I guess I absorbed more from “Body Clutter” than I thought I had. One of FlyLady’s maxims is to do baby steps. It doesn’t matter what the undertaking is–it applies the same way for cleaning the bathroom or mucking out the basement. She sets a timer for 15 minutes, and when it goes off, she stops. I knew all that, but I didn’t think to apply it to exercise until I read the book.
A few years ago, before we moved into our house, we lived on base and there were two gyms within three miles or so. I joined a little group with a couple of neighbors, and we basically guilted each other into going to the gym six days a week. Three days we did cardio, and three we did weights. We listened to the exercise gurus who said we weren’t doing ourselves any good by working out less than twenty minutes, and that a half hour to 45 minutes was even better. I remember several times being so ready to get off the frigging elliptical but pushing on by telling myself that I was wasting my time if I didn’t at least break twenty minutes. Being practical to a fault, wasting time chapped my hide more than exercising.
The trouble is that the exercise gurus never said anything that penetrated my cranium enough to stick. I was able to rationalize that I didn’t have the time to drive to the gym (about 10 minutes, now), work out, drive home and shower, and still get to wherever I needed to be. Using FlyLady’s philosophy, I can get up and have my coffee in the morning, put on my sneakers and grab my MP3 player, and walk the perimeter of my neighborhood (about a mile). Or half the perimeter. Or around the block. FlyLady says that any movement blesses one’s body. Shoot, I could turn on the ’80’s Punk Station on the satellite and dance in the living room to make my kids roll their eyes and I’d still be blessing my body! If someone had told me before that exercise was cumulative, maybe I’d have started this sooner.
For now, I’m working on forming a habit. I’m going to shoot for six days a week until I get to where it’s automatic. I’m not focussed on distance; I’m focussed on getting dressed before I go downstairs, getting into my shoes by 8:00, and getting out the door. I should have a month or so of decent weather before I need to start thinking about possible alternatives.