“Any exercise is better than none and more is even better.”
I saw this quote while at my doctor’s office. It came from author and physician Robert H. Lustig. His encouraging words stuck with me and the message of this quote is worth sharing.
This quote is impactful simply because there is so much discouraging content around us. You don’t even have to look for it. It’s right in front of you at any given moment of any given day and the source of it can be surprising.
Twice while reading a health/fitness magazine I remember felling like a load of bricks was dumped on my heart, and all ambition and hope was drained from me. One article argued that if your work-out is a minuet short of 25, that it is useless. The second article argued that if you are not consistent with how often you work out, you are doing your body more harm than good. Both came as a big let down to me but I managed to pick myself back up despite the discouraging things I read.
The first article reported that if all you do is a 10 min workout, that it is of very little benefit to the human body, and you might as well not be doing one at all. The theory is, that you need to keep your heart rate elevated for a minimum of 25 minutes to obtain any cardiac benefit from a work-out. When I read the article, I only had an extra 10-15 minutes in the morning. “What’s the use?” I thought to myself. I wanted to scratch my previously planned 15 min work out from my day planner and give up. But…I refused to give up on my goal. I continued to tell myself that my 10-15 minutes a day had to be doing SOMETHING good for my body. Maybe it was not benefiting my heart the way it should be, but maybe it’s helping with my blood sugar, stress relief, increased metabolism, with stronger muscles and stronger bones, and lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, improved brain health, and energy throughout the day. SOMETHING GOOD HAS TO BE COMING FROM MY SMALL WORK-OUTS. Besides, everybody needs a starting point.
The second magazine article had reported that if all you end up doing is a workout once every 10 days, you do your body more harm than good. What?!?! Hit with a brick again! If I ever had time for a “real gym work-out”, it wasn’t very often. Any time I tried to make it part of my routine, attendance would be spotty. “How do people do it?” I thought to myself. Then the answer came to me. One step at a time, like I had already been doing.
Two years ago I ran across a very good book written by Jeff Olson called the Slight Edge. He offered a lot of encouragement through this book and his philosophy was that if you start small, and build upon it every day, you will have success in whatever your venture is. Ah-ha! Someone who thought the same way I did! Small steps equal big achievements. I’ve always believed this. So I began to build on top of my 10 minuet work-out.
My small step, my little something, was a daily goal of 25 push ups (do-able for my new baby-holding mom arms), and to begin running 0.25 miles, then 0.50, then 0.75, and so on. Currently I am running 5 k’s and have mastered a grand total of 25 push-ups a day and plan to continue building on this.
So if all you have is 10 minutes a day, every other day for a work-out, DO IT. Start there and grow it. Don’t beat yourself up and tell yourself you’ll never achieve your work-out goals. Just start with what is practical, and achievable, and build from there. Celebrate your successes, and continue to set goals for yourself in a stair step fashion. Just focus on one little advancement at a time. That is how success happens for the busy mom and homemaker. That is how a healthy body is claimed for ourselves. That is how we become so awesome and remain so balanced. Now, go show the world what’s up and who’s BOSS!