Welcome to Day 17 of the Minimize Yo’ Butt Fitness Challenge
This is a guest post from Jo of Simply Being Mum.
First an apology, you may be reading this post under false pretenses. The title suggests it’s going to be about how to get fit without exerting any effort or getting a sweat on. This is not possible, as we all know.
It’s actually a post about the most minimal form of cardio exercise there is – RUNNING.
Why minimal? Well all you really need is – YOU (and personally I’d recommend a decent pair of running shoes, I’m not in the barefoot running camp)
Have you ever told someone you ‘can’t run’ or have you ever been told by someone else that they ‘can’t run’?
If you can easily walk, you can run. Running means something different to everyone. Running for an amateur athlete could be a 6 minute mile. For a 40 something with a little extra weight around the middle, running could be the pace of a fast walk. It’s not the speed you can run that is important. Of greater importance is time on your feet and getting moving. In fact, when you first start, running probably is only marginally faster than walking.
ONLINE OXFORD DICTIONARY DEFINITION OF RUNNING:
“move at a speed faster than a walk, never having both or all the feet on the ground at the same time”
When I took my first step toward my running habit, I believed I couldn’t run. I found I could, albeit just a 1/4 of a mile on my first attempt. That was over 5 years ago now. My first child was fast approaching her first birthday and I was struggling to shift the ‘baby weight’. Over that first year I gradually increased the distance I ran and my pace increased as time on my feet increased. By the next Summer I took part in my first organised running event and ran 8.5 miles in support of the local hospice. In 2010 I ran my first half-marathon for another charity and this October I will run another half to raise funds for the local school.
I haven’t any amazing technical tips on running. For qualified and credible advice on getting started in running check out Runners World. I personally believe it’s very simple, all you need to do is put your running shoes on and step out the door. It is acknowledged that the step ‘out the door’ is the hardest of any run, whether you be a novice or a seasoned runner. Because of that I’d like to talk about getting motivated.
When creating any new habit for life, there are two critical things that need to be conquered. Motivation and Momentum.
There are many reasons why you may choose to tie up the laces on your first pair of running shoes. It could be to lose weight, or it could be to improve your health generally. It was both of those reasons for me. But what makes you continue running, when motivation wanes?
My Top Five Countdown on How I Keep Motivated and Build Momentum
Number 5 – (The least effective for me – but I know works for others)
Write down your running goal, be that to lose 10 pounds, or to be able to run 3 miles without stopping. Then track and measure your progress. We manage what we measure, so get tracking
Number 4 – (This definitely works for those who are prone to putting things off)
Schedule in your runs as you would an important appointment, and honour it. It’s non-negotiable. Don’t think about it, don’t rationalise all the reasons why you haven’t got time or don’t feel like it. Just put your shoes on and step out the door.
Number 3 – (This works without a doubt)
Run with others. Get a running buddy or join a running club. It’s a great way to catch up with a friend (if you can run and talk of course!), and a great form of moral support. Alternatively start your own informal club (I have) so there’s always someone on hand to run with even if your running buddy can’t make it. Makes it even easier to honour those scheduled runs!
Number 4 – (A little intense, but I do this when motivation is seriously lacking and I need to give myself a good talking to)
You’ve heard it all before I’m sure but ‘Tomorrow Never Comes’. If ever I tell myself I’ll run tomorrow instead, I remember how lucky I am to be able to run today. How lucky that I am alive and physically able to do it. I remember that there are others no longer with us or who would love to be able to walk let alone run. Gratitude can get you moving.
Number One (My top tip to keep motivated and build momentum)
Enter an organised event and raise money for charity. By entering a running event you are clearly focused on achieving something and have a time frame in which to concentrate your running efforts. By raising sponsorship you take commitment, to not only go through with the event but the training, to a new level. Once money is pledged you have a responsibility to the kind people who have put their hands in their pockets. I now do a charity race each year, and every time there has been a reason why it has been tough to train or even take part on the day, but I have done it. It motivates me beyond any other tip I’ve shared. Oh and it does others good to! Win Win!!
Have I motivated you to get motivated and give it a try? I really hope so!
(* I am not a qualified trainer just a Mum, please always bear in mind your own limitations, fitness level, overall health and listen to your body. Apply common sense at all times. It is advisable to consult a physician before embarking on any new form of exercise.)
Jo write about family life simply done. She has some great resources on simple cooking too. To read more from Jo, check our her blog at Simply Being Mum.
Head over to the Minimize Yo Butt page if you’d like to learn more about the challenge. If you enjoyed this post, please consider signing up for updates or follow me on Twitter. The only way my blog reaches more people is if you Tweet it, Like it on Facebook, or share it with your friends. Thanks so much for reading!