Back to Basics

I just returned from my morning walk. It’s a beautiful day – not a cloud in the sky, a cool 62 degrees, a very slight breeze… beautiful, perfect! I say “morning walk” like it’s a routine thing, but trust me – it’s not. I really do not like exercise much. Walking is about the only thing I do, and that’s not even as regular as it should be. It’s not that I’m lazy! I just really have a lot of things I’d rather be doing. I do see and feel the difference though when I’ve pushed myself to be more regular with it, so I guess I’ll just keep pressing on, as they say.

The fitness “craze” is here, folks! The money being spent on attire to work out in and gadgets to keep track of how you’re doing is over the top. I’m a bit behind the times. I don’t have any fancy garb, no gadgets. The only money spent on my not-so-routine walk is $1.95 for the cup of coffee at Familiar Grounds if I decide to reward myself for my efforts at the halfway point.

Yes, I scoff a bit when I see the extremes people go to. The sporty outfits, expensive running shoes, fitbits on their wrists, phones or iPods strapped to their upper arms, sweatbands… the list goes on. These people are serious about their exercise! Maybe if I spent a boatload of money on the right clothing and a few gadgets, I’d be motivated to work out on a more regular basis too, you think? Well, I doubt it – that’s just not me.

There are people who work out incessantly. They are at the gym 5 and 6 mornings a week. They are out there running, swimming, zumba-ing – you name it, just moving and sweating all over the place. What I don’t understand though is why these people don’t have that rock star body that looks good in anything they throw on. They may have muscle. They are certainly stronger for their efforts, but after sweatin’ to the oldies, running their umpteenth marathon, and being so completely faithful to whatever exercise routine they’ve adopted, they’re still lacking in the perfect “curves” department.

Do you think maybe there’s more to it? Although exercise holds an important place in a healthy lifestyle, there is another part of the equation that’s even more important, and that part is nutrition. Exercise alone can’t do it. What you put in your mouth or what you don’t put in your mouth matters a whole lot more than your constant working out. I learned that lesson well from the coach who helped me reverse my diabetes and bring my weight under control. My health is important to me, as is my weight. So, my point is – you can exercise your glutes off but if you don’t also adopt a good nutritional eating plan then you won’t reach your fitness goals and that awesome body you’re looking for.

Since “nutrition” is as much a buzz word today as “exercise,” people do often feel they are watching what they eat, and they think they are eating right. We’re being fed a lot of information regarding what we should or shouldn’t be eating. Unfortunately, most people get their information regarding nutrition from some very poor sources. Magazines will tout nutritional articles in every issue, and “diet and nutrition” books literally line the shelves in your libraries and book stores. Many (probably most) of these lack good solid research, and are still touting outdated information that just doesn’t work. We have a whole array of diet conscious people out there who are jumping on the wrong bandwagons because of this misinformation. They are giving up food groups, cutting calories, and blaming gluten or lactose or a myriad of other things for their problems.

There’s an old book on my bookshelf entitled “Back to Basics,” and I’m thinking that is exactly what we need to do. We need to look back at a period when our food wasn’t riddled with additives. We need to go back to what was considered good and wholesome. We need to opt out of processed foods, and instead of giving up a food group just try to eat the REAL food in its wholesome state. Let’s get back to basics! Stop jumping on the latest bandwagon! Stop spending your money on the latest gadget or the latest false promise. Just exercise and eat right – you don’t get much more basic than that.