For several weeks my schedule has gotten the best of me and all efforts at working out have fallen by the wayside. So, I decided to think about fitness, motivation and the “MED” (minimum exercise dose) to maintain fitness. Here’s what I came up with:
1. Consistency, not quantity is essential.
- 10-20 minutes “every” day (i.e. 5 or 6 days a week) is really better than 60 minutes once a week. Use The Daily Fitness Solution for 20 minute workouts. Google “ten minute workouts” and you’ll find a huge number of workouts to do (or buy).
- Any increase in movement is good – Consider using a pedometer (cheap) or something like the Gruve or fitbit (more expensive but a lot more information) to monitor your activity
- The “MED” to prevent disease is probably 30-60 minutes/day of intentional activity.
2. Planning helps.
- If you are working 12 hour days “fitting it in” won’t work. We are all human, and the call of the couch is too strong when you are tired. Make a plan for the week (before you are tired).
- Pack a gym bag for the day or the week and keep it in your car or your call room
- If you are going to exercise in the morning before you go to school/work, get all your clothes and shoes out the night before
3. Having a goal works better than not having a goal.
- You can use published guidelines as your goal like the CDC guidelines for exercise or the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports,. If you want to really push yourself, look at the fitness tests from The President’s Challenge, the Marine Corp, or the FBI.
- Set a goal for consistency like a “streak” of exercise i.e. how many consecutive days you’ve been able to exercise.
- Pick an event in the future to train for like a bike ride, race, hiking trip, climb, etc.
4. At some point you just have to decide it’s important.
- There are a lot of people around all of us who somehow figure out how to stay fit with the same busy schedule that we have. Somehow they make it a high enough priority to “just do it”. It’s doable, so our excuses are just that… excuses. (Darn)
- 31 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Exercise from Zenhabits.com
- Top 7 Keys To Motivation For Exercise! from Greg Landry
- Getting Motivated to Exercise by Paige Waehner