MRI's of triathlete's muscles as they age

Ever since we gave up paying a personal trainer to keep us exercising, we’ve been slipping and sliding around with staying disciplined, and EXPLORING ways to get our heads and bodies into healthy work outs. Here are two simple strategies that we’ve found remarkably helpful:

1) posting this image on our wall (and in our heads). It’s a series of MRI images comparing cross-sections of muscles:  a simple powerful message.

2)  follow Leo Barbuta of Zen Habit’s advice: start small, and exercise in tiny bits, having fun while you do it, gradually building up to a routine that you work into your life:

When the actions are tiny, they are easy. You have no excuse. You can do them anywhere, all day long…

I fold fitness into my life, like blueberries into batter, and it becomes a part of the recipe, not just a topping.”

We want to fold fitness into our lives like blueberries into batter! Here’s his fitness program:

1. Right now, do something that only takes 1 minute. It might be a few pushups, bodyweight squats, an attempt at a pullup, a few lunges. You have time to do 1 minute.

2. In an hour or so, go for a walk if you can. If you’re in decent shape, make it a fast walk. Add some hills for challenges. If you’re not in good shape, just walk. Later, add some spurts of fast walking.

3. Later in the day, do a few more 1 minute activities.

4. Gradually build the 1 minute activities into 2 or 3 minutes. Then 4 or 5 of them. Add more of them throughout your day.

5. As much as you can, turn the activities into play. Throw your kids around. Run through a park and climb trees and benches. Race people. Play a sport.

6. Get a pullup bar for your home. Every time you walk by it, try to pull yourself up. If you can do pullups, do a few, or 10, every time you pass the bar.

7. Get a kettlebell. Swing it a few times a day.

8. Run places. Walk places quickly.

MRI images via Swiss-Miss

Related posts: three keys to a long life
your body and other improvised gyms
hula hoop dreams (exercise as play)
hula-hooping as life-changing exercise
“get up off that thing”: improv exercise for home or work
the fun theory of doing things that are good-for-us

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