Exercising my right to be fit (on my terms)

One of the surest ways to self-sabotage when trying to improve yourself is neglecting to accept which methods of self improvement work.

I’ve decided to start working out (again) and I’ve been thinking about why my previous attempts at regular exercise have failed. Time allocation is definitely part of it. With my cooking hobby I can get away with doing a week’s worth of work on a Sunday. Working out is different, it requires more consistency.

I like workout programs. Steady progress over a sustained period of time is way more appealing to me than trying to look like a muscle man in just five simple steps. In the past I’ve tried to work out to videos, but my natural aversion to people I don’t know telling me what to do while I struggle irritates me.

It’s a self failing, but I have to work with what I’ve got; working out is as much a mental exercise as it is a physical one. If you go into a workout thinking, “this is going to be a drag, I probably won’t complete it” you probably won’t. I’ve seen this firsthand with myself. On days where I was motivated, I could easily progress; on others, when I was less motivated, I crumbled.

Thankfully I don’t believe in a cure-all that can be bought. No exercise equipment in the world can make you better on its own. Instead I’m turning to two highly reasonable sounding programs that should work for me.

The first is called Couch to 5K. It’s designed to get people who aren’t runners ready to run a 5K (or run for 30 continuous minutes) in 9 weeks. It’s a three day a week program that escalates. And yes, there’s an app for that. I completed half of this program and was really enjoying myself, then life got in the way and I stopped. It’s a shame, really, because my first attempt taught me that I don’t hate running. I just hate running in a gym class (see above).

I’m also going to attempt the 200-curl challenge. It’s structured similarly to Couch to 5K: It’s a three day a week program, progresses gracefully, and is meant to show you results over the course of weeks. The other benefit is that I don’t need to buy any fancy equipment to help me with this. I’ll buy a yoga mat to spare my spine any trauma, but besides that I’m pretty much good to go.

Most people set their health goals on January 1st, but I had other goals in mind for the year. Using my phone less and cooking more are two that are going well. Managing my media backlog isn’t, but I might write more of a check-in post in the future. Until then, I’ve got to buy these things called “sneakers.”

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