5 unbelievably simple, but EFFECTIVE tips to get in shape.

5 unbelievably simple, but EFFECTIVE tips to get in shape.

Introduction to Fitness

*This post contains affiliate links*

Just starting or getting back into things and not sure where to begin?

This is the post for you.

It can be a bit daunting to decide what to do:

There’s running, sports, leisurely activities like golf, weight training, spin classes/yoga.

On top of that, literally HUNDREDS of questions to follow:

  • What vitamins and supplements do I take for my goals? and When do I take those?
  • What changes to my diet do I need to make? Maybe try a plant-based diet or Keto?
  • What about rest and recovery?
  • Do I have to give up alcohol and fast food?

Too many choices at one time can actually be a BAD thing for us.

It’s called “Analysis Paralysis” and it’s a massive problem.

Almost everyone who experiences it usually decides to just stop before even starting!

If you’ve ever been SO overwhelmed you just froze up and did nothing, don’t be discouraged! It’s a normal response!

By following these incredibly simple steps, we can get past the overthinking and anxiety to reach our goals!

1: Drink MORE WATER!!

I promise you, almost nobody is drinking enough water.

If you are, I am sincerely glad to hear it, because you can skip to step 2 and get through the post faster, Kudos!

Drinking “enough” water varies per person, however; the old adage “eight 8oz glasses a day” seems to be a common goal for most people.

I think that’s a VERY good and reasonable accomplishment for most people! it isn’t very difficult and even if you only get 6 glasses initially starting out, you are doing more than you had before!

Why does water matter so much in the first place?

Because you are literally made up of two-thirds water. (1)

Almost every single reaction in your body relies on things running smoothly.

Without water “greasing the wheels” so to speak, your body is going to be bottlenecked.

Everything from cramping, brain fog, lethargy, poor recovery, and bloating can be attributed to not having enough water.

This is by far the EASIEST and MOST achievable way to slowly gravitate toward setting goals and achieving them.

If it sounds trivial, just try this for a few weeks and see how much changes!

Some people say they feel more energetic, their skin clears up, they look younger, or they just aren’t as bloated.

You may be surprised by the outcome!

Don’t like tap-water and want to reduce waste?

This is the water filter I have in my fridge.

Gets filled up daily, and quickly.

2. Think about what you would NOT enjoy doing for exercise.

There’s a quote I read in my early teen years that REALLY resonated with me and I implement it to this day:

I may not have been sure about what really did interest me, but I was absolutely sure about what didn’t.

The Stranger, Albert Camus

You might not know if you’re going to be playing tennis 3x a week for the next decade, the best player on the rec league at your YMCA, or trying to set a world record on the bench press until you fall in love with it and make that your new hobby.

However; you might be ABSOLUTELY SURE that under NO circumstances are you going to be jogging outside, ESPECIALLY if it’s raining or snowing.

That’s a good start to weeding out things you KNOW and making things to chose from easier.

Maybe your internal monologue looks like this:

“What’s the opposite of running, walking? No… the neighbors do that and they’re weird.

Hmmph, I certainly would like to look like the cast from “Baywatch…” hell the new OR old one to be honest.

I think I’d enjoy lifting some weights to tone up, I used to back in the day anyway.

Plus, I HAVE had a black card for over 3 months.
Ugh, new years resolution plan.

Alright, that settles it, I’ll start out going two days out of the entire week, just to get my groove back.
I don’t wanna be all GUNG-HO and burn out, maybe it’s best if I just do 45 minutes, that’s not EVEN an hour! Upper body on Tuesday, and Legs on Thursday.
Easy enough.

Quick aside: Mindset

Did you see how I framed that entire conversation?

Ideally, that’s the mindset you’ll learn to cultivate over time, for both tasks you enjoy and DON’T.

I got the concept for rationalizing things I don’t want by making them seem more trivial from George Carlin’s old stand-up bit on “Time”

“You can do ANYTHING for just five minutes, can’t ya? I mean ANYTHING, even things you REALLY hate!”

Listen to how he makes the argument that you can do ANYTHING, even things you HATE if it SEEMS like an incredibly insignificant period of time.

That’s where framing comes into play:

“Just two days out of the ENTIRE WEEK

JUST 45 minutes, that’s not EVEN an HOUR!

