On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your fitness?
And just for clarity, let’s consider “fitness” to be any type of purposeful, physical activity.
Here is how the rating works:
- Give yourself a “1” if intentional physical activity happens as often as it snows in Florida.
- You get a “10” if your family could set a clock according to your workout schedule.
- Choose a “2-9” based on where you most consistently fall between those two extremes.
Now, do you have your number?
Regardless of what it is, this week’s tweak is for YOU because we ALL have a starting point – the place from which we can move forward.
According to the American Heart Association, the Centers for Disease Control, and the Mayo Clinic, adults should be getting 2 ½ hours of moderate aerobic activity each week OR 1 hour and 15 minutes of intense physical activity each week.
For most of us, these recommendations may seem overwhelming. And depending on the number you gave yourself, you might feel a little discouraged.
A good friend of mine – who was a competitive water-skier – felt this way too, when he considered all that was required to become a winner in his sport. He decided to redefine what it meant to be a “winner.”
I love his definition and think it applies to each of us in the pursuit of improving health and fitness:
“Winning is ending the day just a little bit better than you were this morning.” – David Benzel
The part of this definition that I want you to focus on is just a little bit.
Too often we try to drink water from a firehose.
Have you ever done this?
- You go from eating pretty poorly to tackling a diet that limits just about everything you love.
- You haven’t exercised for months, and you decide to sign up for a marathon.
- You buy a gym membership and expect to go from zero workouts a week to 5 workouts a week.
Your focus on the end result, causes you to lose sight of all the little steps that will get you there.
This week’s tweak is about the little steps.
Since I want to keep this real, here are 8 little steps that you can take this week to end the day just a little bit better than you started.
Choose just 1 to focus on. The further down the list you go the more challenging the tweak will become.
- Add a 5-minute walk after dinner 3 days this week.
- Do 2 push-ups every other day. Here is the correct form.
- End two days with this 7-minute gentle yoga stretch video.
- Add 5 extra minutes to your current workout routine. This could be adding 1-minute to 5 different days or adding the entire 5-minutes to 1 workout.
- Add an extra day of activity. Make it fun.
- If you already walk or run, then you could add 1-minute of higher intensity to each day. That could mean picking up your pace or going up a hill.
- Work up to a 1-minute plank by doing what you are able to every day, then add 10 seconds. Here is how to do this core strengthening exercise.
- Add an extra set to your current strengthening workout, 2 days a week.
Remember the power is in the LITTLE.
Keep the steps small enough that it almost seems too easy. Make it a no-brainer to accomplish.
When it no longer feels like a step you can build on it.
In a future tweak, I will give you some creative, small, steps to improve your nutrition.
Always feel free to send me your feedback from the weekly tweak.