Your body is getting older. Either you know this because you’re above the age of 28, or you don’t, because being in your twenties makes you feel like you can live forever. Your body is a depreciable asset in need of maintenance. Part of this maintenance is diet and part of it is exercise. But it’s not only your body that needs exercise; your minds needs it as well. Exercise makes everything work better.
The Problem The problem is that everyone wants to do the right type or amount of exercise. But they can never seem to figure out what the right type or amount is. They think they should always being do more and since doing more is hard they just don’t do anything at all. And this works great for Big Box Gym’s. Big Box gyms don’t sell a place to work out; they sell the possibility of working out. If you have a membership working out is possible. You could do it someday, but you probably won’t and that’s is how they make money.
This is silly. Instead of worrying about finding the best exercise, it’s better to simply do something you enjoy. If you do this, then you’ll do more of it, until eventually you’re doing regular exercise. That’s what we’re shooting for, regularity. Not Crossfit, not 6 packs, not yoga butt; regular activity. You want to shoot for regularity, because regular exercise is like regular bridge maintenance, it’s what you need to prevent catastrophic failure.
The Simple Exercise Plan Here’s a technique I’ve used in the past that’s worked:
1. Find something physical you like. It can be anything, walking, water polo, swimming, badminton, biking, running, jump roping, boxing, jiujitsu, or rock climbing. If you don’t know what you like, then try a few things out til you find something you like. Life is too short to do crap you hate. Yes, there’s probably something you could do that would be more effective. But the reason most people don’t exercise isn’t lack of efficiency; it’s lack of consistency. And you’re much more likely to do something you actually enjoy on a consistent basis. If you don’t like anything, then cry me a river, build a bridge, and get over it. You can learn to like something new, you’ve done it before, now you need to do it again.
“Tweet: Life is too short to do crap you hate”
2. Do it regularly. Once you’ve found one thing you like, start doing it regularly. Set a plan to walk a couple times a week, or go to the pool on Sundays or join a badminton club. How often is regularly? Well the American College of Sports and Medicine recommends that you do 30 minutes of I don’t give a crap, just pick a schedule you can stick to and do it. The ideal schedule is a little challenging without being too challenging. It should be ‘man this hard’ but not ‘Oh my god please sacrifice a baby goat so this will stop’ hard. 3. Do a little bit more. Over time add a little bit more to your routine. If you’re walking for 20 minutes add a couple of mins every week or so. 10% is a good amount to increase weekly, but not much more. Don’t go all 200% more. It vastly increases the likelihood of crashing and burning. 4. If you fail, fall off the wagon, or get hurt, get back up. Everyone, and I mean everyone, falls off of their exercise routine. It’s totally normal. Everyone has little injuries and setbacks. Again, normal. But if you get set back just start with the same simple principles. Pick something you like. Do it regularly. Then do a little bit more. If you do this, then you’ll become an active person. And active people do all sorts of things like triathlons, marathons, power lifting, or whatever. Inactive people do nothing. So do something and then once you get used to that try something else that’s interesting to you.