20 days into your resolutions and...
January 20, 2012
At 5 a.m. today some of your neighbors were out running in the snow, running up and down stairs and doing push-ups outside in the cold. It may be crazy, but there's a widening divide in fitness these days, between those who struggle to walk a mile and those who think that pushing a giant truck tire uphill is just the start of a multi-hour workout in anticipation for one of those wild Spartan Races.
According to these articles from Cincinnati and New York, there are just as many people doing extreme fitness as there are folks who need medical attention for their lack of fitness. It's making life in the middle a challenge: do you give in to the Cheeze Curls and Pepsi, or struggle to do another 5-mile loop on your daily run?
For those afraid to join a gym until they are fit enough to be seen there, this site offers great advice on setting realistic fitness goals. It may be just common sense to consider the number of days you intend to work out alongside the number of days you can afford a babysitter to watch the kids, but that's one of the pitfalls people often encounter when goals are set too high.
How about getting one of these simple chin-up bars that will fit in a doorway, and doing some weight lifting a couple times a week until you can do a set of eight or ten pull-ups? Marking those milestones on a calendar will help with a visual realization of your progress, allowing you to add further goals.
Having someone to compare notes with is one of the most effective paths to success. If you don't have a girlfriend or neighbor to work out with, you can always get and give encouragement through sites like this, or find a group that's doing the Couch to 5K program through a YMCA, gym, town rec center or even church organization.
Remember the KISS principle: Keep It Simple, Stupid. You can accumulate all of the equipment in the world, but it doesn't do anything for you if it's too complicated, difficult or time-consuming to use. Gimmicks just aren't going to get you there.