The Key is to keep it Simple and Consistent.
By Anna Bielkheden
One of the most important things when it comes to staying in shape is consistency.
Yet, we’re constantly bombarded with new training methods and diets and innovative exercises, to the point where we silently wonder if our brains will explode from the surplus suggestions. You wonder how you’re going to manage cooking all those complicated recipes each day, let alone get together a grocery list – which aside from being freakishly long, might leave you with a ton of ingredients you’ll hardly ever use again and a gigantic bill. You sweat at the mere thought of conquering those back-bending exercises you saw on YouTube, not to mention the ones on Instagram. Well, put your worries aside, because it doesn’t have to be that elaborate.
Let’s get back to the basics. As a beginner in particular, you really don’t have to go for the most sophisticated exercises. Focus on old school routines – dead lifts, squats, pushups, pull-ups, curls, etc.
There are no “magic” moves that will take you from a zero to a perfect 10 in a few weeks.
(Although the plethora of e-books, DVD’s and what-not out there wants you to believe otherwise.)
When you’re in the beginning stages of your fitness journey, variation isn’t what you should be focusing on. Literally, anything you do at this point will be an improvement, and by teaching your body some simple, basic routines on a set schedule you increase your ability to stick to and track your progress. Give it at least six weeks before you change anything, and during this time you should only focus on getting stronger. At first, just doing the exercises on a consistent basis and with correct form is the goal but eventually, as you grow stronger and increase your cardiovascular endurance, you can lift heavier, run faster etc.
After your first six weeks has passed, change it up by first playing with the number of reps and intervals, and then finally add a few new exercises.
But as a beginning rule: Keep. It. Simple.
Same goes for the food. The problem isn’t really the food you don’t eat as much as the food you do eat. Meaning, you can stress and toil with half-tasty healthy recipes or you can start with simply eating basics (i.e. plain chicken, fish rice, veggies according to macros) and cut yourself some serious slack once a week without going overboard. Have a GREAT meal that you truly want to eat and/or cook, instead of a bunch of ones that you don’t.
When later on, you are used to eating healthy long term, and it’s not a psychological problem any more – then, you can spice it up and make your food more delicious.
If you can do it all at once, then more power to you – but chances are starting to make changes may seem overwhelming and you’ll never get started. Give yourself at least three months to adjust your thinking and stay consistent with a simple food and workout program and then perhaps, quite a few pounds later, you may have enough energy and enthusiasm to really ‘change things up’.