Once you get started on something, you might find that you go over a little bit more than anticipated,

This is perfectly normal, just be mindful and don’t set other goals to be too high too fast.

If you promised yourself to go at least twice a week this month and ended up going every day because you forgot how much you loved it, GREAT!

If that means you didn’t get a good routine down, got injured because you jumped the gun, and stopped going for three months because your shoulder or knees hurt, that’s a BAD SIGN.

Moderation is your friend when embarking on a new journey.

3. Make Sure You’re Adequately Nourishing Your Body.

This one seems to be the biggest hurdle for everybody, mainly because they think they need to have sweet potato fries, kale salads, wheatgrass shots, and apple cider vinegar in their morning glass of water.

While these can be healthier swaps or beneficial additions to your routine, again, you don’t want to become so overwhelmed that you do NOTHING.

If you don’t know ANYTHING about nutrition like Calories, “Macros” or how much “Vitamin X” you need each day then check out Cronometer or Myfitnesspal.

They will show you where your diet currently lands and shows the gaps in nutrients or gaps as a result of your habits.

My preference on starting out with food tracking applications.

Personally, I’ve been using Cronometer since 2015/2016 and while I do like myfitnesspal’s features, the free version feels too clunky and restrictive.

The paid version of myfitnesspal works JUST as well as Cronometer in my opinion, but I really don’t like spending money on an app that’s essentially just a journal after you get the hang of things.

Especially since I’ve just checked and it’s now $20 a month, or just under ~$90 a year after tax.
(when I got it on sale a few years ago, I spent $49 for the entire year)

Cronometer was always free and worked for good enough for me.

While they do have a paid version that gives you dozens of incredibly useful bells and whistles that make it EVEN easier to use, it’s not at all necessary.
(If you would like to support my blog and also get the app you can do so here.)
dditionally, After I reached out to them about this article,
Cronometer offered to let any of my readers get 10% off their year-long subscription of gold, bringing it down to less than $4 a month. no discount code is necessary.

Why I recommend EVERYONE uses these when they first start out.

Having a website that could show me ALL of the Macros (carbs, fats, proteins) was very simple and relaxing.

Add on things like micronutrients I never thought about like selenium or zinc and it’s JAW DROPPING.

I was made VERY aware of how poorly I was eating and how badly I needed to be more inclusive of foods and proper supplementation.

(Especially considering about 5 months after starting this habit, I made the overnight switch to veganism.)

Food tracking apps will list out all the amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and calories that are present in your diet as it stands.

Whichever you choose to make your journey easier, from there you can see where the gaps are in your diet.

Use this as an opportunity to brainstorm new recipes with foods that have those nutrients you may want to try out!
Or if you’re like me and have a pretty consistent “go-to” set of meals, you can choose to fill in the gaps with dietary supplements like a multivitamin or protein powder if need be.

4. Find some form external accountability

Some people get a personal trainer, a running buddy, someone that they cook or meal-prep and go shopping with.

If any of those sound PERFECT for you or a friend or someone close to you, then awesome!

On days you don’t want to do ANYTHING, they can give you that tiny little nudge.

If you don’t have anyone like that, that’s perfectly fine.
You’re in this FOR YOU you don’t NEED anyone else, but maybe you’ll want to see my post about making high-quality life-long friends in case you would strongly prefer some company in this journey.

Like any wise guy would say “I don’t mean to disrespect no one’s mother.”

I have a LOT of family AND friends who don’t go to the gym, take super close care of themselves, or work on being the best version of themselves.

I don’t hate them, or feel any differently about them because of it, I love them because they are my friends and they’re good people.

But what I can tell you is that I absolutely can NOT emphasize how incredible it is to have friends that would go to the gym with me all the time, hit the hot tub, and grab a bite to eat afterward.

Over time we’d gone from a handful of friends to an entire COMMUNITY of fitness-oriented guys and gals who CRUSHED ALL of our goals, without ANY effort.

This just gave me MORE passion to go to the gym, I LOVED seeing my favorite workers, loads of my new acquaintances, and the possibility to connect with more like-minded people.

For the introverts:

If you aren’t a people person, then DONT STRESS THIS PART!

