Last Updated on August 23, 2016 by Michael Brockbank
The Internet is full of ways you can improve your health from mainstream fad diet plans to grueling exercise routines. As each claim to be the best, there is one important facet a lot of people tend to forget: everyone is different. Although we are all humans, each of us has a unique physiology that will influence diets and workouts. Knowing yourself is the first step to better health.
Understanding Your Limitations
Knowing your own personal limitations can be very beneficial whether you’re focusing on food or exercise. For instance, not all diet plans will be beneficial if you’re allergic to certain food types. Perhaps arthritis prevents you from getting an active aerobic exercise. Everyone is different when it comes to discovering what works for better health.
The Best Diet Plan
The absolute best diet plan that will help you shed weight and become healthy is one that you can stick with. I’ve seen too many people who jump on mainstream diet fads who wind up quitting because it doesn’t work for them in particular. Does that mean that the diet plan is faulty? Well, that depends on the plan itself and whether or not it’s right for you.
Personally, I don’t believe in restrictive diets. I take a more Buddhist approach when it comes to food – everything in moderation. However, this kind of a plan may not work that well for someone with diabetes. Some of the foods I enjoy while losing weight may actually be harmful for others, such as those who have hyperglycemia.
Understanding how your body acclimates to food will help you develop your own perfect plan. While it may be beneficial to get the input of a physician, it is you who will have to follow the diet. Unfortunately, I am a bit biased when it comes to doctors. I’ve seen too many of them proven wrong. That doesn’t mean they all are, though.
The Perfect Exercise Routine
This is one that I’ve seen many people fail at developing. Although it’s true that all humans share similar traits when it comes to physique, everyone’s genetic makeup is completely different. This affects exercise routines and how your body metabolizes nutrients during physical activities.
Like food, the best exercise routine is one that you can do regularly. You don’t want a plan that you’ll get bored with, but you need to keep the body moving if you want to burn calories and fine-tune muscle mass. For instance, when I walked the 5k in 2015, I weighed 280 pounds and wound up causing metatarsal stress fractures in both feet. The walk was well beyond my limitations at that point.
While trainers will push you to your limits, you need to know just where those boundaries are. If you don’t work into the activity, you may inadvertently cause more damage to yourself than you realize. Over the years, I have seen too many people push themselves into cardiac arrest because they didn’t know where those boundaries were for themselves.
For many people, understanding boundaries for better health may take a bit of trial and error. After all, you won’t know you can’t do something until you try. However, you need to realize that you may not be able to do the things you want to right off the bat. For instance, I want to cross the state of Colorado on bicycle. I know with absolute certainty that I wouldn’t make it in my current condition.
Taking it Easy at First When Exercising
The last thing you want to do is give yourself a heart attack while doing a new workout. Just because something looks easy, it doesn’t make it so. For example, my brother can crack out 20 push-ups like they were nothing. I try to do 10 and I am on the verge of bursting a vein in my forehead. Instead, I will work my body doing easier exercises or lower repetitions during push-ups. Eventually, I will reach the 20-rep mark and feel proud of myself for accomplishing that goal.
What may be simple for one person may actually be difficult or even painful for yourself. This is why understanding your limitations is vastly important. Not only will it help you develop an exercise routine tailored for your personal physique, but it will also reduce the risks of severe injury. Working yourself until you can barely move and are drooling on the floor is asinine, in my opinion. However, I am no exercise professional. I merely speak from personal experience.
Case in point, I once pushed myself into a 45-minute workout with only a protein drink in my stomach. My body went into shock almost immediately afterward and my blood pressure dropped to insane levels. My mother-in-law wanted to rush me to the emergency room. Needless to say, I don’t do that anymore.
Finding Foods You Can Eat
Obviously people with allergies or certain medical conditions are limited by what they can eat. However, a working diet plan for others needs to be tailored for your specific physique. There are too many articles and news stories out there regarding people who suffer from deficiencies because they followed a rigid diet plan that was supposed to “burn fat.” In fact, I know of one person in particular who developed gout because of the Adkins Diet.
For me, it’s easier to alter my eating habits by practicing portion control while increasing healthier alternatives. For instance, I’ll eat a cupcake today. I’ll also increase fiber intake as well as my vegetable content during my lunch. All of this is done while keeping my caloric intake under 1760 for the day. In case you’re wondering, this is the number of calories I need as my work and play is virtually sitting at my desk all day.
It all centers around what you can do and what you feel comfortable with. Otherwise, you may wind up hating your diet plan which will affect how you approach it. And this is one of the keys to better health: your personal mindset. How you approach fitness and foods will ultimately govern over your success.
Better Health Is Easy When You Know Yourself
I don’t bother with expensive exercise equipment because I know myself. I understand that the odds of my sticking to using an exercise bike on a regular basis is very low. As a result, I save money while finding activities I know I will do. I’ve kept off 20 pounds merely because I keep an eye on what I eat throughout the day. This is what works best for me. I know I will play the Kinect with weighted gloves. I know I would let a Bowflex sit in the corner and collect dust.
Learning more about yourself is influential in just about anything. From your personal life to career choices, it all centers around how well you know yourself. When it comes to better health, no one knows better than you of what you can accomplish. Have faith in yourself and spend a bit of time discovering your own limitations.