The hardest thing about making exercise a habit is the whole getting started part!
If I had a dollar for every time someone told me they wanted to start exercising . . .
How many times have you said “I need to start working out! I’ll start tomorrow!” and then found yourself not feeling up to it when tomorrow comes? Or you decide it’s not worth doing unless you can do a whole hour or at least a half hour – which almost never happens. You might also hate working out alone – it’s so much more fun and the time passes by faster when you’re with a friend (but none of your friends can exercise when you’re free so again, it just doesn’t happen).
How many weeks, months or years will go by before you do start exercising?
How much more fit could you be at the end of this year if you started now?
What’s really stopping you?
One of the biggest reasons people don’t get themselves moving despite a desire to be healthier and fitter is the time issue I mentioned at the beginning of this post. We think if we can’t exercise for 45 minutes 5 times a week then we shouldn’t bother. We think that it doesn’t make a difference to do what we can but even just 3 minutes of intense exercise per week has been shown to have health benefits! Bump it to 7 minutes and you can see some even bigger benefits. Anything is better than 0 minutes!
Another reason people don’t do it is because they think they need fancy equipment or a gym membership to get fit. In the beginning, your body weight can be enough – in fact, some of the most challenging exercises can be done with just your body weight (think planks, push ups, and squats!). I’ve been working out in a variety of ways for years and I still find ways to make body weight exercises strenuous – so I can get some activity in wherever I am.
Lastly, despite what it might look like on Instagram, not everyone who works out does so in $100 tights and $80 sport bras. It’s not a requirement for getting fit! While I’ll admit that wearing clothes that make you feel good will help make you want to workout more often, they certainly don’t have to cost a lot to do that. You just need something comfortable to move in and a supportive pair of sneakers (unless doing barefoot routines like yoga, barre or pilates)! And if you’re going to be wearing them in public, you may want to bend over in front of a mirror (in a well lit room) and check out your rear to make sure they’re not see through. It happens to the best of us.
Because I have a lot of people in my life who tell me that they really do want to start exercising but just can’t get themselves started, I started thinking about what I could do to help that. I’m not a personal trainer and I’m not super buff (though I like to pretend I am) but I do know the benefits of exercise and I have a lot of experience in trying to find activity that keeps me from getting bored (because if I get bored I’m not going to do it!). While I workout several days week consistently now, there have been many times in my life where I was just like you, sitting on the couch, wishing I could find the motivation to do some physical activity and I just couldn’t get myself started.
I want to light a fire under your butt. Please, let me light a fire under your butt. I’m putting together a free 30 Day Exercise Challenge that starts October 12 (Columbus Day). Each day of the 30 days as a group we will commit do doing at least 5 – 8 minutes of activity. I will send out an email daily that has a link to an online workout routine for all of us to do. The daily workout will be between 5 – 8 minutes long and they will be challenging. You will sweat, you will feel clumsy and you might feel like giving up if you’re new to exercise but you won’t because you don’t want to let the rest of us down (and you want to see what a difference it can make in your life).
If you don’t want to do the daily video, you are welcome to do whatever you want for exercise – you can dance, run, bike, lift weights, whatever! But you must do it (a minimum of 5-8 minutes per day!).
This challenge is free. It’s online and you’ll have group support and encouragement. I’ll either be doing a Facebook Group or Google+ community (though I haven’t decided which yet!) to go along with the daily emails and I’ll post the daily workout there as well. All you have to do is show up each day and do your 5-8 minutes. I don’t even care if you do your 8 minutes on commercial breaks while you watch TV. Just get it done!
Can you do that? I know you can.
At the end of the 30 days, you’ll be stronger, you’ll find the workouts don’t tire you out as much, you’ll be sleeping better, you won’t get as winded going up stairs and you might even lose weight or see muscle definition in places you’ve never seen it before! But the best thing of all, is after 30 days, you will have created an exercise habit that you can continue – 8 minutes a day will become a part of your normal day, like brushing your teeth or taking a shower. You can then choose to do more or make it harder – whatever you want, but you can pat yourself on the back because you are NOW someone who exercises. You are NOW someone who is making their health a priority (and that is my goal for all of you). You are NOW someone who knows they can commit to lifestyle change.
If you can do this, what else will you be able to accomplish?
Come light a fire (under your butt!) with me! It’s free and we start October 12th. Sign up
here . Share this challenge with your friends who also could use some help changing their habits – it’s always more fun to do something like this with friends! Join the Light a Fire Under Your Butt free 30 Day Exercise Challenge.
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Participation in this challenge is free but joining means that you accept and agree to the following disclaimer:
All information provided by Andrea Quigley Maynard for this Free Exercise Challenge is of a general nature and is furnished only for educational/entertainment purposes only. No information provided is to be taken as medical or other health advice pertaining to any individual specific health or medical condition. You agree that use of this information and participation in the Free Exercise Challenge is at your own risk and hold Andrea Quigley Maynard harmless from any and all losses, liabilities, injuries or damages resulting from any and all claims.