These info-bullets develop a fitness, strength, and health consciousness which increases your awareness and moves you naturally towards doing things which benefit your wellbeing. Ever hear of thought, word, deed? These info-bullets work on your thoughts so your words and deeds follow.
Rule 1: Get an Evaluation by a Doctor
I never did. But maybe you should—especially if you’ve been sitting around eating poorly and gaining weight and getting old.
Rule 2: Believe You Can Be Strong, Fit, and Healthy
Many people are too quick to discount their ability to achieve things. In a mere second they say, “Oh, I can’t get that,” and they set their belief in stone. Instead, determine you can be strong, fit, and healthy and expect success. Genetics and past experience are not barriers to the determined who know that beliefs can be changed.
Rule 3: Something is Better Than Nothing
If you didn’t do anything yesterday, and you did something today, that is improvement. Beating yourself up is counterproductive and wastes valuable energy that could have otherwise been used constructively. Growth is all that matters—who cares where you start?
Rule 4: Develop a Simple Exercise Program by Selecting Basic Exercises
I’ve gotten in great shape doing just calisthenics—push ups, pull ups, squats, and ab exercises. If you have a barbell or kettlebell you can do squats, deadlifts, pull ups, and presses. Even within those simple movements there is endless variety (hand/foot position, single arm/leg or both arms/legs, rep speed, number of reps, time between sets, isometric holds…) A workout with five different exercises targeting different movement patterns such as those mentioned above is all you need.
Rule 5: Use Training as an Exercise in Self-Discipline and Control
Eliminate distractions and pursue mastery. Be conscious and aware. Do this consistently and you learn to focus your mind on doing something with single-pointed attention. It’s an extremely valuable skill. Learn this skill in your workouts and apply it to your life.
Rule 6: Learn to Listen to Your Body
Pay attention. Your body talks to you—if you listen. If you listen, you can avoid injuries, sickness, pain, and suffering. But you have to slow down and listen.
Rule 7: Go Slowly
When you start exercising, improvements come fast and tempt you to do more, faster. Resist the temptation and avoid injury and illness.
Rule 8: Learn From Others Who Do It Better
You don’t need to lift weights or do cardio, this is an invention of first world countries. Take it from the Sardinians, the Seventh Day Adventists, or the Okinawans who outlive us and are healthier by being active, moderate, and developing strong relationships. This is your bare minimum, and an obligation to conscious life which is always better in a body that functions well and a mind that isn’t polluted by dishonesty. Do the right thing and adopt a walking or jogging habit and get some healthy active hobbies, even if it’s gardening. And get off the couch, turn off the TV, put the smart phone down and talk to your spouse, friends, and neighbors more.
Rule 9: Develop a Simple Eating Plan
A simple eating plan makes everything easier from grocery shopping to cooking to clean up to digestion. Find simple, healthy meals and keep them as staples and modify things like switching spinach for kale, chicken for tempeh, etc. Throw in some occasional variety but for the most part, keep it the same.
Rule 10: Eliminate Refined Sugar, Reduce Caffeine and Alcohol
Refined sugar is like poison. Avoid it. Caffeine is a substitute for sleep and offers fake energy. Reduce it. Alcohol is a noxious poison responsible for countless problems. Drastically reduce it.
Rule 11: Increase Veggies and Decrease Meat
Excess consumption of meat is problematic as evidenced in the China Study. Veggies should make up a significant portion of your diet. You’ll feel better, lighter, and cleaner. Start by adding a large portion of veggies to lunch and dinner while simultaneously reducing meat consumption.
Rule 12: Pay Attention to What Other People Around You are Doing
Look at people who possess things that you want. Identify what they are doing to get it. Start doing those things. Look at people who embody what you don’t want. Trace their actions to their poor results. Avoid doing those things.
Rule 13: Check In On Yourself and Monitor Your Progress
Whether it is a scale, a particular exercise, or a diagnostic test, make sure you know where you are and where you want to go. Measure it to make sure you’re headed in the right direction.
Rule 14: Forgive Mistakes and Transgressions and Move On, Striving to Be Better
When making changes sometimes it’s two steps forward and one step back. Make sure the long-term trend is going in the right direction and forgive minor transgressions.
Rule 15: Reform Your Habits, Take Responsibility for Your Actions and Ownership of Your State of Wellness
The weak blame others, genetics, their parents, and basically anyone but themselves. They look for cures in the form of pills and potions rather than making the fundamental changes which actually get at the root of their problems. The strong take ownership over their mistakes and seek to correct them and improve, even if it means making difficult choices.
Rule 16: Create a Simple Bare-Bones Plan, Execute and Modify
I will exercise three times per week for 15 minutes doing calisthenics. I will pay a trainer to design a program for me and do that program for six months. I will walk to work once per month. I will add spinach to my spaghetti, veggies to my burgers, and stop eating French fries. Start small, and work from there.
Rule 17: Meditate and Learn How to Observe Your Thoughts (and then change them for the better)
Meditation helps you “see” thought patterns that are destructive–this awareness helps you change them. Many problems are simply things we have created through faulty thought patterns that we aren’t aware of. Change the thought patterns and the problems go away.
If you’ve read this far, you might be a candidate for my Lean, Healthy, Strong info packet. Tight prose full of veggies and meat for designing and maintaining a great fitness program.