Knowing but not doing

It’s really common to be well genned-up on health research and the latest thinking about diet and exercise, and to know nearly all there is to know about being healthy and eating healthily, and be able to quote, and link in your Facebook replies, every section of Wikipedia’s entry on the Krebs Cycle – but not actually put any of it into practise or use it in-anger.

It’s a bit like people watching cookery programmes on telly and having shelves loaded with cookery books, but only ever cooking the same few meals that they’ve been cooking for years; they FEEL like gourmets but never actually get round to julienning a courgette or scattering marjoram from a height, like Jamie Oliver.

Do you *really* exercise?

And let’s take exercise. So you’re sitting there reading this – great – reading me saying that exercise is so good for you and that you should really do some every day. You’re probably thinking “Yes she’s right, I should do this!”. But are you *going* to do it or do you feel you have to prepare by reading books or getting professional guidance?

You really don’t need to if you’re already pretty well, all you need to do is that unfashionable, un-faddy phrase “move more”. Most of us can walk, so get up right now and go for a walk. Walk in one direction for five minutes, then walk back, then finish reading this, I’ll do the same.

When you’re walking, walk at the same pace you would if you were late for an appointment. Do that a lot. You don’t have to exercise for ages or get an instructor, or go to a gym or class, just move often and sometimes get out of breath. Heck you don’t even have to use an app – you DID run even if it’s not on Strava!

OK I’m back now, my heart is pumping, I feel warmer and I’m nicely loosened up, this is what my body is designed to do rather than standing here tapping on a keyboard, I’ll now do a few star jumps before I finish this blog.

Things you probably know but don’t do:

  • Eat more veg
  • Eat only as much as your body needs
  • Chew your food more
  • Eat more slowly
  • Eat a wide variety of foods
  • Cook/prepare all your own food from scratch
  • Don’t eat crap bread
  • Don’t snack after dinner/before bed
  • Drink less alcohol
  • Be active every day, with some heart rate raising activity
  • Work on body strength
  • Walk or cycle instead of driving
  • Get outdoors in the fresh air every day
  • Make time to relax
  • Go to bed earlier and get enough sleep
How many of those do you actually do?

Doing all this stuff doesn’t mean you have to stop reading about it, by all means do lots of that – learning is good and learning about your body is a fantastic investment of your time. But when you’ve finished just do a few shoulder presses using the book as your weight, then maybe play catch with it if there’s a small child around and the book isn’t a super-huge recipe tome 🙂 (actually, don’t do the play catch bit…)

So you’ve just read me telling you to do the stuff you read about, what are you going to do, and when? I’m off to get an earlier night.

A thousand words make not the same deep impression as a single deed.
Henrik Ibsen

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