Humans are capable of extraordinary physical activities. Very few, however, are achieved from the comfort of the sofa or by lying in bed.
In this article, I want to challenge you to start to exercise. I want to encourage those who exercise chaotically to do it in a more organized and consistent way. And those of you who are already doing it, hats off to you because I know that it takes hard work and determination to achieve.
How do we start exercising?
The first step is the hardest; the first physical step because we often just think about starting an activity, whether it is running, cycling, or swimming. But it must be done immediately. Not following Monday, not on the first day of the next month, especially ESPECIALLY, not on the 1st of January of the following year. Some people have the discipline to follow a strict training program from the beginning, but many need a period of transition. Even if at the beginning it is difficult to exercise regularly, it is essential to enjoy the small victories, the moments when we convince ourselves to get out of bed at an early hour. In time, the excuses for not running will turn into regrets that an opportunity to exercise was wasted. And those regrets will fuel our motivation, so next time we will get it done.
Suppose we want a second step to exist and many others to follow. In that case, one of the most important things to consider, both at the beginning and during our evolution, is to practice the chosen sport at the level we currently are at. Sure, during the very first training, I will be able to run 5 or more kilometers straight and at high speed, but my ankles, knees, and the lumbar area will not let me repeat the same for a week, maybe even two. Then, after two weeks, the same scenario, obviously with the same consequences. The outcome? Most likely, I will be demotivated and give up running. What sense does it make to practice a sport that doesn't seem to suit me? Since there are so many people who run without issues, it is clear that I do not have the required build, muscle, or endurance. I should have started earlier. Now it is too late. But is it too late? Or is it enough to just overcome our initial "I can do more, faster" approach and increase both distance and speed progressively and sustainably to have a smooth and injury-free evolution?
Another factor that will help us go on and make progress is training consistently. How do we maintain this consistency? For me, I noticed that a preset plan that is synchronized with the events in my personal and professional life so that it is easy to follow helps a lot. I don't stop to think if it's raining or cold outside; if it's a training day, I wake up and go for a run. At some point, the plan alone can lose its efficiency, so we can support it with a goal: to register for a competition, whether it is a marathon, half marathon, or cross. We can further increase the stakes by announcing friends, relatives, or colleagues at work that we registered in the race. After that, there is no way back; all the acquaintances will ask you how long it is until the competition, and later, how you did. For those interested in getting a good result, again, for the level they are currently at, any missed training will be a self-reproach that they did not do everything possible to achieve their goal. And who likes reproaches? Not me.
When joining the first race, you realize that there is a community of people passionate about what you like. The atmosphere around the competition gives you the enthusiasm and energy to train for the next one, and so on until exercise becomes a way of life.
And what is more important is that in mindit.io, I combine my passion for running with helping others. The Do Good initiative spread its tentacles into the sport as well, and we are often encouraged to take part in charity competitions. Although the current pandemic situation has robbed us of the traditional races from last year and most likely this year, we found alternatives, and on the 9th of May, we will be running in the virtual Wings for Life World Run.
The human body is capable of incredible performance and was not created for today's sedentary lifestyle. If more of us listened to it, we would hear its requests: Get out of bed and let's go for a walk! Get up from the couch, and let's run! GET UP!