Health and fitness is not complicated or hard. Really good general fitness and health can be achieved fairly simply and I want to offer a simple plan as well as a few thoughts. But first… why?
A couple years ago I wrote an article with a few thoughts on how to prepare for a wilderness experience. For my regular readers, that will especially interest you as it regards the state of the world and prophecy, but from a more general perspective, it explains that overall quality of life and longevity are dependent on a three legged stool of mental, spiritual and physical health.
For our purposes, I want to offer a simple plan that should demystify basic health and fitness as one of those three legs that support ‘your stool.’ At least in the US, there is a 50+% obesity rate with a significant portion of those being medically termed, ‘morbidly obese.’ General fitness escapes more than 80% of the population by several standards, meaning in difficult times, a very high percentage will succumb to some combination of physical inability to lack of mental willpower due to the excessive shock of moving from sedentary existence to very active or even survival mode.
In light of this, we all need to be on a trajectory that moves us toward a better level of health and fitness. Following is a simple plan with some specific steps and ideas that anyone can take to begin to move toward better health and fitness. These are in descending order of immediate importance.
- Most Torahkeepers are already here. This is simply insuring that you are following Leviticus 11 with regard to meat consumption.
- No pork, shellfish or other ‘unclean’ animals… (skunks, buzzards, camels or cockroaches… 😉 )
DRINK. Lots of…. water!
- When hungry at odd times, drink water. Often, if we are thirsty, our body signals with hunger to make us salivate.
- Drink water instead of soda, sweet tea or even diet drinks. (False sugar flavors trigger receptors in the brain that then crave the real stuff…) Reduce sugar in coffee, etc.
- Drink a dozen 8 ounce glasses of water a day. Keep a water bottle with you….
Fresh vegetables, fruits and legumes
- Most people will lose a significant amount of weight simply by dumping processed foods and excess starches.
- Eat LOTS. This is NOT a diet or starvation. Rather, this is altering what you eat.
- Vegetables, fruits and beans very much fit the Genesis 1:29 model.
- Avoid boring salads. Get creative and enjoy delicious bountiful salads. Add nuts, fruit, fresh vegetables (squash, avocado, pistachios, walnuts, a little exotic cheese, raisins, dates, etc.) Stay out of a rut. Enjoy a good/tasty salad dressing, but use in small doses as it is often the most unhealthy part of the salad…
- Better yet, simple homemade dressings with orange or lemon juice and a little olive oil with spices… BAM! Save jingle and fat calories.
Eat more often!!
- Yes, you read that correctly. More smaller meals will activate your metabolism and cause your body to burn more fat because food is readily available. (It doesn’t slip into fat storing mode.)
- A protein bar or piece of fruit between meals is excellent! (Fruit preferred.)
- SMART snacks, NOT carb/sugary junk!!
Do SOMETHING active 4-5 times per week
- Everything up to this point will make a difference, but to accelerate change in your body and health/fitness level, get active doing something 4-5 times per week.
- Just 20 minutes of exercise that elevates your heartrate to a moderate rate will boost your metabolism for 8-10 hours.
- Walking, hiking, yoga, weights, aerobics, swimming, rowing, etc. Endless possibilities.
- If you need accountability, bite the bullet and join a gym or workout from home with an online fitness team/coach. One option is my wife, the No Hands Fitness Coach. (I’m super proud of her… As a disabled American veteran, she had allowed her disability to defeat her for more than two decades when she decided to make a change. Today, she may be in better shape than when she was in when on active duty, but more exciting is that she now coaches and encourages others to similar results.) Her Instagram is @no_hands_fitness
- Bonus!! Find an activity you can do with spouse, family, children, etc… Build family relationships while getting the heartrate up!
That’s it… Pretty simple. Don’t overcomplicate it.
Additional thoughts… (in no particular order)
- If you are way out of shape, recognize that you likely didn’t get that way overnight and reversing your condition is a process that may take a while. In other words, take a long term approach.
- Small CONSISTENT steps are far better than sudden large changes that are inconsistent or short termed.
- Healthy and fit does NOT necessary look like the fitness models on magazines and the internet. It is not necessary to have a 4 or 6% body fat ratio with popping abs to be in great shape! However, with some basic discipline, the average person can achieve 12-14% BMI lower heart rate and feel GREAT if they will dedicate themselves for 6-18 months.
