Feb 2, 2015

30 Minutes is Nothing; 30 Minutes is Everything

For this month's habit building challenge, I'm focusing on exercise.  I started a couch to 5K plan back in January and I've done alright. Not great.

For some reason there are just a couple days that I've been struggling to make myself do.  It seems like every Wednesday/Thursday/Friday, my motivation just breaks down and I lose all desire to make myself do something.  I saw this pattern last month with the Sleep Habit Building.  But why?  Let's take a slight tangent.

If you asked someone, almost anyone, I'd imagine, if they would be willing to put up with a half hour of discomfort every day for 30 minutes in order to be healthy and maybe even lose weight or gain muscle tone, they'd say, "Hell yeah! Sign me up."

But then you think about it, and that's all exercise really is.

Half an hour to an hour of being uncomfortable every day.  And it makes such a vast difference to your overall health!

But there is one major obstacle: you can't just passively allow it to happen.  You have to choose to make yourself uncomfortable.  And that's where it all falls apart.

I can understand that; certainly, I'm as guilty as anyone of saying, "Nah, I'm not feeling it today.  I'll just go home and relax."  But when you break it down, when you really think about what it is that you're not willing to do, it's not THAT hard.  It's not THAT miserable and it's not THAT big a deal.

With this in mind, I'm going to challenge myself to 30 days of exercise.  30 days of being mildly uncomfortable for at least half an hour.  Obviously I'm still going to try to follow my running plan, but I really want the focus to be on DOING something, anything!

Because it's really not that hard, and the only thing stopping me is my own mental blocks that I've put up.  This is the month those come down.
I'm setting a few parameters or goals, but really I'll consider this a success if I do anything.  Here's what I'll attempt to do:
  • 30 minutes of some kind of exercise every day (cardio/weights/yoga/anything!)
  • Run every day my couch to half marathon plan says to (I've been about 1 run short each week)
  • Bike once each week (for variety and to validate our purchase of the thing)
  • Break through this Wednesday/Thursday slump in motivation!
That last one is the hardest, so I'm probably going to be repeating my new mantra a lot, "Half an hour of your day = years added to your life."  Or when I'm feeling less eloquent, "It's good for you, it's good for you, it's good for you..."  (What I told myself the whole way up on the Grand Canyon Hike)

What are your exercise goals?  And what do you tell yourself to get motivated?  Do you have a mantra?

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  1. You can do it! I'm the worst at exercise unless it's disguised as fun, I need to push myself to get better but I'm lazy by nature. Just give me swimming against ocean waves any day over one of the unused exercise videos on my shelf.

  2. I have gotten over the slump of not wanting to do work outs, I am more concerned with stopping myself from eating all of the bad things that I want. I think that you really have to want it. And until you have committed to that attitude, there are days you are going to fall off. Or at least, that is what happens in my experience.

  3. I hate exercise I just can't talk myself into doing it. I had been better about walking, then it got cold and I just can't stand to be outside.

  4. I need to really push myself too. I am in 2 challenges now and I need to get on my game here to get some results! We can cheer eachother on!

  5. They say that runners (people who work out in general, but this was specifically talking about runners) have a really high pain threshold because they constantly are forcing themselves to be uncomfortable. Running and really working out is so mental, because really you COULD stop whenever you wanted, especially when it's hard, but you force yourself to keep going. You're right about the 30 minutes, but it is much easier said than done when you get right down to it.


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