I am a bit of a freak of nature. That’s what I said to my sister this morning and she didn’t jump in with a counter to that statement. I am devoted to my health. That is not a bad thing. While I have done a few “over the top” activities in my life, including a marathon and many long cycling tours, I am now all about living well.
I am closing in on 60 years old. I don’t say that out loud very often and writing it down here is taking some extra strength, but it’s the truth. Most of the time I forget about my age. I do what I can do. I can’t run like I once did. I suppose I could train to run longer than a 2 km distance but that really doesn’t interest me at this time. It might in the future, but it doesn’t now. I love cycling, so I cycle. I’m hoping to make more time for hiking in the future. I’m very excited about kayaking so I do that too.
My point of sharing this is to say that I believe it is important to maintain a level of physical fitness that allows you to do what you want to do no matter your age, or your lifestyle for that matter. The secret to establishing and maintaining a baseline of fitness comes down to daily movement. That means, doing something every single day. Regardless of where your fitness level is right now, you start with what you can do and build from there.
Eight months ago I could complete 5 push-ups in a row without any pain in my shoulders (always protect the joint) so that is what I did. I think my first goal was to do that 5 times a day. Voila, 25 push-ups daily. Today, I’m completing 100 push-ups every single day. It took me about 4 months to get there, but here I am. I had considered doing more, but why bother? Instead I’ve added other movements. So 5 times per day a reminder goes off on phone and I go through the routine. It takes less than a minute if I don’t get distracted by a text message or a cat, or a cat sending a text message. I don’t sweat so there’s no need to change my clothes. It’s so easy that it’s ridiculous not to do it.
If you’d like to try this method start tomorrow. Set a reminder. An alarm on your phone or a sticky note on the coffee maker will do. Start with what you comfortably do. I’ve already heard the “I can’t while I’m at the office” excuse. To that I say do push-ups at the wall or at your desk. Sure, they are easier than push- ups on the floor so do more. Movement is movement is movement. It all counts towards improving your level of fitness.
I started with push-ups because I love push-ups. They work a ton of muscles and there is no equipment required. Not to mention, getting up and down from the floor is an exercise all by itself. If you prefer start with squats or marching on the spot, that is great too. The point is just start, and keep going.
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