I just read Gretchen Rubin’s blog. She is one of the writers on Slate and if you haven’t seem Slate then please have a look at it and its intelligent (and often witty) US political commentary.
But Gretchen talks about Exercise and in that spirit here are my 10 tips for doing it and not making excuses for not doing it. I give them because I have a very sore achilles tendon which I acquired during a run, 10 days ago. Nothing can be more demotivating than an injury, and you need to really force yourself to get back into the regime.
1. Don’t rely on other people. Great as it is to have a buddy to job/swim/do yoga with, you have to be self-reliant.
2. A little is better than nothing. One day will not make you marathon fit, but a walk/jog/walk walk/jog/stagger for 15 minutes is better than great aspiration and zero perspiration.
3. Keep a record. My Nike Plus chip in my running shoes and stored run information on line has been a boon for me and a real motivator. My performance is in stark black and white and there is no getting away from it. So it gets me going and gives me something to reflect about.
4. Set some modest goals. Preferably ones you can achieve in a couple of weeks. Achieve them! You will feel better.
5. Start reading about the benefits of exercise. More energy, less dementia does it for me.
6. Talk to those who do. Long term exercise freaks love to help and encourage. Don’t think anyone will laugh at you when you ask a simple question.
7. Ignore those who inform you, in all sincerity, that running is bad for your knees, swimming ruins your hair, pilates does your back in and other feeble excuses for doing nothing.
8. Force yourself out of the door. Once it slams behind you, you are 99% likely to go on. Before you cross the threshhold that drops to 50%.
9. Don’t make excuses. You are only kidding yourself.
10. Try to combine exercise with something you like doing. I listen to music on my iPod when I run, watch DVDs when I row, and plan the day when I swim.