In today’s show I’m sharing:
The Fast Food : Exercise Analogy.
If you feel like the amount of effort you need to put into your exercise to see a frustratingly minimal fat loss (or body gain!) return then today my goal is to reveal a big part of the WHY behind that disappointing return.
I haven’t shared this before however as much as I’ll gladly take credit for having the discipline to walk come rain or shine. And I’ll admit to really not loving public transport. The daily walking habit I’ve created that’s led to my nickname The Walker started more out of necessity than as a conscious commitment to incidental exercise. You see, my eyesight is not good enough for me to drive.
Glass’s don’t help. Surgery isn’t an option. So basically I’m a dedicated walker in part because I can’t be a driver.
For the most part it’s a really good thing. It means my life is that little bit less insanely sedentary. My body operates that little bit more as it was designed to… because to be blunt we / YOU were made to move.
So how does fast food come into this analogy?
Here’s the thing: What sort of results would you expect to get if you ate 3-4 amazing meals a week… chocka block full of colorful fibrous veg, lean protein & good fat AND THEN the other 80% of your meals were fast food? Some pizza here, Maccer’s there, processed-addictive-stodgy-nutrient-void-Crap-O-La every where?
I’m guessing you wouldn’t expect great – or any – results right?
To cut to the chase. In the same way that your body was not meant to eat fake food that your great grandparents wouldn’t recognize your body was not designed to lead a lifestyle that year by year, day by day evolves to get less and less physically demanding.
So although regular structured exercise rocks. Although 3-4 amazing exercise sessions a week is absolutely worthwhile. It’s only one component of the complete body gain picture. Even if your exercise sessions are perfect – like those perfect meals I mentioned – they’ll struggle to counter the other 98% of your week if that other 98% is super sedentary.
Let’s get implementable – acronym style – with 6 steps to get more A.C.T.I.V.E.
Step One. A.lways choose the more physical option.
Basically this is embracing contrary which I devoted the entire #018 show to, because sadly normal follows the path of minimal activity. Now this might sound like a drag to start. However the fact is, the person who chooses as little physical exertion as possible will have the body and the energy that reflects that choice. Whenever I’m feeling a little lazy I remind myself that actually I’m lucky I can be active… and so are you.
=> It means taking the stairs.
=> It means declining the impromptu lift when you had planned to walk.
=> It even means not sitting down just because there happens to be a chair or bench available… of course often we plan to sit and that’s cool. However it’s that automatic response of CHAIR = SIT that I’m looking to un-program.
Step Two. C.ommit to 3 locations close to home that you will walk to.
Non negotiable. It’s not something you think through or weigh up against the weather, your energy or your quota of exercise so far this week. It’s just a given that when you’re heading to one of these 3: You Walk.
=> Possibly that’s your local cafe.
=> Perhaps the gym.
=> Maybe it’s the corner store, post office or a girlfriends house who actually, when you think about it, is only a 10-20 minute walk away.
Step Three. T.rack your progress.
It’s amazing how quickly lazy, sedentary habits will creep into your routine when you don’t track them.
=> Consider keeping a running tally with your walking. You’ll settle on what works for you however I aim for 20 minutes twice a day. That happens to be to and from work. So if it’s a day I’m working from home then I know I’ve still got 40 minutes to get into my day. Or at most I’ll let it go till later in the week and maybe get in an 80 minute walk on Sunday to make up for the 40 I owe myself.
=> Also track your progress so far as how getting in that extra activity makes you feel. When I’m tempted by lazy, I remind myself of the fact that I never regret a walk. I always feel better after I’ve made it happen. In part because I haven’t let myself down and equally because I’ll come back to whatever I was doing fresher and more focused.
=> Track whatever metric is relevant and motivating to YOU so far as your walking. So for example if you’re starting off a lot less fit than you’d love to be perhaps you track how long it takes you to complete a set walk the first day you make it a part of your routine and then track the progress you make as you get fitter. Maybe you track the public transport or parking expense you save each week with your extra walking. Dependant on your walk you might even track the time you save because sometimes peak hire traffic and hunting for a park are excruciating. Potentially you track how much calmer you feel when you arrive after a walk as it’s at your pace, on your schedule and 100% within your control – unlike driving, parking and public transport.
Step Four. I.dentify 3 ways to make incidental exercise more fun.
Potentially something you even look forward to. Maybe this means:
=> Reserving your fav podcasts to listen to like a reward only when you’re walking.
=> Subscribing to a service like audible.com which has monthly plans giving you great value access to 1,000’s of fantastic audible books. From self development to business to fantasy… they have every base covered and a risk free love it or get a refund policy.
=> Inlist the company and accountability of a walking buddy to chat to as you walk… even better make that extra effort to meet somewhere a little more scenic if at all possible.
Step Five. V.eto non essential sitting activity. So perhaps:
=> Your work meetings become walking meetings.
=> Maybe you trial a stand-up desk. You don’t even need to invest until you know it’s going to work for you. I spend time standing up at this sweet little bar that is almost the prefect height. I just add an extra thick double volume on my fav artist Salvador Dali to make it a tad higher and I’m good to go.
=> Perhaps phone calls become walking phone calls. For me this is my weekly chat with my mum. I also know some people who stockpile work calls to make from their mobile while walking.
Step Six. E.verything counts.
This is the mindset to embrace as you get more active. In the same way that each little sedentary habit counts… each little active habit counts. Consider:
=> Any new or resumed active habit counts no matter how small… it’s something to build on.
=> Any time you fall back into your old sedentary ways the quicker you drag yourself back into active mode the better – you are always reinforcing a habit so chose the positive habit to reinforce.
=> Acknowledge the times you chose active and focus on the progress you’re making because what you focus on expands and strengthens.
To get actionable today, that’s easy, I’d love you to chose ONE new active habit to include as a part of your weekly routine.
I’ll finish todays show with a quote from Frank Forencich, that is close to my heart: “Warning: Before beginning an program of physical inactivity, consult your doctor. Sedentary living is abnormal and dangerous to your health.”
That’s it for me today. I hope you can join me for the Wednesday Weigh-in show. I’m covering: Outer Order Reflects Inner Calm.
If you liked this you’ll also like: Weight loss analogy: Why ‘Turnover’ and ‘Exercise’ both equal Vanity.
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