There are dozens of other ways to get external accountability by yourself:

  • Sign up for a half-marathon or similiar event 6 months from now.
  • Set yourself a short and longterm goal related towards fitness.
  • Start taking progress pictures and journal daily.
  • Set yourself a routine and try your BEST to stick with it as much as possible.

Anything that provides you with something outside “oh I should do this..” can be used as motivation for your goals.

5. Whatever you do, just do it consistently and with an honest effort.

Some people love running or jogging, other people choose basketball, others baseball.

Personally, I always recommend guys who don’t know what to do to pick up weightlifting.

Lifting makes you stronger, your clothes fit better and over time you start to feel a lot more confident in yourself, whether in your ability to conquer goals or just in general.
(these benefits aren’t exclusive to men, guys are just more receptive to the idea from my personal interactions)

At the end of the day, if you’re just starting out, there will be a LOT of trial and error until you find your groove.

That is 100% okay.

In lieu of a long motivational speech, I’ll just tell you this.

I have failed probably dozens of times on literally countless amounts of different things.

Every time I would:

  • Get an answer wrong
  • Had bad technique
  • Misremembered something I should know
  • Mispronounced a word in a new language

I did not get heavily discouraged.

Why? Because it’s a part of becoming better and more competent.

I make a note of it, make sure to revise whatever I did incorrectly, and try to figure out how/why I did that.

If I analyze it, I can probably prevent it from happening again.

Now, obviously, we intuitively SHOULD be afraid of failing.

but ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER EVEN SAID “Don’t be afraid to fail”

I mean that it makes sense that we don’t want to fail or seem foolish.

As a result of that, We should do everything we can to avoid it.

Practice hard, sincerely, and with purpose.

When it inevitably happens, simply learn and correct what went wrong.

Also, you aren’t “Failing” when you come to find that you don’t like a certain activity

if it’s not “Right” for you, that is perfectly fine.

Instead, you are finding what you are better going to enjoy through the process of elimination.

It might get a bit discouraging and you face the old “Nothing IS RIGHT FOR ME!!” mindset, but instead of beating yourself up, reflect a bit.

Have you have tried more than a dozen activities?

Look back objectively on what you liked the MOST out of them.

If you just want to be in better shape to be more attractive: pick weightlifting, if you want to in better shape so your doctor is happy: try swimming.

Besides if all else fails and you GENUINELY want to be active, join a team sport for people your age.

They’ll depend on you and they’ll hold you more accountable.

Whatever you land on, remember you don’t have to be perfect at what you do.

Nobody is perfect.

Actually scratch that last part. You don’t even need to be GOOD at what you do, if you’re new at anything, there’s like a 1-2 month window of:

“oh, yeah I’m still pretty awful, I just picked this up like a month ago.”

If you’re regularly doing an activity and someone points out how often they see you, don’t get offended when they call you out. Instead, play along and have fun with it!

“How the hell do you still suck?? You’ve been here 5 times a week since last month?” – Dickhead Jared

Wow, I’ve got my first fan! Tell you what, Jared: I’ll autograph that shirt, if I don’t get better by next week, I’ll go down in history as the WORST “xyz player” in this entire country. I bet You’d make a killing on Ebay.”– Fitter, happier, more productive version of you who doesn’t get bothered by jerks.

Now that’s literally NEVER going to happen unless you:

  1. Play a team sport
  2. Provoke one of them so they call you out
  3. Actually suck bad enough for them to say something.

I can’t tell you how many times guys in the gym have gone out of their way to help me with form or advice when NOBODY was around, just to be helpful.

Negative people are just projecting their problems onto you.

Letting them know that you’re OKAY with being bad now and being able to joke about it works WONDERS for you.

If they don’t get the response they want from you, they’ll move on to someone else.

In Conclusion:

There are countless things to do to stay active, whatever your reason is to be more active, you can find a way to do it how you like:

Remember, there are DOZENs of ways to peel an orange.

Don’t get in your own head about being perfect.

Don’t be too scared of people’s opinions.

Conversely, don’t take people’s legitimate advice and criticism as attacks.

Thank people for their time and effort, even if it’s unsolicited you can always ignore it until they leave and run it by someone else if it sounds wrong.

Lastly, make sure you don’t take yourself too seriously in whatever it is you do.

We only have so many years on earth, be fitter, be happier and live it up.

Until next time, Toodles!

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