Focus on the basics Padawans

So many people, myself included, over-complicate matters when getting into fitness.

People start worrying about whether they are doing the right kind of training, eating the right kinds of food, going to the gym as many days as they should be.

But like all things, the only focus you should have when entering into something new is mastering the basics, and the basics are well…basic.

For fitness it’s relatively simple, consistently train. Whether that is once a week, twice a week or more, the most important thing is actually starting and continuing, week by week.¬† When you go from nothing to something, you are doing it right.

The next advancement would be focusing on doing a movement as well as can be. Many people start panicking because there are so many exercises to do and so many training protocols, when instead they should just be doing the most basic of movements and attempting to get as good as they can be at them.

Squat,pull, push,hinge,lunge and carry.

Each of these movements will look different for you depending on your level of fitness, and all you should care about is doing them as well as you can, nothing fancy, nothing crazy.

This same mentality should be taken into nutrition. Who the hell cares about the minutiae, which diet is best and all that crap. Focus on the basics!

Get rid of junk food and stop eating out at restaurants every week.

Get a solid 3 meals in a day, eat lots of vegetables and fruit, a nice serving of protein and good quality fat.

Stick to that for as long as possible, until it becomes a normal part of your life.

Once you’re moving well and eating well and you don’t even have to think about it anymore, congratulations you’re now a decently healthy person. If you want to start focusing on little things like specific programming for athletic goals or cranking out that extra 10% benefit from food that comes from eliminating certain things that may be bothering you or adding in supplements and whatnot then go for it, so long as you maintain those basic principals that get you 90% of your goals.

Other lifestyle changes that I would consider basic would be getting quality sleep and just walking as much as possible, and these can be implemented at any point in your life without much stress.

May the force be with you all.

And if you don’t believe in the force, well, you probably would have been Sith anyway so we don’t want you.

Sleep and sleep some more

We live in a society with very little respect for sleep.

I could go off on a rant and spout all the scientific reasons why you need to sleep and how it is incredibly important for the health of your brain and physical performance, but these points have been made over and over again by health professionals.

At the end of the day, every single one of us knows they feel better when they get to bed earlier and sleep properly. Each of us knows we feel better when we don’t stay up staring at our phones and computers.

We all know what we need to do.

So just do it.

Don’t limit yourself to the gym

Human beings are one of the most versatile movers on this planet.

We have the capacity to perform incredible feats through a host of diverse physical activities. So when I hear people say they don’t like to workout, I am a bit stumped. You are telling me that you don’t enjoy any kind of physical movement whatsoever? working out is not relegated only to the gym, it is something that can be done anywhere and in a myriad of ways.

Nothing can hold you back from physical activity except possibly a serious ailment.

You can walk, you can run, you can jump, you can play any sport or dorky game you want. Go swimming, climb, do whatever makes you laugh and have fun, that is working out, that is going to get your blood flowing and your neurons firing and help your body express its animal self.

Don’t limit yourself just because the gym doesn’t seem like a good place to be.

Becoming a Nomadic tribe again

Humans, for countless generations, and still for many to this day, are nomadic creatures.

Nature had a way of making most Humans plans for staying in one location for too long quite untenable, with hurricanes, droughts, floods , earthquakes and pestilence teaching us the hard way to move our lazy butts along to a new place.

But as societies expanded and technologies advanced, we were more and more able to fight back against Natures wrath, flourishing in many places where logic would deem we move on from.

Some would call this a positive thing, that we could stake our claim to land and make a home wherever we choose to, but as I alluded to above, many of the places Humans have decided to build cities are just not logical.

Creating a home beside active volcanoes, in earthquake ridden areas and a host of other places have caused the death of hundreds of thousands.

Beyond that the land has suffered from our continual presence in one area, having no time to rejuvenate itself as it did in the past as we would move from one fertile soil area to another.

And on an individual level I believe this has stagnated people as well.  Many people from western cultures will never leave their place of birth, even if the town or city has no more jobs or does not suit their value system, instead sticking put and putting a huge strain on countries financial resources to take care of them.

