Friday, June 7, 2013

Develop a Fitness Habit

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
-Lao Zi, Tao Te Ching

It's hard to get in shape.  There are no magic bullets.  Exercise hurts.  You can't get into shape without gutting through some difficult days or without fighting through laziness.  Discouraged?  Don't be.
Get off the sedentary highway by developing a daily fitness habit
As the classic quote above says, even the hardest endeavors have a starting point.  Here are 3 steps to get you started on a fitness path and keep you on it:
  1. Do a little something everyday
  2. Log what you do in a journal
  3. Tell other people what you are doing
The first step is to make an intention that you will do something everyday.  Pick something approachable like 10 pushups or walking 1 mile.  The easier it is, the more likely you'll do it.  The important part with this step is that you develop a daily habit or bias towards exercise.  The intensity or duration of whatever you chose is irrelevant for this goal.  Feel free to do other exercise but do your daily routine no matter what for at least 60 days straight.

Secondly, you need to log what you do.  This is also part of forming the exercise habit.  Tracking what you do gives you a sense of personal accomplishment.  The log will also be a record to help guide your exercise program as you start to see results.
If you don't track it, you can't fix it
Lastly, tell other people what your daily exercise is.  Your friends and family will remind you periodically and give you additional motivation to stay on the path.  This will also provide you with another source of pride as you are able to confirm to them that you already did your workout.

Getting healthy and fit doesn't have to be a daunting challenge.  Start with modest daily goals, log your activity and engage with those around you about your plan.  Pretty soon you'll be the athlete that you never thought you could be.

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