It was 10pm. My focus was fading. My eyes were barely open.
I had been sitting at my desk for hours. Starting at the computer screen. Researching studies. Scouring articles. Concocting spreadsheets.
Finally, I thought. I did it. I had created the perfect training plan.
That’s no exaggeration. I’ve spent hour after hour tweaking and tinkering with a training plan. Percentages and weights. Sets and reps. Exercises and equipment.
When it was all said and done I carried that piece of paper everywhere. It was my Bible. My compass. It accompanied me to the gym. My calculator too. I must have looked ridiculous. Thinking back on it that’s how I feel.
I wasted so much time and energy. The planning was certainly part of it. But, the process was also draining. If I ran out of time. If I didn’t hit a lift. When I had to miss a workout. My day, my entire life would be temporarily destroyed.
All or Nothing
I’m willing to bet that I’m not alone here. I can’t be. Are you guilty of this offense? Raise your hand. Be honest.
I’m not trying to single you out. Remember, you’re not alone. I did this too. I don’t any more. I want that for you.
It’s a simple fix really. We create the problem in our head. To correct it, we have to change our thought process.
The problem – we’re going to start exercising. We have to go all on. Fresh kicks and new clothes. A healthy diet and the perfect training plan. Fancy equipment and a pricey gym membership. Exercise six days a week, for hours on end.
The reality – there’s no such thing as a perfect training plan. You don’t have to go to the gym. Don’t have to train for hours on end. You should be trying fit fitness into your life. Not the other way around.
Something is Better than Nothing
Leonardo DaVinci said that “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
That’s the secret. That’s all there is to it. It’s the solution to fitness OCD. And the exact method for reclaiming your freedom, while still managing to make progress.
Some exercise is better than no exercise.
Start doing less. Avoid the temptation to do more. Forget about flipping out when your fitness programming gets thrown off track. Remember why you’re exercising in the first place. To be healthy. To look good naked. To have energy. And self confidence.
Achieving those goals aren’t tied to the length of your workout. Or the complexity of your training plan. With respect to exercise, even the bare minimum will do. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t try. If you can do more. If you have the time. If you enjoy going to the gym, do it.
But, if you’re just starting out. If you’re trying to find your way. Don’t get overwhelmed. Forget about being perfect. Do what you can. When you can. Because even one workout, one minute of exercise can make all of the difference.
The Bare Minimum
Completing one workout can completely change your day, your mood and your life. It can actually alter your genetic makeup. Make you stronger. Boost your metabolism. Within minutes your brain will release feel-good chemicals. You’ll be high on health. Stress will cease to exist.
Again, that’s ONE workout.
Better still, that one workout can be as short as one minute. Really!
Researchers at the University of Utah analyzed the exercise habits of more than 4,500 adults ages 18 to 64. The found that minute long bouts of high intensity exercise, like going up the stair or walking quickly, were linked to weight loss and other health benefits.
When it comes to exercise, every little bit matters. Those short bouts of exercise add up. Minutes become hours. Hours that were spent burning calories.
Similarly, when you exercise on a consistent basis. Regardless of the equipment you use. With or without the perfect plan. The results add up. The time adds up. Your fitness levels improve. Unknowingly you’re creating an exercise habit.
You can make it simple or complicated. You can obsess. You can make excuses and choose not to start. But that won’t change the fact that a little bit of exercise goes a long way.
What’s stopping you from being healthier and happier right now? It shouldn’t be exercise. That only takes a minute. Remember?
Joe is a writer, trainer and fitness entrepreneur who co-founded Hybrid Athlete LLC, Kettlebell Cardio™ and Race Day Domination. Currently building @fittinsider, a platform for founders, executives, & investors redefining fitness/wellness. Investing in health/fitness companies