- You do NOT need expensive exercise equipment! Even with relatively light weights, I can blow up someone’s body. Men, one 25 or 30lb kettlebell or two 25lb dumbbells are sufficient. Women, a 15 or 20lb kettlebell or a pair of 15-20lb dumbbells are more than enough to get started. Maybe smaller, depending on the exercise.
- Big muscles burn big fat! Body weight squats and push-ups work big muscle groups…
- Allow yourself a limited ‘cheat day’ once in a while. Enjoy the journey to health! You are much more likely to keep going!
- We started very simply, but now have a fairly nice home gym. Most of the weights, Olympic, 1″ and barbells, I picked up in scrap yards for $0.25/lb, considerably cheaper than new or even used. I scored an Olympic bar for $11! Other equipment we picked up over a couple years as we needed it by watching for deals, sales, free stuff, etc.
- Variety! As with food variety, keep some variety in your workout routine… walking, hiking, lifting, kayaking, stretching, dancing, etc. The key is to be moving!!
- Take ownership of your health. YouTube is chock full of fitness, health and food info that will help. Get educated and don’t be afraid to study and find what works for you!
- Daily multivitamin! As you learn a bit, this can be tailored to you for real benefit! (Often, or body craves food because it is looking for a specific mineral or vitamin. Supplements fill this need reducing hunger.)
Blessings. I pray every reader found something here that can help them toward better health. Take an active step, or more, today!!
Excellent post! According to the CDC, in 2015-2016, the prevalence of obesity was 39.8% with 93.3 million adults being affected. That is approaching half our population, and that’s not including the children! With childhood obesity on the rise especially, educating the general public on diet, fitness and overall health can not be overstated. A whole foods, plant based diet would greatly benefit all people.
Being outside in YHVH’s creation is also important and would greatly benefit the general population. A Japanese study noted that forest environments promote lower concentration of cortisol, lower pulse rate, lower blood pressure, and greater parasympathetic nerve activity. All of this can help decrease stress and anxiety, and help promote a greater sense of well being.
Great post! Onward to healthy living!!
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Hi Pete, I read your ‘wilderness’ article linked in this one. First off, I agree that we should try to be in the best all around condition we can be. I’m working on meeting some health/fitness goals myself. What I’m going to say is not to make excuses for people sitting on their backsides, but… I have some thoughts on how things are going to look in the times ahead, maybe I’m right, maybe not, time will tell. Jeremiah 30 & 31 have shaped part of my views.
31:7For thus says the LORD:
“Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob,
and raise shouts for the chief of the nations;
proclaim, give praise, and say,
‘O LORD, save your people,
the remnant of Israel.’
8Behold, I will bring them from the north country
and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth,
among them the blind and the lame,
the pregnant woman and she who is in labor, together;
a great company, they shall return here.
9With weeping they shall come,
and with pleas for mercy I will lead them back,
I will make them walk by brooks of water,
in a straight path in which they shall not stumble,
for I am a father to Israel,
and Ephraim is my firstborn.
Please note that the blind and lame and pregnant, the very weakest of the fold are brought by the Father back home! This brings me, and I hope many, much peace since it will not be about my strength, but His. And I’m very glad of that, or else, who could bare what is to come. Shalom to all.
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Shalom Pete, thanks for the practicle well thought out article. Ditto to your approach. I recently took a couple of additional steps – my personal blind-study so to speak, not knowing ahead what the results would be. I cut dairy, which was cheese mostly and butter, I already didn’t drink milk, and eliminated the remaining processed sugar in my diet. I also added a couple of tablespoons of raw, organic, unfiltered, apple cider vinegar, a well known and readily available product in stores or online. Wow! Was the result. I am shocked and pleased. I am back to my ‘active duty’ weight much quicker than I thought possible. This was that stubborn ‘fat’ that just doesn’t want to leave as we get older.😬🤣. (I believe there may be some ‘gut’ benefit with the raw, organic, unfiltered, apple cider vinegar) anyway, my personal experience and testimony recently. Blessing. Phil in AK.
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