Basics aren’t sexy but solidifying them will produce great long lasting results.

Basics Push up.

By: Sean Wells

There is a draw with human nature to be attracted to bright lights and flashy things. Being bombarded with the latest “new” & “cool” exercise programs are great examples of this. Bright & flashy but not a lot of substance.  

What do we need first?  

What everyone needs is to focus on the basics. Nutrition, sleep, and strength training are the basics when it comes to being a happier healthier person.

The basics for your health starts with nutrition.  

Fix the basic issues with your nutrition first. How should you fix them? 

Three basics for nutrition: 

  1. Eat enough protein – 75-100% of your body weight in grams of protein a day. Get the protein in red meat, fish, pork and chicken. Try to be consistent with your protein day in and day out. 
  2. Drink enough water daily. If you hit between half an ounce and an ounce per body pound of body weight you will do it. For most men that is going to be close to a gallon(128 ounces) of water a day.  For women, try to get ¾’s gallon(96ounces) of water a day. 
  3. Limit unhealthy fat intake. Especially in relation to seed oils. Avoid as much as possible canola oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, grape seed oil, rice bran oil, safflower oil, soybean oil and sunflower oil. The healthy fats you should be consuming are extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, black seed oil, cod liver oil and fish/krill oil.  

Arguably just as important as nutrition is sleep. 

Generally, people don’t think about how sleep impacts them. Sleep is important for your health, performance(athletically and mentally) and your overall mood.  Certainly it is hard to sleep well if your nutrition isn’t dialed in. Think about sleep and nutrition coupled together.  

The three basics of sleep: 

  1. You need 7-8 hours of sleep. If you aren’t getting this, make it a priority. Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at a similar time. Build a routine in regards to your sleep. 
  2. Cut out any light in your room. Blacked out, completely dark room will do amazing things for your sleep. Get your phone, alarm clock, etc covered so that they don’t emit any light.  
  3. Use white noise, if possible. A fan either overhead or a box fan works well to provide consistent white noise. The fan also helps to keep you cooler when you are sleeping.  

Strength training is important.

As a result of strength training you will be happier, more confident, and lose more fat than if you weren’t. Don’t get hung up on how to strength train, just realize that you need to do strength training to be healthier.

Four basics of strength training:

  1. Deadlift. The deadlift gets a bad rap – but you will never not have to pick something off the ground.  Doesn’t have to be a barbell – could be dumbbells, kettlebells, sandbags, anything. But learn how to hinge your body, brace your core and pick something up off the ground.  
  2. Squat. Again, don’t get trapped into thinking of only using a specific tool like the barbell to squat. The squat will always be helpful and practical. Sit down on a chair, you just squatted. Developing this movement pattern and getting strong in this movement will make your life easier. 
  3. Push. Specifically, develop enough strength to push yourself off the ground. Your entire life is easier if it is easy to push yourself off the ground. With no equipment the push up is king here. In a gym setting bench press works great.  
  4. Pull. As you are developing upper body strength the pull is important. Similarly, to the push, most people probably default to thinking about the pull up. Which is great for those who are able. But there are many great variations of pulling exercises for both the home and in the gym setting. 

Focusing on the basics and continually improving your nutrition, sleep and strength will continue to provide you with results. Don’t get caught up with bright new or shiny exercise and diet recommendations. Focus on the basics outlined above and see yourself getting healthier and happier! 

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