I have been posting different challenges for 20 days up to Christmas in my Face Book group. Day 1 was to go out walking, preferably with someone to connect. That night I asked my teenage daughter, Sophia, if she wanted to go for a walk with me after dinner.
Sophia questions everything, so she asked, “How far?”
(What? She was interested!)
I grappled desperately at a distance she’d accept, and offered up a quick walk around the complex.
“Really,” she balked, “around the complex? What’s that actually gonna do for me Mom?”
I offered up two-miles instead, which she quickly turned down. But she was still standing there, waiting for an answer.
“It would allow us to spend time together?”
That was it! She grabbed her shoes and off we went. She even wanted to walk an extra trip around the complex.
But her question, when it comes to fitness, had merit. It got me thinking about the fitness challenges I’m proposing to the Anne Cook Collection group, Bring Back the Fire. Most of us are 40-somethings feeling that our yester-years were our best-of-years, (ahem) and it’s much more challenging to get out and exercise.
I get it. Who wants to budge off the comfy couch in the winter months, during the holidays? Cookies, popcorn and movies on the couch are way more fun.
I mulled over her question, and searched for an answer. I know going for a brisk, short walk after dinner will certainly have some sort of impact, it just doesn’t feel like it. I remembered the book, Compound Effect by Darrin Hardy. In it, Hardy goes through great lengths to make the point:
“Small actions, executed consistently, can lead to hugely successful results.”
Hardy basically applied the Compound Interest calculation to all of life.
A= AmountP= Principal (Any exercise you do)R= Interest Rate (Energy used while exercising)N= Compounding Per Period (All the benefits of the exercise in your ‘body bank’)T= Number of Periods (Accumulated over time = the better you feel!)
For fitness, we would really need to add a calculation for what is going in to your body via what your diet is like because health is so essential.
Nevertheless, so many of us attack fitness feeling like we need to do a lot of strenuous work in any session to achieve any real success. That’s a lie. Serious weight loss goals will not be achieved from one workout, or one walk. Serious health and weight loss goals happen cumulatively over time.
I realize, this is obvious. But where I find it useful is when I don’t want to work out, or, when I don’t feel like working out or making a big effort, it is in those times I remember, small successes over time amount to huge gains.
Even if I don’t feel like it, most times I drag my booty out the door anyway. Sometimes it feels like I have no energy, but I do it anyway. I know now that doing it will add to my compound interest over time. Even a half-baked work out every day will amount to huge gains over time! That’s good news!
But don’t forget, and this is very important, this goes both ways. Small cheats over time also amount to huge gains : )
Stay HOT everyone!
If you liked this, you’re invited to join us for 20 Days of Fitness.