The Best Exercise Tip of All Time: Move!

by DavalosMcCormack on April 7, 2008

As a former television writer and producer I quickly learned that when you are on a daily deadline you don’t have the luxury of writers block. You can’t have the anchor say on the 6 o’clock news “We were going to have a story on a new budget proposal to cut government waste, unfortunately the writer couldn’t find the inspiration they needed to get it done in time. Maybe tomorrow. In other news…..” When the clock was ticking you had to get writing because the news wouldn’t wait for the muse.

It was great training for working under pressure. You learned that the most important thing with a first draft was that even if it wasn’t perfect it gave you a place to start. Then you could look at it, see what was missing, what was unclear, re-organize it, re-write it, polish it and fix it. But the key was to first start writing, to get going.

I think the same principle applies to exercise. The best way to do it, is just to do it. I know, Nike got that slogan before me but just because they’re a corporate behemoth doesn’t mean they are not on to something.

Some people say they can’t exercise because they don’t belong to a gym, or because the gym is not on the way from home to work, or because the exercise class you liked was canceled and you haven’t found another one, or, or, or. There is always another excuse waiting to be trotted out. But sometimes the only way to get started is just to put on a pair of comfortable walking or running or even street shoes and just get out and go for a run or walk. If you wait for the stars all to be aligned, for you to be in the mood, for a friend to go with you, you’ll never get going.

When the great science fiction writer Isaac Asimov was asked about the rituals and preparation he undertook to get ready to write he scoffed, “Rituals! Ridiculous! My only ritual is to sit close enough to the typewriter so that my fingers touch the keys.”

The same is true for an active lifestyle. The only thing you need for it is an active imagination and a willingness to get moving. It really isn’t complicated. Once you start moving everything else will follow. As you are walking you’ll see people running, you’ll see them using park benches for push-ups and sit-ups, you’ll see them using low walls for jumping up and down or even over, you’ll see them using flights of stairs or steps to get their heart rate up.

When you get home you’ll realize that all around you are opportunities to be active. Gallon jugs of milk or water make excellent weights to exercise arm and shoulder muscles. Using a basketball to do push-ups on is a great way to build strong chest and core muscles. You can use a footstool for leg lifts while you are watching CSI on TV. You can use a dining room chair to do dips to strengthen your triceps. You can even use your own children – small ones preferably – as weights to build up arm and shoulder muscles. And it’s so much fun to have weights that giggle and laugh when you lift them – it drowns out your grunts and groans!
The more you do the more you realize there are endless opportunities in your home, on any street, in any park, in any city, for you to be active. The only thing you are waiting for, is you.

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