It doesn’t have to be complicated

In the pursuit of improved health, people often operate under the assumption that if it’s not hard or complicated, then it mustn’t be doing anything. 

The idea of being “hardcore” is appealing and if you’re not feeling deprived or exhausted then you aren’t doing all the “right” things. 

But there’s no singular “right” way to improve your health.

There are the big things of course: increase protein, eat fruit and vegetables, limit alcohol consumption, don’t smoke, get adequate sleep, and get moving. But how you actually do this or what you prioritise depends on your life, privilege, and available resources. 

Let’s say you want to increase the servings of fruit and vegetables you eat in a day. A lot of the fitness and diet industry would have you believe that you need to buy fresh, organic produce and meal prep for the week and eat certain things at certain times. But what if you are really time-poor? You don’t have the time to shop for all the produce and then spend hours prepping it. Or what if you never really learnt how to cook with fresh produce? Or you can’t afford organic produce?

There are options! Frozen vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh are usually already prepped so they save so much time. Pre-chopped salad bags are a quick and easy option for a salad base – just chuck in whatever extras you might want, and you’re done. And what about organic? If that matters to you and you can afford it, go right ahead. But organic produce isn’t nutritionally superior to non-organic produce so buy what you can afford.

If you’re looking to increase your daily activity and move more in general, you don’t need to worry about the optimal training split, how many minutes of high intensity cardio versus moderate intensity cardio versus low intensity cardio, or which supplements are worth taking. Start small. Go for a walk in whatever clothes and shoes you have access to. Walk around your living room. Do five squats every time you go to the toilet or get a drink. Or if you have access and can afford to go to the gym, start out with a basic full body workout a couple days a week (there’s loads of free beginners programs on the internet) – it doesn’t matter if you do the same thing each time you go in; it’s just about getting moving.  

This isn’t the health olympics. There’s no points awarded for how hard or complicated you can make it. And things being hard or complicated doesn’t mean they’re effective. You’re allowed to choose ease. 

Do the best you can with what you have, and what you have access to. 

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