Have You Noticed?

I went down the rabbit hole today of fitness websites. Every once in a while I think I should get online and see what's new; see what people are talking about; see if there's anything that inspires me. I love the topic of health and fitness, so I want to read about it. But I find that I almost always feel more overwhelmed than I do enlightened, when it's all said and done. 

There's just so much information, you guys. Some bad information. Some good information presented in a bad way, and some good information presented in the right way. Lots of contradictory information. If you've ever spent time on these websites, you know what I'm talking about. 

I must have looked at a half-dozen websites, and what I noticed was that they all used variations on the same themes when it came to article topics. Have you noticed that too? Here are some of the ones I saw today, over and over again. Maybe they'll look familiar to you too....

The signs of deadly diseases you should never ignore. The magic food/drink/sleep habit/diet that cures everything that could possibly ail you. The one exercise you must do for: 6-pack abs, a lifted butt, defined shoulders, a flab-free back, etc. What happened when I gave-up this one simple thing, or when I did this one simple thing for a week. Exercises a trainer would never do. Exercises a trainer would never not do. What horrifying thing scientists found in a typical (insert place we all go every day). What deadly thing could be causing that irritating, but seemingly benign symptom you have and hadn't really thought twice about...until now. The gross things that can happen to your feet or other body part without you realizing it's happening. How to succeed at the fad diet of the moment. Why you should never follow fad diets. How to lose weight. Why you should never weigh yourself. Why you should weigh yourself every day. Why you should always combine certain kinds of workouts on the same day. Why you should never do certain kinds of exercises on the same day. The abs/arms/glutes/legs workout to end all abs/arms/glutes/legs workouts. The one workout you aren't doing that you should be. The one food you aren't eating but should be. 

You get the picture. 

As I was reading these things, I thought, there's simply no way that a person could follow the prescriptive advice of the articles on just one of these websites. No way. Their articles contradict each other. All the time. 

You can't be vigilant enough to counter all of the potential health hazards these sites warn you about--you'd spend half your life disinfecting yourself and everything you came into contact with, and the other half at your doctor's office having them check you for whatever horrible disease that weird mark on your fingernail apparently portends. 

It's overload. It's fitness information overload. And something happens when you overload me with stories, and warnings, and advice. Eventually I tune it all out. I think: I can't do all of that; I don't know which of it I should do; so I'm not going to do any of it. That's been my experience, anyway.

So, here's my advice: ignore it. Ignore it all. And focus instead on the basics.

Eat mostly real, whole foods. Move your body purposefully every day. Get enough sleep. And do things that bring you joy. If you're starting from a place where even those four things seem impossible, pick one and focus on doing only that. When that's gotten easier and become a habit, add something else. You don't have to do it all right away. And you don't have to be perfect at all of it all the time. Cut yourself some slack. Give yourself a break.

And stay away from fitness article clickbait :-)