We’ve all said this at one time or another. And it’s especially true when you don’t have a regular routine already in place.
That’s because most people’s lives are so jammed that even adding just 30 minutes a day—a standard recommendation—can feel completely overwhelming. Plus…“Just 30 minutes” often takes closer to an hour—when you factor in traveling to the gym, changing into your gear, or resting post-workout.
My coach at Precision Nutrition says, “Shrink the goal”.
If you struggle to exercise—despite your best intentions—forget the “ideal” amount of activity.
Instead, just aim for better.
For instance, unless you’re literally staying in bed all day, you’re already getting some daily movement.
So the question is…
What does a little more look like?
Only you can answer that, but maybe it’s:
>Taking 1,000 more daily steps than you’re getting now
>Going for a 10-minute walk every night after dinner
>Doing one set of one exercise, or 5 minutes of mobility first thing in the morning
Those are just ideas, and they may not be right for you. But to find out, try this “game”:
On a scale of 0 (no way possible) to 10 (so easy it’s laughable), rate how confident you are that you could follow through. It doesn’t have to be the activities listed above; it could be anything that you’d like to do.
But… Be honest.That’s the essential part here.
If you say “9” or “10” to an activity, you’re good to go.
But anything less? Scale back. Simplify.
What does it take to get you to a solid 9?
Maybe it’s only taking an extra 500 steps a day. Or 500 steps, four days a week (instead of seven). Perhaps it’s mobility routine just two days a week. Or only one 10-minute after-dinner walk a week.
Sometimes you’ll have to scale back so much, you might think, ‘This’ll never work! It’s too easy.’ It doesn’t matter. Because if you can stick with the change for 2 weeks, you’ll start to gain the confidence to scale up.
And if you can’t, what chance did you have at doing the “optimal” amount of exercise? Go ahead and scale back more and try again.
Once you’re consistently following through, you can repeat the above process. Each time you have success, build on it.
In the next issue – Overcoming Fear & Worry