A Minimalist’s Guide to Health Routines

by Indiana Lee

Wellness is a vital aspect of your life. However, over the decades — and especially recently — the commercialization of health has served to make it more complex. Companies are offering ever more convoluted products to be used in health routines to recapture your youthful essence. Celebrity-backed healthy lifestyle strategies, naturally featuring their own proprietary products, feature on TV shows, YouTube streams, and articles. What you’re left with is a somewhat messy and confusing landscape to wade through to achieve wellness benefits that you can’t always be certain exist.    

This can be particularly frustrating if you value minimalism. When you want to live your life as simply and stress-free as possible, the confusion of complex routines is the opposite of what you need. The good news is, despite what the commercial landscape would have us believe, there are routes toward health and fitness that aren’t mired in complex nonsense.  

Let’s take a look at a few of the key ways you can take a minimalist approach to your wellness. 

Be Direct

When it comes to minimalist health routines, simplicity is key. This means that whenever you are considering activities that purport to assist your wellness, look closely at whether they address the issue in the most direct manner possible. Routines that require significant amounts of preparation or unnecessary equipment tend to just add additional complications into your life that you don’t need. 

Some approaches to this can include: 

  • Medical Devices

While there are certainly medical implements that you won’t have much choice over, you may find it more in keeping with your lifestyle to wherever possible select options that don’t require much fuss. There are some contact lenses, for instance, that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to stay in while you sleep, recommending that you remove them at least once a week. This can save time and hassle each night, but it is also important to weigh this against the risk of infection. When adopting devices to support a minimal routine, consider potential consequences in your health that may make them more complicated to live with.

  • Workouts

This is an area that is often caught up in complex thinking. When approaching your workout routine, you can serve your minimalist needs by following exercises that most directly deal with the issues you are attempting to solve or the standards you want to maintain. Once you understand your personal goals, you can create a workout that meets your needs and is fun enough for you to maintain. You don’t need to engage with personal trainers and expensive equipment.

Avoid Fads

When you’re trying to maintain a minimalist health routine, popular fads can be derailing. Part of the problem is that there are so many that crop up regularly that it can be difficult to know which type of activity will be best for your well-being. As such, this winds up with you having to undertake research — as is only responsible — to ascertain the credibility of these wellness fashions. This is anything but minimalist. 

So, avoid the fads where possible. There are a few examples of this in dentistry as of late. Some of them might seem likely — brushing with activated charcoal is much-lauded by influencers, and coconut oil pulling is said to help with gingivitis — but there is little evidence that these trends are effective. In many cases, the simple act of utilizing floss and regular brushing is more impactful on your dental wellness.  

Rather than trying out new fads, consider instead why you are looking for alternatives to your usual practices. Is it because they genuinely aren’t working for you? Have you become bored of them? This simple honesty with yourself can help better direct you toward solutions. It is also a more personally relevant approach than following the whims of a stranger who may have more commercial motives. If your diet has become a bit bland, look into where you can add healthy flavor varieties and sugar-free treats. If your exercise routine is no longer motivating, see if you can change your environment or team up with a friend for some company.    

Create a Framework 

Perhaps the most important step you can take to create and maintain a minimalist health routines is to make yourself a framework of the basics. Focus on the essential aspects that take care of your wellness needs. This doesn’t have to be static, but it can give you a base to build from, and also return to when any changes you’ve made have become unwieldy. 

Your framework could include: 

  • Diet

Go for balance here. This isn’t about depriving yourself of occasional treats. Rather, set some simple basic standards for yourself on what types of foods can help maintain your nutritional needs. This both keeps you healthy and allows you to be flexible with the menu. Occasionally review it and make changes as your body and health require. 

  • Exercise

Set achievable standards here. It can be helpful to have goals, but don’t go overboard as this can very quickly become overwhelming and demotivating. Concentrate on what will make you feel physically and mentally better — a daily walk outside in nature, a weekly swim session, morning yoga. You can always make changes, but this framework keeps things simple. 

  • Sleep

One of the areas of health people overlook to their detriment is the quality of their sleep. You don’t need to set a bedtime, but put a simple routine in place that helps prepare you better for sleep. Turn off extraneous lights, listen to a podcast, exchange your device for a book. Most adults need between seven to nine hours of sleep per night. However, focusing on achieving a good quality rather than quantity of rest is a better focus for your framework.

Conclusion

As wellness has become an industry it has also become more complex — but that doesn’t mean you need to play along. Seek practices that directly address issues rather than muddy them with extraneous activity and steer clear of trendy health routines. Importantly, identify your basic needs, and create a simple framework of activities that can keep your routine minimal and positive.

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