Like the majority of people, I used to get into shape around the new year and swimsuit season. After 1-2 months of attending to the gym, I’d invariably get hurt or find excuses not to go – primarily due to the time commitment.
I learned that if I set the bar for exercise incredibly low, like 15 minutes, 3-5 times per week, it makes it much more difficult to manufacture excuses and much more difficult to get hurt.
I’m not insanely fit or shredded as a result of this practice, but I am far more fit than I was when I yo-yoed between working out hard and not working out at all.
Additionally, I’ve learned to prioritize mobility and functional strength, which has significantly improved my quality of life. The time I’ve gained back, in particular, has been a true gift.
This is also why maintaining a healthy weight loss is so tough. Individuals become inspired and eventually end up dead by exercising five days a week for a month. Awakening each morning fearful of 30 or 60 minutes of pain is not sustainable. I now have a treadmill in my home (thanks covid), and 1.5 hours a day on a high incline and walking speed, while watching a movie and working at a pace that burns 1000 calories is absolutely sustainable. I do it seven days a week. It is not entirely painless, but there is no genuine discomfort and time does not slow down. And I lose 10 pounds or more per month, which is significant given that I am not “dying” to work out every day.
I’ve had success urging individuals to simply show up twice a week at the gym. Take a five- or ten-minute break in the car and then return home. Within a few weeks, most people conclude, “I’m already here; I might as well go inside.” Then, “Since I’m already inside, I might as well do a little workout.” They then want to break a sweat and then have a desire to grow. It takes about a half-year, but it is life-changing.