Getting the Foundations Right
WORDS Ann de Jongh
A lot of people spend time cycling through different diets, workout trends, and lifestyle habits trying to find that miraculous answer that makes it all really easy. We see something on social media, or our friends are doing something new which is ‘better’ than anything else so we give it a go. Inevitably, it is not sustainable. Going back to basics doesn’t mean that it is easy, or that we don’t need to do it. No matter how advanced our training/nutrition/health approach is, it is always worth stripping it back and checking that our foundations are still solid. I believe our foundations for health are:
This is when our body rests and repairs. Without enough of this, it can affect everything else.
Peeling this back to the basics – making sure to eat plenty of colourful vegetables, removing processed foods, including in our protein of choice, whether that is plant-based meat or fish. Eating when we are hungry and, where possible, getting our nutrients from actual food rather than shakes, pills and other processed means.
It does not need to be anything fancy – going for a walk is one of the best exercises for our health. We don’t need special clothes or shoes, we just put one foot in front of the other and see where it takes us! In the gym this means going back to basic movement patterns, working on mobility to make sure our movement pattern is functioning correctly before we load it with weights.
In Yoga I love to go back to the basic postures, spending time to ensure that alignment is good. Moving through the more “simple” postures, we find that connection with the breath and then the movement that allows us to find space and stillness.
There are so many tools available to us to help with mindfulness, but stripping this back to the basics of breathing, observing the breath, taking the time to find stillness in the mind, and feeling gratitude.
Life can get very hectic and we can sometimes go through a day without laughing. It is good for our soul and our mind to laugh.
Approaching all of these areas with a simple back to basics style is the best way to build up to a healthier regime.