Introspection & Commentary:
I often get the question, "how did you start (your health & fitness journey)? There hasn't been one simple answer that covers my whole journey.
But as I contemplated the question further, I came to the conclusion that there are some rather simple steps, that just about anyone, can incorporate at the very beginning of their health and fitness journey. So here are my Top 10 Tips & Advice (on beginning a health journey):
1# Incorporate More Miscellaneous Non-Structured (non-training) Activity -It is very tempting to start a structured workout program right from the get-go. It is even encouraged by diet and fitness culture. However, with such high fitness program adherence failure rates in the first month, it's best to incorporate activity gradually, especially if you have not been physically active for some time. This also prevents undue injury, which can also delay moving on to a more structured fitness program later. This initial introduction to activity can reinforce all the best aspects of incorporating more physical activity which can reinforce feelings of reward and accomplishment.
2# Make More Conscious Food Choices (not meal prepping) -Similar to starting a structured workout program, starting with a structured diet and drastic dietary changes can be jarring. Similarly, diet program adherence has a high failure rate as well. Making small and conscious decisions about food choices can seem less daunting and increases adherence over time.
3# Eat When you are Hungry (listen to your normal hunger cues) -Unless you are facing some disease process or acute health issue (diabetes, hormonal imbalance, etc.) many people tend to eat out of habit, boredom, or are so busy that they don't usually take the time to actually reflect on whether or not they are actually hungry when they eat. For many of those who have to fight eating disorders, this ability is often lost.
It's important to take the time to listen to your body's normal cues about hunger & satiety.
4# Pay Attention to Portion Sizes -In general, in America, we have a portion size problem, especially when eating out. This isn't to encourage structured meal prepping (at least not in the beginning) or food weighing, but it is to encourage mindfulness about the portions you consume.
5# Eat Sour and Fermented Foods (Gut MicroBiome) -As you age, your gut microbiome can change, and also digestive enzymes diminish and can lead to digestive issues. Both Sour and Fermented foods can help assist with digestion by encouraging good bacteria proliferation and fat breakdown.
6# Eat Whole, Real, Organic Food -This is not to encourage one food movement over another. This is the basic of basic advice. Eat real food, things that grow on vines, trees, and in the ground; or run on plains or swim in our waters; and those flying in the sky. Limit processed foods. 7# Dial in Nutrition before Structured Training -It is tempting to start both a diet and training program together. However, structured training will always raise your appetite. Since you are moving more your body will respond by asking for more fuel. If you have an issue with dialing in your nutritional habits it will be difficult to adhere to your diet plan, if you have not created or cultivated those habits, adherence can diminish greatly.
8# Assess your influences (people, places, and time) -It's important to assess your social connections and influences. This may be your most difficult task. As food is tied to socialization, traditions, and connections. It's important to understand what level of influence they have on you, this may require a great deal of introspection. 9# Increase Water Intake -Water intake is one of the easiest and simplest ways to change your health at the very beginning. Water intake requirements are based on individual weight, age, individual health status, and activity level.
10# Record progress, take pictures and keep a log -Keeping a record/journal helps you chart your progress and setbacks. It also helps you organize your thoughts and reflections about issues that arise during your journey. You may find something about yourself you did not expect. It also provides you with a record to change or reflect on that issue.
I hope some of these Tips and Advice provide you with insight on how to start your health and fitness journey! Along with alleviating the pressures of embarking on it.