Some things are worth fighting for, personally I don’t believe a piece of land or building is if you are starving because there are no jobs in your area.

Being a nomad, allowing yourself the freedom to move is essential to the future as the job market and the environment shift.

It is also, I believe, at the core of being Human. We are all built to move, that is why walking is such a liberating experience for our minds.

Changing to a new town or city or even country can push your boundaries past their comfort zones and help you grow deeply as a person and I think it would help many people to pull themselves out of that feeling of being stuck that many of us come to feel.

Obviously there are difficulties in moving for many people due to financial or medical situations, but at the end of the day if something is best for you than we must put all our effort into making it come to fruition.

Sometimes it is as simple as moving an hour away from your home town, the world is a big place full of opportunity.

At the core of what I am saying is more so the idea that becoming too attached to places and even objects can severely hamper our abilities to grow as a people and we must not let our fear of change stop us from having these experiences.

So be free and patient with yourself  and get out there and explore my giant nomadic tribe.

Meshing the online and offline worlds

The popularity of anime such as Sword Art Online and other works has shown us a glimpse of the possible lives our children could be experiencing in the future, a time where the real world becomes mundane and the online world becomes one of fantastical possibilities.

The actual issue is not people spending all their time online, but of them losing sight of the wonder and majesty that exists in this reality. Most people never leave their city of birth, hell most people don’t even explore their whole city before they die.

There is so much out there to see and experience, and so many of our own physical and mental boundaries that we can push and explore.

The online world is an amazing place, and when we achieve full depth virtual reality experiences it will be beyond belief. But we must not lose sight of all the beauty we have in our own world.

If anything it would be incredible if we can mesh the two worlds together, much like Pokemon Go and others have attempted to do, although hopefully in a much better fashion.

The future, I hope, will be a blending of the two realities, creating a far richer and more meaningful experience, one where our very real animal bodies get the much needed stimulation they need for improvement but also get access to the incredible swath of experiences the online world can provide.

There is so much potential in our technologies and I am still optimistic about the future, even if we manage to screw up a lot of things as we usually do.

Stay positive folks.

The ethics of meat eating

I find the current focus on pulling away from eating animals to be quite strange.

Don’t get me wrong, I am completely against showing cruelty towards any creature, whether a mammal or insect or even plants.

We should all develop a greater respect for the natural world, but many others take that to mean we should never eat another animal, whereas I take that as another aspect of human ego attempting to elevate ourselves above nature.

Part of respecting an animal means respecting the natural order of the world. All animals, in one way or another, are a part of the cycle of life and death. Even herbivores will eat insects, and plants are sentient in their own way.

Everything in nature survives through the death of other creatures, whether through the fertilization of soil through the body of a dead animal or the feces leftover from another animals last meal.

Life to death, death to life. This is how the Earth functions, and trying to make humans into this special creature that can go past that is simply pure arrogance, usually coming about because of peoples intense inability to deal with our being animals and the inevitable endpoint of life.

Again, we should all strive to create a system where the animals we raise or hunt are treated as kindly as possible so that the lives they live are as peaceful as possible, but that does not mean that we can suddenly let them all loose and live in a utopia where death does not exist.

Everything dies, and most of the natural world dies through the actions of another creature.

Accepting this facet of life is the first step to truly learning a deep and profound respect for the existence of all creatures, especially those that feed us and nourish our bodies and spirits so that we may continue to live on this planet.

I hope people awaken to this fact one day, or at least have a better perspective when choosing to forgo eating meat.

 

Beginnings

The beginning is always the most difficult.

We can fantasize about something, plan it out in the most excruciating of detail, compile note upon note with the intention of having the most perfectly executed start, and then never get off the couch.

It’s the fear. It drives our procrastination, can make us drown ourselves in an information flow, justify a thousand delays. We can reason ourselves out of anything we want to because of that damn fear of failure, fear of humiliation, fear of not holding up to the standard we imagine within our minds.

At the end of the day there is no other thing to do but just begin.

Whatever it is, just start from the beginning, and work at it.

No magic, no 6 easy steps, just begin.