I’ve been thinking a lot about fitness over the past couple of years. Lots of thinking… no action. For some unknown reason I can’t seem to get fit just by thinking about exercising. I’m sure it’s a problem most of us face. If we could get fit by thinking about it, we’d all be a lot sexier.
I have decided to rethink fitness.
We rethought our dream of home ownership, and that led to some huge changes in our life. The traditional model is: finish school, get a job, buy a house. There are some flaws in that thinking, as that path is not always best for every person.
The common fitness thought is: join a gym for a big monthly payment, get fit. That works for some, but I suspect most make their payments and rarely go. There are some flaws with using gym memberships to get fit, and that path is not always best for every person.
It’s certainly not the best path for me. I have never had a gym membership, but our apartment has a nice gym setup. I’ve tried it a few times, but I just can’t get into using those machines. Being inside to work out is just kind of depressing for me. I see some people watching TV while they work out, but I really don’t watch much TV anyway so it’s not much incentive.
I’ve also tried free weights back in my high school days, but never found much enjoyment in working out. For me, working out has meant time away from doing things more enjoyable.
Our entire path recently has been geared toward seeking more enjoyment from life, and getting fit using the popular methods is counter to that path.
I have decided to rethink fitness. It doesn’t have to be about a gym membership or lifting weights. It doesn’t require me to buy new clothes or new shoes. It doesn’t require me to buy any workout equipment or weights.
Getting fit is about movement. I need to move more. Most of my day is spent sitting at a desk at work. I get up once in a while to take a short walk, but my work life if very sedentary. I used to have more movement when I worked fixing people’s computers. I’d be walking all over the building taking care of problems as they popped up. Now I work behind the scenes and spend most of my day at my desk.
I need more movement in my day.
I also want to tone some parts of my body. I want to lose my spare tire, and tone up my arms, legs, chest, and stomach. I want to do this without going to a gym. I want to do this with more movement and with body weight exercises.
Here’s my plan
I have a rough plan outlined. It’s a simple three exercises to get me started. I want to start off light. At this point it’s more important to establish a habit of exercise. Once I establish a habit of exercise I can then move on to adding more if I decide to.
Run One Mile
I set a goal to run one mile. I have never been good at running. Even as a kid I remember dreading the long runs in elementary school P.E. My lungs would burn and my heart would race. It wasn’t fun. Now I’m making a run part of my daily routine. I’m planning to run every day. My goal is one mile. I know some people set loftier goals of running a 5k or 10k, or maybe a triathlon. I don’t really want all that. I just want to be able to run.
When I think of running, I think of the old joke about getting eaten by a bear. You don’t have to outrun the bear, you just have to outrun the slowest person running from the bear. My goal is to not be that slowest person. Right now I’d be bear bait, and I’m not very pleased with that.
I chose one mile as the goal because I’ve never been able to run a mile. It’s a reasonable goal and one I know I can achieve. I think if I’m ever in a situation where I have to run (like being chased by a bear) one mile is a reasonable distance. I find it reasonable to occasionally have the need to run a short distance. I can’t think of many times when I would need to run 10 kilometers.
Also, I want to run, not jog. I find myself laughing at the people that jog at slower than a walk pace. It just seems a little silly to jog in slow motion. I want to run flat out for one mile.
I’m going to start by running fast for as far as I can, and then walk until I catch my breath. Then I repeat running and walking. This is a form of interval training, but it’s pretty loose. I’m not going to time my run/walk phases, but rather just do what feels right.
Pushups are one of the classic body weight exercises. They are easy to get started with and can be done anywhere. It seems to be a good workout that targets a range of muscle groups.
My initial goal is to do 30 pushups every day. I can’t do 30 pushups in one sitting, so I’m going to spread them throughout the day. I’m planning to do 10 in the morning, 10 when I get home from work, and 10 after dinner. I hope to work up to 100 per day and maybe eventually 100 in a single sitting, but for now I’m starting small to establish the habit.
Situps are another classic body weight exercise. Easy to do and can be done anywhere. They strengthen the abs, but they also strengthen the back. I find situps especially beneficial after sitting in a chair all day. I tend to slouch in my chair, and my bad chair posture sometimes causes sore back muscles. I also get problems with my upper back and neck muscles sometimes, and I think situps will help that also. I always find that my back feels much better after I knock out a few situps.
Like the pushups, I’m setting a goal of 30 pushups every day. I’m going to spread them throughout the day, doing them right after my pushups. I’m a little better at situps than I am at pushups, so I’m hoping to ramp that up to 50 a day pretty soon.
That’s it. Three workouts to start a fitness habit. I’m going to do them every day as part of a plan to increase my daily movement. Once the habit is established I may consider some changes, but this is the initial plan. An interesting side note is that most military branches require a certain level of fitness and use these exercises as part of their fitness test. If it’s good enough for the military it should be good enough for me.
Join Me in Rethinking Fitness
Who wants to join me? This is an easy way to get started with a fitness routine. If you’d like to join me, just drop a note in the comment section and let me know. I’ll update my progress, and you can follow along and add your progress in the comments as we move along.