Start at the Start

EXERCISE IS HARD!  Alright, now that’s out, we can take a deep breath! Don’t we all feel better?  Yes, building an exercise routine can be very hard.  
Usually it is because we don’t always know what to do. What is the best exercise? How many times to do it? How long to exercise?  
What if I have an injury?  There are so many questions to ask, but the first question should be “where do I start”?  
Ralph Waldo Emerson coined the phrase “Life is a journey, not a destination”.  Living a healthy lifestyle is a journey.  
We see an end goal - a wedding, a class reunion, swim suit season, a number on the scale – that we put a stopping point at the end.  
Now, don’t get me wrong, we have to have goals to begin the journey, but those goals need to be part of living a healthy lifestyle all the time.  
One of the most important things we need is to work on building a habit! Typing in “how long does it take to build a habit” in the internet brings up many theories; and the first thing we see is 21 days.  
Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. We are all a little different, but we do know that it will take time and effort.
As an ACE Certified Health Coach my suggestions is to start walking; 5, 10, 15, 20 minutes a couple days a week.  And if you can’t walk, get on a bike, go swimming, or take the clothes drying on your home exercise equipment off and use it!  I don’t really care what you do, it is about starting to build a habit of exercise and integrating it into your life.  Start today, then tomorrow do it again, and again, and again.  I know that this may be over simplifying it, but you just need to start.  I’ve been working with clients for almost 20 years.  I ask how many days a week do you plan on exercising some say, “six days a week!”  
I love the enthusiasm, but if they are not doing anything now, starting six days a week is a recipe for injury/burnout/failure.  Start with a manageable goal; two days for 10 minutes, then when you have mastered that - 3 days for 20 minutes, then 3 days for 45 minutes.  Now, understand that there will be setbacks, but eventually exercise will be a part of of your life.  
Eventually, you will need to do more.  
There are a lot of aspects to your health; cardiovascular exercise, strength training, flexibility, nutrition, rest and recovery.   There is a lot of info out there and it can get confusing but you don’t have to make it complicated, especially at the beginning.  It is about moving and staying active for right now.  So, get off the couch start exercising and find “What Inspires You” to lead a healthy lifestyle.  
Mike Kearney is Certified Health Coach with American Council on Exercise, TRX Qualified Trainer, and a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer.  
He is the Director of the Ambassador Wellness Center in Nebraska City and can be reached at 402-873-3337.