us and what is not, how many hours have you wasted reading endless articles on what you should be doing or consuming or totally avoiding all together ….?

Sometimes I can laugh at the utterly ridiculous crap that floats around social media. But other times it upsets me because much of it adds to the false notion that health and fitness is complicated.

There’s infinite amounts of rubbish swirling around regarding health and fitness, and you’re tired of it, right? You want simple, proven principles that work so you don’t have to waste time or be unnecessarily stressed.

The following five no nonsense principles do just that.

5 Health and Fitness Principles

  1. Eat mostly real, minimally processed foods. Put an emphasis on consuming plenty of plant-based foods (e.g., fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, whole grains). Other great foods include dairy, eggs, poultry, meat, and seafood.
  2. Strength train 2-4 days per week. This is according to your preferences and time availability. Whether you want to lift heavy barbells at the local gym two or three days per week or work out at home with bodyweight exercises; do what works for you. Use primarily large, compound exercises and improve your performance a little each time you repeat a workout.
  3. Move often in ways you enjoy. Don’t underestimate the value of doing something you actually like to do. Go hiking, take a group fitness class, start learning martial arts, or anything that sounds fun to you. Do something everyday, even if it’s just taking your dog for a 20 minute walk. It shouldn’t have to be a chore.
  4. Get enough sleep. Sufficient quality sleep is important and has been shown to help aid fat loss, improve cognitive function, and a provide a host of other benefits.
  5. If you make a mistake, or even fail completely, don’t beat yourself up. There will be days you miss a workout. There will be days you don’t eat well. There will be days you don’t get much sleep. When these days happen, practice some self-compassion and then move on and do something positive when possible.

It’s not about trying to be perfect. It’s about what you do most of the time over a long period of time.

Simple. Proven. Effective.

Too many people dismiss the basics and want the “secret” or “advanced” information. This makes no sense. You wouldn’t attempt to learn advanced calculus before first knowing how to add, subtract, divide, and multiply, would you? You wouldn’t attempt to prepare a gourmet meal the first time you cooked, would you?

Stick to the basics and make them lifestyle habits. Once you do that then, sure, you can tweak certain elements or take things “to the next level,” but not until you’ve practiced the items above for several months, at the very least.

And the next time you feel compelled to begin looking for the next big thing or want to kick things up a notch, revisit the five principles above and make sure you’re doing them consistently.