I hit 1,000 days in a row last Sunday of straight exercise. 1,000 days. At least 30 minutes per day. NO excuses.
While my workout Sunday was pretty vicious--1,000 kettlebell swings with a 24kg (30X30 format: 50 minutes=1000 reps @ 20 per minute), many of my previous 999 workouts were not very hard...some were even very slow and easy.
I've learned a lot about myself the last 1,000 days of exercising. I didn't think I could do it at times...the rain, jet lag, late night sessions, heat during summer, STRESS, work, family, my own head games and whining, etc., but I pulled it off despite the challenges along the way.
There are a few take home points worth mentioning. I'll probably be the only person you'll know that exercised 1,000 days in a row, so I hope it's worth noting and that it helps, because as a Wellcoach, I truly want everyone to play. :o)
- Most of the days I did NOT want to exercise. ALL 1,000 days I was glad I did after it was over. This is a powerful statement regarding the chemical response of exercise and movement. Ever wonder why so many Americans are depressed and unhappy today? Maybe it's at least in part related to the fact we don't move enough! NOT ONE DAY did I say, "#@!# I wish I had not done that exercise for 30 minutes!" The power of the mind-body connection ceases to amaze me sometimes. I've talked to other people about this, and they say the same thing. They never regret the exercise once it's over--they are always glad they did it even though they didn't want to do it before they started! The mojo of movement!
- I focused on "doing something" each day--not how hard, how long, or making it complicated. I never kept an exercise journal or used an organized "program" that I had to follow specifically--I just did something each day as dedicated exercise. Nearly 40% of my 1,000 workouts were probably just walking--SLOW! Sure--I did a lot of kettlebell work the last 1.5 years getting ready for my certification, but what got me in the place where I could even take a shot at the KB certification was my daily 30 minutes of exercise the previous months...walking, riding my bike, some yoga, gym workouts, hiking, running, and whatever else I felt like doing at the time.
- 30 minutes per day of exercise is not unreasonable. 40+ years ago, all this might have been a mute point. We didn't need to "put activity back into our lifestyles" because daily activity was already there. Times have changed. Now most of us sit--most if not all day. The best thing you can do for your body and joints is to MOVE...daily. It's that simple. We simply have to start moving again if we are to have a chance at getting healthy again as a nation and controlling healthcare costs.
What I hope people will realize is that 5-6 days of exercise per week for the rest of your life is pretty good deal--I can't really think of any significant negative side effects...pretty amazing when you compare that to medications, surgeries, and diseases. It's been an interesting journey the last 1,000 days. The stress relief alone was worth doing it--additionally I maintained my weight and stayed pretty fit in the process. At age 49, I can still run around and play with my children and do what I want to do. I'm still in the game not on the sidelines!
If you don't exercise--start. If you exercise--don't quit! It's worth the effort to stay active and be an ACTIVE participant in your own healthcare.
So how did I get it all started? The Lean Berets 30X30 Challenge! Check it and report for duty yourself!