If you read many of the popular health resources online, you’ll quickly get the impression that what it takes to be healthy and fit is, primarily, a lot more dedication than the next guy — combined with a near-masochistic acceptance of suffering, and the willingly to forgo many of life’s pleasures in the pursuit of your sixpack.
Instagram “Fitspiration” images typically contain slogans such as “when you want to succeed as much as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful”, or “obsessed is what the weak-minded call the dedicated”, or “pain is weakness leaving the body”, and so on.
But when you look past all of the adrenaline and testosterone behind these sentiments, you’ll find that running yourself ragged with serious overkill workouts is generally a great way of ruining your health and stalling your fitness progress in short order.
If you’re concerned with aging healthier, you might want to read on for some suggestions on how to overhaul your health by being less “dedicated”.
Get more sleep — forget about “sleeping faster”
Famous politician Arnold Schwarzenegger is known for his many different achievements in life, in fields ranging from bodybuilding to acting, to politics.
In a series of talks, in which he has passed on his “rules for success”, he has repeatedly advised his audiences to sleep no more than 6 hours a day. What if those audiences typically sleep 7 or 8 hours a day? Well, Arnold’s advice, in this case, is to “sleep faster”.
It turns out, however, that contrary to Arnie’s advice much has been written about the absolute and profound importance of sleep.
In his book, “Why We Sleep”, Matthew Walker details how getting enough sleep is essential for the proper functioning of every aspect of the human body.
Just one week of insufficient sleep can make you pre-diabetic.
Sleep slower, and sleep more.
Loosen up your diet, stick to a few basic principles, and eat to satisfaction
Yo-yo dieting is the curse of many health and fitness enthusiasts in the world today. The thinking goes that, with a sharp burst of motivation and effort, we can lose all the weight we need to lose, and then enjoy our lives as sexier, leaner, healthier people, and essentially live happily ever after.
This is, unfortunately, not quite how things work in reality.
The Minnesota Starvation Experiment done during WW2 found that cutting calories — even within the guidelines set by modern nutritional bodies — can wreck health, well-being, and metabolism.
Stick to a few simple principles instead, like no processed food except on special occasions, and eat to satisfaction.
Reduce the number of things you try to achieve in a day
Productivity gurus have long argued the benefits of focusing on one or two key tasks each day, instead of trying to achieve everything under the sun.
This isn’t just good advice for your productivity, either. It can also dramatically reduce your stress levels.
Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on one thing at a time as a means of finding tranquillity. Researchers have found that people who meditate may be happier and healthier than those who don’t.
Quieten some of the mental chatter, and fill your schedule more intentionally.