Most people want to be in better physical shape and have a higher level of fitness but unfortunately they let themselves go too far and don’t know where to start. So what is one to do? I notice most people I talk to who find themselves in this position feel they need to have some grand plan or start a gym membership before they do anything else, or have an hour of time allotted or more before they start.
All you need is 15 minutes to start.
Yes I said 15 minutes… doesn’t seem like much time, but it can make a world of difference. I always say start small and gradually put more time into it as you go. Most people feel 15 minutes is not enough time to get in better shape… but when you are not working out at all it’s plenty of time! Most of the time putting off starting on a certain date or waiting to take a certain class or waiting for the right day or moment to start a workout regiment is just an excuse (& you know it).
So what can we do in 15 minutes & where? My favorite type of exercise – body weight calisthenics. No fancy equipment needed, just your own body weight & gravity, a very effective combination. Depending on your current level of fitness, which if you are not working out at all is probably not very high, start nice and easy. If you can’t do a push-up yet, then start with brisk walking with some wrist weights.
Take A Walk, Do Some Deep Breathing
Walking is a great form of exercise that most people over look and should be an addition to your workout regimen. I personally take a walk everyday, usually at night. A good time to take a walk is after you eat a meal, as it helps digest your food. There is an old Chinese saying, (I think it’s Chinese) that if you walk 99 steps after each meal you’ll live to be 99 years old… you get the idea.
Walking helps you clear your head & sometimes even get some answers to questions you normally can’t come up with sitting around thinking about them. Also, you get out of the house and get some fresh air.
You can combine breathing exercises as well with your daily walk. Just do some basic deep belly breathing, just focusing on your breath… in through your nose and out through your nose, tongue to the roof of your mouth. You will feel revitalized just doing this & no gym membership required!
Just Start Moving
The point is just start doing something, start moving. So you have your daily health walk or fitness walk you can call it. Walk a different path or route each day to change things up. Sometimes I walk for well over an hour, sometimes for just 10-15 minutes.
Then you can add a short 15 minute workout when you get back. Your blood is flowing already, do some light stretching for a few minutes before you start. A good combination is a few short sets of squats (maybe 10-15 reps) with light weights in hands, a few sets of push-ups (or variations of a push up if you can’t do a real one). Start today and there you go, you are active and on the path to getting in good shape.
I will talk more in future posts about different types of exercises and stretches you can do. Really, you should stretch everyday, especially after you wake up. Gets the blood flowing and helps wake you up to start your day.