Tuesday, December 08, 2015

The most doable way to start exercising….

Today's Post:  Tuesday, 12-8-2015

1.  As you likely know, if you exercise regularly you get a surprisingly large list of health benefits. These range from a better love life to disease prevention to dramatically slowing aging.

2.  But with the time pressures on you, you may not feel you have the time. And, you may do no exercise regularly at all now.

Going to a gym or group class can help with some things; but the extra time and travel time and cost, may make this a nonstarter for you.

3.  But what you may not know is that there is a super doable couple of exercises you can do at home in the morning just three times a week.

And there is another exercise you can do at home or work just a few times a week with other benefits.

4.  AND, what’s most incredible is if you commit to doing a super easy set of even one of these just ONE day a week, your chances of success go way up. 

The effect is huge.  People who do this were found to automatically do a bit more each week AND find they can easily do several things to protect their health that that they weren’t doing before.  The people who did it even smoked even voluntarily smoked less if they smoked before!

5.  The trick is to start with just ONE day a week at a level that is super easy to easy that you know or find you can do without much strain.

The second key thing is to insist on doing it that day each week first thing in the morning at home.

And, the third key thing is to gradually do more and better without overdoing how fast you improve.

6.  What are these exercises?

a) Pushups 

The regular pushup is where you lie on your stomach and then hold your body stiff and push with your hands until your arms are extended—and then repeat. 

(If, at first you are unable to do this, you may be able to do pushups from the your knees instead of from your toes.  And, if that is too hard &/or you are too heavy you can lean forward a bit and push away from the wall.

Some people have gone from wall pushups to from the knee pushup to regular pushups.)

Once you can do ten or so pushups at regular speed of about one second up and one second down, on another day a week you can do a set where you do them slowly enough to take 3 or 4 seconds up and 5 seconds down.  And, when you can do those, you can add a third day where you take 10 seconds up and 10 seconds down. 

(I do those now.  I can do 33 or 34 regular pushups; 16 to 20 of the 3 to 5 seconds each way; and 9 or 10 of the ones that take about 10 seconds each way.

b) Squats.

Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart or a bit less.  (I used to think that your feet should be pointed straight ahead but found out recently it works better if your toes point out slightly at about a 30 degree angle.)  Then squat down until the top of your legs are parallel to the ground and stand back up.

If you aren’t sure you are strong enough to do one, arrange to hold on to something quite sturdy and not likely to come loose or tip ever.

Holding on in this way and/or only going part way down at first can make these doable in you can’t do one at first.

And once you can do them, you can do them the slow and slower style I described for pushups.

c) Burpees

(Burpees are a fitness exercise that combine pushups and squats.  You squat down, thrust your legs back, do a pushup, jump back to the bottom of the squat position, and then squat up for one burpee.  So once you can do about 12 pushups at normal speed and 12 squats at normal speed.  You likely can do five burpees at a somewhat faster speed.  Then when you can do five briskly and somewhat easily, you can do five and rest long enough to catch your breath and do five more.  When you build up to seven sets of 12 fast burpees, you have the foundation to use them as a fitness exercise.)

d) Brisk walking for just a few minutes a day five days a week.

About 2 fifths of a mile or about 7 100 yard blocks takes about 8 minutes to walk at three miles an hour.  If you walk faster, slow down to rest, run carefully for a bit, then walk again etc, you can gradually cover the distance in 7 minutes or even 6.

I tried those at work every weekday at about 8 am because my doctor insisted I add some walking.

Much to my surprise, once I had done this for a few weeks, walking briskly while shopping and at other times became much easier!  (I was able to walk that fast before but I had to work hard to do it. Now the same speed is so easy, it’s almost effortless!)

Then I read recently that a study found that just this little bit of regular walking BY ITSELF and in addition to anything else you might do cuts your risk of heart attacks and strokes by 50%!

Just after that I saw a separate study that found that this amount of walking early in the day also helps you to sleep much better.

7.  How do you use the pushups squats and burpees?

Start with ONE of them just one day a week first thing in the morning.

You can do any of them inside in a small space.

Eventually you can do a set of pushups and a set of squats two or three mornings a week; and a set of burpees three or four mornings a week.

By doing this as little as 5 minutes a day for one set of pushups and one set of squats and less than 10 minutes a day for a set of burpees or even just 5 minutes if you need to be quicker, you can go from no exercise at all to enough to be noticeably stronger and more fit.

8. And, the walks take about 6 to 8 minutes a day once you get skilled at doing them.

9. Lastly, if you haven’t time to do both at home exercises and the walking.  Do either one depending on your choice and circumstances.  

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Blogger David said...

Do you find even with such small amounts of exercise you can't find time for them?

Maybe this would work:

Do you watch the morning news on TV?

If so, you see perhaps 10 minutes of the news and sports and weather you want to see 10 minutes you don't really want to see or already know and 10 minutes of commercials for things you aren't that interested in or food and drink that will make you fat and sick.

Why not look up the info you want to see and learn extra about it ONLINE in 15 minutes -- and do five or ten minutes of exercise in the 15 minutes you saved by not watching TV?

The average person watches over 3 hours a day of TV. If you do this now, you can give yourself a lot more time by only watching the TV for breaking news you want to see or just the programs you want most to see and stop watching the rest entirely.

For example, you can cut 3 hours a day of TV to 10 hours week. If you do, the 11 hours you save is a bit over and hour and a half a day!

That's a lot. That's enough to sleep half an hour a day more, spend half an hour exercising, and still have half an hour day left over!

10:50 AM  

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