Sean Van Staden
4 minute read
2 Aug 2020
12:51 pm

Find the path of least resistance to a happier, healthier life

Sean Van Staden

To improve your personal state of health, it is important to take action by finding the path of least resistance.

Sean van Staden

It was a tough day at the office this week because I am noticing more and more that people are frustrated by their current state of health.

I even had a client in tears because she has been working so hard at her home office and has not had time for anything else. She has put on several kilograms over and above the weight she wanted to lose.

I also had a mother say her son was in desperate need of help because he put on over 15kg during lockdown and might be pre-diabetic.
These are some of the stories that unfold when we find ourselves in a hole.
There are two things you need to do: Take immediate action and seek professional help.
The first goal is to find the path of least resistance. What I mean by this is finding the easiest way to take action that is not going to allow you to make excuses, such as not having training clothes, shoes, time or money, or dealing with pain and fatigue.
In order to combat this, as Bruce Fordyce mentioned in a recent charity drive on Zoom, take a simple approach.
Don’t complicate things by running at first. Start with walking.
Don’t set yourself unrealistic goals. Just get up and get out.
Repeat your effort each day but gradually move the goal so you can build up to a 5km run.
If this approach fails, you need some serious motivation, and that is when you call in an expert to worry about things like maximum calories burned; injury prevention exercises; mobility exercises to increase range of motion; strength to support your body; core development to improve posture, circulation and concentration; and improving breathing techniques to deal with stress and increase oxygen intake.
Your goal is not to become a scientist in this field. Your goal is to lose weight, tone up or get stronger, and to get a hold of your emotional well-being.
When you start feeling more confident, then you can begin to understand the training system so that you don’t become dependent on the coach.
Your goal is then to learn and grow, and make this a part of your life.
I personally believe there will always be a need for a coach in your life. They are
staying ahead of the game in their field and can pass on tried and tested knowledge quicker than it would take you to research it.
Coming back to my first point, however, you can start taking today in the following ways:
Take a walk
Don’t set any rules. Just walk out your front door and out the gate, decide which direction you fancy walking, and start walking.
Don’t think about anything. Simply use the five-second rule promoted by world leading female motivational speaker Mel Robins. Count back from five seconds and when you get to one, take action
immediately. It is one of the biggest self-development secrets on Earth, and it works.
Focus on small gains at first, like walking to the stop street, then to the end of the road, then to a further landmark. Keep moving forward and don’t even think about calories being burned or that you should be jogging. That’s not the point of
this exercise.
You have just taken action and it’s the start of your journey to a healthier, happier life. When you start to feel like your legs are getting a little heavy, don’t overdo it. Turn around and start heading back at your own pace.

Walking at your own pace is a great way to exercise without taking too much strain. Picture: iStock

Skip for joy
Before you claim you don’t have a skipping rope, you can skip without a rope by mimicking the same motions.
The important thing here is that for every time you jump up and down, you are burning approximately 0.1 calories, so if you jump 10 times you have just burned one calorie.
This is a powerful concept because the more you jump up and down, the more
you personally know how many calories you are losing.
If skipping is too hard on your knees, then try running on the spot.
Keep nutrition simple
Again, focus on the path of least resistance.
Reduce your portion sizes by either using a side plate instead of a dinner plate, or making a wedge to form a ‘barrier’, beyond which no food is allowed.
This simple yet powerful trick reduces calories consumed in each meal and, technically, if your food choices are right (as in no take aways) then it is easier to lose weight by consuming less food than it is to burn it off through exercise.
It is important to remember that both exercises and reduced calorie intake work like a powerhouse combo together.
Finally, take charge of your life because you have only one, so being happy, content and living it to the fullest should be your top priority.
Good luck and be proud of yourself for taking the first step towards improving your state of personal health.

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