You can do this

It seems everyone wants a quick fix and a simple solution to issues that are complex. Headlines like: ‘Four simple exercises to do at home and in just 30 days you can have that beach body of your dreams!” Or: “Well known cardiologist says to eat this every day and lower your cholesterol by 20 percent !” Or “Drink this before bed every night and watch the pounds just melt away.” I see stuff like that on magazine covers in the checkout line when I buy groceries and on clickbait ads following articles online. I get it. I can imagine someone who is deconditioned, inactive for the last x number of years thinking “Hey, I’ll give that a try.” 

Obviously I’m writing about how that is ridiculous, right? Wrong. I’m going to tell you how to improve yourself and your appearance with a couple of very simple changes most people can do with minimal time invested and see results immediately. Immediately is quick enough, isn’t it? OK. Tell someone who’s around you often to take a profile snapshot of you standing when you aren’t expecting it. Then stand in the same place but stand as tall as you can. Feel your ribcage lift away from your pelvis. Feel the crown of your head push toward the ceiling. Have them take that profile picture again. Look at the pictures side by side and they’ll look like two different people. You’ll like the change. 

You not only look much better but you’ve improved your health too by taking a lot of stress off your spine. If your back was aching before you executed my suggestion, please notice the ache was likely reduced. 

Now that I have your attention, I’ll throw in the catch. You can’t sustain that without learning how to strengthen the different muscle groups that work to hold you like that. And, even with those muscular changes, you’ll have to add conscious effort. Your previous posture has been natural for a long time and it’s become like a bad habit. But you can do it. Start with every hour, on the hour, stand up straight again. It’s like a reminder. Hopefully you’ll become consistent and then move on to every half hour. For motivation, remember how much better you look. 

I said a couple of very simple changes so that means there’s one more. This is even simpler. With that posture, Walk. How far? How fast? How often? Each of us is different, so you figure that out. If you do some homework and take control of your improvement, you’ll have a much better chance of continuing. Try to find somewhere without obstacles so you can keep that tall upright posture while looking straight ahead, not down at the ground. It’s like a moving meditation because you will drift back into a less-than-tall state, but all you do is recover your posture without judging yourself.

I have a framed quote beside my desk I’ve mentioned before. “Everything should be made as simple as possible. But not simpler.” A bit of wit by that clever physicist Albert Einstein. So I’ll have to add there’s more to being healthy, fit, moving better, looking better and just having more daily energy. But this was about quick and simple. It is both and if you add this to your life, you’ll always welcome this plan.