In our busy lives, it is hard to determine our priorities when we have so many obligations pulling us in every direction. Just like faith, it is easy for our fitness to be the thing that gets pushed aside. As the owner of Shine Fitness, and having worked in the fitness industry for the past nine years, I have had the opportunity to sit down with many individuals and talk about their fitness goals. A common theme I hear is, “I don’t have five hours a week to exercise.”
I am here today to let you in on a little secret…you don’t need to have five hours a week to see a significant difference in your body and your health. I can honestly tell you that the people who are most successful at working out consistently, work out three days a week. Many of those people didn’t start with three days a week, but worked their way up to it. This can be similar to our faith. It would be great if we could all do a Bible Study every week and start every day with our half hour of morning prayers, but for most of us, myself included, we are lucky to get breakfast and five minutes to read a daily devotional before heading out the door for a busy day.
One of my favorite writers Darin Hardy, the author of The Compound Effect, discuses in his books how it is not the big decisions of our life that make a difference, but the small daily choices that can change the direction of your life. I am a huge believer in this when it comes to both faith and fitness. The five minutes we do spend in the morning reading our devotional compounds into spending 35 minutes with God over the course of the week. Similarly, this can be applied to our fitness by simply adding one 10-minute session of exercise per day. Compounded over the course of a week is an hour worth of exercise that we would not have accomplished otherwise.
Recently at Shine Fitness, clients proved that small changes could make a big impact. We just completed a body transformation contest. Participants were in groups of three and they were completing for the largest group body transformation. By making small changes the average participant lost 5% body fat in a month, which was an amazing result. Here are a few of the things that the participants said helped them have success over the course of the month long challenge:
“I increased my activity on a daily basis by doing things like going on a walk at lunch.”
“I prioritized my strength work outs and added an extra workout when I could.”
“When possible I took the stairs instead of the elevator and parked farther away from my destination.”
“I added spinach to my smoothies and more vegetables throughout the day.”
“I chose not to eat a donut that was in the break room at work today for my teammates.”
“I stopped snacking after dinner every night.”
“I packed my lunch almost every day.”
As you can see these small changes made a big impact over the course of a month. What small things can you change to rejuvenate your health and fitness this month?
Here are a few ideas:
- Prioritize strength training or add one extra work out per week.
- Join a local gym or group fitness class.
- Schedule walk-and-talk meetings.
- When possible take the stairs instead of the elevator or park farther away from your destination.
- Add vegetables to every meal you can.
- Drink two glasses of water right when you wake up and take a multi vitamin daily.
- Go to bed a ½ hour earlier. Prioritize rest and recovery.
Pick one of these ideas or create your own and see where you are in a month from now… then multiply that result by 12 and that is where you will be in a year, if you stick with it!