We are back with another episode of The Buzz, where we talk about fitness mindset matters (because your fitness mindset definitely matters!).
And today we are exploring some of the popular ideas out there in Fitnessland about things you have to do to be fit and healthy. Except that maybe you do not need to do them at all!!
Several years ago, when I was still quite new to fitness and exercising, I was pretty gullible about information I would read online. I mean, if it is on the internet, it must be true, right?
And yet, there does not seem to be a simple answer to any fitness questions!
What should I eat? “Go Paleo like our ancestors!” “Gluten free will solve your auto-immune issues!” “Low carb is the best way to lose weight!”…and on and on.
The sheer volume of information is simply overwhelming, and it all seems to make sense and be the “right” way to do things.
Well, today on The Buzz, we are going to cut through some of that fitness noise and talk about 8 things you “do not” have to do to be fit and healthy (and yes, there is one thing that I truly feel you “must” do!).
8 Things You Do Not Have To Do To Be Healthy (And 1 Thing You Must Do!) | The Buzz
You Do Not Have To Get Up At 5 AM
Oh, sure, some people can totally get up early and crank out an amazing workout and then go on to a chipper and energetic day. Me? I love to get up early.
But if you can not, do not like to, or just plain will not get up that early, you are not missing out on anything that you can not get at 9 pm.
The fact is, physiologically, a workout is pretty much a workout, no matter what time of day you squeeze it in. Psychologically, yes, you might enjoy ticking it off your to-do list early, but not at the expense of a good night’s sleep.
You Do Not Have To Give Up Sugar
There is a lot of good evidence that added sugar is not doing you any good, but do you have to go cold turkey and never eat it again? Nope!
For most of us, eating sugar in moderation, reducing intake and being aware of hidden sugars in our favorite foods is enough to be fit and healthy.
However, if you have trouble with moderation, or find that you experience particularly bad side effects from eating it, then of course it is a great idea to eliminate sugar.
But, do not feel like you “have to” just because it is a popular trend these days.
You Do Not Have To Become A Vegan
Or Paleo, or Keto, or Gluten-Free! There are so many different styles of eating that work for different people, so there can not possibly be one style that works for everyone.
You may be tempted by the promise of quick weight loss, but keep in mind that each of these diets is really restrictive, and that may or may not work with your temperament and your digestion.
You Do Not Have To Run Marathons
I mean, some of us do, but that does not mean it is required. I know several people who are neither fit nor healthy in spite of finishing a marathon or five.
And I know plenty more who are super active and eat well, but have zero desire to run at all, let alone 26.2 miles. Running is a terrific activity, but it is not the only way to get your cardio.
You Do Not Have To Do Meal Prep
You might be one of those organized people who can actually get your stuff together and do meal prep. It might suit your personality to be super prepared for the week, and it might help you stay on track with your eating habits if your choices are already available and somewhat limited.
But, if that all sounds boring or restrictive? Then you are not under any obligation to meal prep!
Personally, I prefer to “mental prep” rather than meal prep – meaning that I have an idea what I will eat during the week and I will have the groceries on hand, but I am free to make last minute decisions for any given meal.
You Do Not Have To Track Every Calorie Or Macro
Again, maybe you like this sort of thing, but what if you do not? You might be perfectly capable of eating in moderation, controlling your portion sizes and making healthy choices without having to track the numbers or collect the data.
Using a fitness app is not a requirement to a healthy life. And you might find yourself in better mental health if you look at the big picture, rather than all the little numbers.
But, if you have trouble with knowing how much or how little you are eating and what sort of nutrients you may or may not be taking in, then tracking (at least occasionally!) might be helpful for you.
You Do Not Have To Lift Olympic-Sized Weights
There has been a big push recently toward heavy lifting and all its purported benefits.
I certainly will not deny that strength training is fantastic for you on a number of levels (increased bone density, body contouring, a revved up metabolism and overall strength come to mind immediately as benefits), but do you really have to lift bigger and bigger weights to be healthy? In a word, no.
You can get all the bone-strengthening goodness you need by lifting what you have got. Maybe that has little weights or maybe they are pretty big or maybe you are only using your own body weight.
For lots of us healthy people, a little lifting goes a long way.
But You Do Have To Do What Works For You
Here is what it all comes down to, the one thing you “must” do to be healthy and fit – you must think critically, experiment, try new things and figure out what works for you.
You are the expert on you. Not the internet. Not some Instagram fitness model. Not that celebrity trainer and his latest book. It is just You!
A Funny Story About That Eighth Thing!!
By the way, were you counting? I have only listed seven things above, but referenced numerous times in the video that I had eight things you do not have to do.
Well, apparently that eighth thing is that you do not have to be perfect!
While I was recording the video, I completely skipped over one of my points (which was that you do not need to eat nothing, but plain chicken breasts and brown rice to be healthy – and it is true, your meals definitely do not need to be bland to be good for you!).
I thought about just glossing over my blunder, or re-recording the video, but realized that I liked the mistake, because it is a much better “eighth thing” than the one I had planned.
You do not need to be perfect to be healthy. You are allowed to make mistakes and lose your train of thought and veer off your intended path. Everything you do has something to teach you if you are looking for it!
Thanks for watching The Buzz this week! I would love to hear from you in the comments about some of your pre-conceived notions of what you have to do to be healthy, and what you are figuring out for yourself.