Now God didn’t etch these in stone and send them down through the clouds, nor did I perform any miracles like parting the Red Sea. So, in that respect, they’re up for debate.
But after being in the fitness industry for a while, reading, studying, doing continuing education credit hours on top of training clients, and teaching group exercise classes, I’ve gotten a pretty decent handle on how to get fit.
However, there are many options for you to shed weight, build muscle, and be your best self. A quick Google search for health and fitness generates over 2,670,000,000 hits, so you’ve got plenty of choices.
However, this is a classic case of information overload. Hence, the need to take the view from 10,000 feet and to not major in the minors. It’s easy to do when you’re supporting or improving your health and fitness.
Think of these commandments as a guide to best navigate the world of health and fitness on the interwebs and mainstream media.
Hopefully, you and the man upstairs approve.
1. You Shall Engage In Resistance Training
It doesn’t matter what type of resistance training you engage in because the body can’t tell the difference between a dumbbell, a stone, or your own bodyweight.
Having a decent amount of muscle mass and strength will act as armor for whatever the world throws at you, and you’ll look better naked.
2. You Shall Eat Fruit And Vegetables
Personally, I’ve never seen someone become overweight by eating too many fruits and vegetables. It’s hard to eat too much because of the amount of chewing they require and their water content.
Both fruits and vegetables provide the body with the energy to perform in and out of the gym.
Fruits and veggies are rich in vitamins and minerals because they draw the nutrients to grow from mother earth.
If that wasn’t enough to convince you, both offer fiber to help you feel fuller longer and more regular in the bathroom. But I’ll stop there.
3. You Shall Eat Enough Protein
To build and support muscles, you must eat protein. Protein contains amino acids that repair and rebuild muscles, and protein helps you stay fuller longer, which helps you lose fat.
Protein is also an important building block for your bones, cartilage, skin, and blood.
There are all kinds of protein, and some are better than others, but that’s not the most important thing. Whether you’re a vegan, meat-eater, or vegetarian, you should strive to eat enough protein to repair and rebuild muscle.
4. You Shall Engage In Cardiovascular Activity
Heart disease is one of the human race’s biggest killers. This has probably touched you or someone you know. I have friends and clients who have suffered heart attacks, and coming back from them is no joke.
Having good aerobic fitness doesn’t totally cut the chances of having heart disease, but it surely helps. Having good aerobic fitness helps cut the risk factors associated with this terrible disease, such as:
- Lowers blood pressure
- Regulates blood sugar
- Improves the quality of sleep
- Regulates weight
- Strengthens the immune system
All you have to do is find a movement you enjoy, do it consistently, and raise a sweat every once in a while.
It’s that easy.
5. You Shall Drink Water
Our bodies are 60% water. And if you lose more than 2% of this through sweat, bad things start to happen like:
- Dehydrated skin
- Feeling dizzy
- Rapid heartbeat
- Rapid breathing
- Sunken eyes
- Sleepiness, lack of energy, confusion, or irritability
Your body needs water to function, and drinking (or eating fruit and vegetables that contain water) enough for your body weight and activity levels is a no-brainer.
6. You Shall Take Time For Yourself
Between work, life, family, and friends, a lot is going on. Maybe you’re rushing around, trying to get stuff done, and you’re getting pulled in a million different directions.
However, making time for yourself should be a priority because your sanity depends on it.
Whether it’s lying in bed for a few minutes thinking about all the blessings in your life, doing meditation, or engaging in a moving-meditation-like exercise, you need to focus on you and drown out the noise of the world before you run yourself ragged.
Because you’re not useful to anyone else if you’ve lost your mind.
7. You Shall Be Consistent
It’s about finding what works best for you, your schedule, and your lifestyle.
Does it mean doing it every day? No.
It means most days. And if you fall off the horse for a few days, dust yourself off and jump back in the saddle.
The only way you can fail at this health and fitness thing is to quit.
And you’re no quitter.
8. You Shall Make Sleep A Priority
Sleep plays a huge role in your health and well-being. Getting enough sleep can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety.
The way you feel when you’re awake depends on (in part) the quality of your sleep. And if you don’t sleep great, there is always coffee, but caffeine only lasts for so long.
During sleep, the body is hard at work to support healthy brain function and repair and recuperate your body. And if sleep quality is an issue, it will catch up with you eventually.
Because you’ll be too tired to run.
9. You Shall Eat Like An Adult
It’s great when you’re a kid. You can eat McDonald’s Happy Meals, all you can eat candy, a variety of fried yellow food, and barely put on a pound because you have a metabolism that runs like a Ferrari.
However, when you’re an adult (some in age only) with a slower metabolism and more stress and responsibilities, eating like a kid will have you staring down at your waistline in disbelief.
You shall follow commandments 2, 3, and 5 and eat like an adult and leave your childhood behind you.
10. You Shall Not Shame Others
There’s a reason The Biggest Loser isn’t popular anymore. The yelling, the screaming, and the boot camp mentality that tore these overweight people down to build them back up again are now out of step with today’s society.
Obesity is a crisis that won’t be solved by shaming them into eating less and moving more.
People like this need encouragement and not stares, ridicule, judgment, and finger-pointing. That’s the easy way out.
Are these good enough to be etched in stone? Maybe not, but if you follow these ten commandments, they will lead you to a better quality of life and a longer life.
And that’s what we all want.