Society’s obsession with fitness and nutrition has exploded in recent years. People spend tons of time and effort pursuing an elusive image of a healthy lifestyle.
Bloggers and influencers promote elaborate exercise routines and nutrition tutorials. Pharma labs create more and more supplements and vitamins aka “the cure of all things.” All of them work for the billion-dollar industry convincing people that gym memberships, strict diets and countless vitamins are the key to a healthy and happy lifestyle.
Well, they aren’t.
You don’t necessarily need to work out 5 days a week or do cleansing detox diets to improve your well-being. The health and fitness industry puts great pressure on people, making them feel like they are missing out on everything and leading terrible lifestyles. The truth is, taking care of yourself shouldn’t be complicated. The best way to achieve wellness is to embrace minimalism in all spheres of your life, especially fitness and nutrition.
But what exactly does this mean? Simply put, wellness minimalism focuses on satisfying the primary needs of your body and mind and getting rid of anything that doesn’t bring you fulfillment and joy. Adopting a minimalist lifestyle helps you save money and time, while also reducing stress.
Going back to the way you approached nutrition and fitness as a kid can be a good start. As children, we used to listen to our bodies and know inherently what to eat or which exercise to do to satisfy it. Over the years we grow numb to those signals and focus more on what people on social media say we need.
Implementing minimalism in your lifestyle is an individual process. Only you know what’s best for your body and mind; however, here are some general guidelines on how to adopt wellness minimalism in each sphere of your well-being.
The variety of diets and contradictory research make nutrition seem complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Food is meant to bring us energy and joy, not cause anxiety and guilt.
If you cut through the noise and focus on the proven facts, there are not that many guidelines to follow. Your diet should mainly consist of minimally processed, nutrient-dense foods: fruits, vegetables, eggs, dairy, nuts, beans, meat and seafood (minus animal-based products if you are vegetarian/vegan). This doesn’t mean that eating your favorite snack or a piece of cheesecake is bad. Food is one of the joys of life, so you shouldn’t miss out on it. The only rule here is to eat those not-super-healthy foods in moderation and with regard to your health.
You should also learn to trust yourself when deciding how much and how often to eat. The formula is quite simple: stop eating after you are full, but not stuffed. Even if you aim to lose some weight, under-eating is not a good way to do that. Obsessive calorie counting or following a fad diet will only stress you out, both mentally and physically. Of course, there are cases when tracking calories is necessary, but only when your health issues require that.
For many people physical exercise has become a heavy burden, something they have to suffer through to feel good about themselves. But just like food, fitness is also meant to be enjoyable and bring the much-needed dopamine to our brains. Embracing wellness minimalism will help you uncover the real value of exercise.
Start by finding an activity that you love. If you hate gyms or running, don’t force yourself to do it. If you feel stressed out by team sports, take part in individual ones. Some people feel their best when they do yoga or dance, while others prefer hiking or riding a bike. Just because influencers or fitness coaches recommend something, doesn’t mean you should follow that path.
One of the main principles of minimalism is getting rid of things that don’t matter. It is all about decluttering and living simply. The fitness industry makes us believe that a healthy lifestyle should be expensive and complicated. Gym memberships, sports accessories and fitness trackers are just some of the items promoted as essentials. People spend a lot of time and effort choosing the right gym or gadget, stressing out about the things they can live without.
For example – if you want to do yoga, all you really need is a comfortable outfit and a yoga mat. Blocks, towels, blankets and bolsters contribute nothing to your practice. Freeing yourself from the over-materialized perception of fitness will make your workout experience effective and stress-free.
Last but not least, the motivation behind starting a healthier lifestyle also matters. In other words, if you want to improve your nutrition and fitness habits, you should do it for the right reasons. Society’s view of health is centered around aesthetics. It’s all about how you look, not how you feel.
Wellness minimalism, on the other hand, is focused on your daily journey. It allows you to declutter your mind, reduce stress and truly love your body. After all, the main point of eating healthy and exercising regularly is to feel fulfilled and enjoy your life as much as possible. Weight loss or better skin is a great side benefit, not a goal.
All in all, embracing wellness minimalism is a great start to leading a healthy and stress-free life. By concentrating on the essentials and simplifying fundamental processes like nutrition, you learn to listen to your needs and desires and distance yourself from societal influence.
Try adopting a minimalist approach to health and fitness and you will notice your mood improving, your anxiety levels dropping and life flowing again as you reconnect with a truly healthy body.