In baseball it is a lot cooler to hit a home run than it is to hit a single. But did you know there are more people in the Baseball Hall of Fame for getting 3,000 hits than there are for hitting 500 home runs? In other words, you could become successful by swinging for the fences, but your odds of success are better if you try to get any kind of hit. This idea can be applied in many areas of our lives including fitness.
How Hitting Singles Worked for Me
When I started this Ed Tech Fitness project at the end of December 2018 I was in the worst shape of my life. I had turned 40 a couple of months earlier, I had a closet full of jeans that didn’t fit me, and I was having a lot of issues with back pain. In short, I needed to choose between getting back in shape or continuing a slide into apathetic obesity. Fast forward to today and I’m almost out of jeans that fit because I’m too thin for most of them.
The swing from being too big for almost all of my jeans to being too small for almost all of jeans didn’t happen overnight. It didn’t happen because of any major diet changes other than trying to cut back on stress-snacking. It didn’t happen because I joined a gym or because I got a trainer (I did neither). It happened slowly by exercising for 20-30 minutes a day. After about eight weeks of doing that 5-6 days a week I started to notice some changes.
After eight or so weeks those 20-30 minute workouts (mostly on my stationary bike or on a treadmill) began to get longer and get a little more intense. By April I was feeling good enough to register for a 200 mile single day bike ride. At the end of June, I did it! That was possible not because I did a lot of specific training for that event (I did some) but more because I simply rode every day. Some days I only had 30 minutes to ride and some days I had hours. Every little bit helps.
But I Don’t Have Time?
Even if you only have 20-30 minutes to exercise at home, do it! Do it consistently. 20-30 minutes every day is going to trump just doing a couple of days of longer workout sessions. If you think you don’t have time, skip the “unwinding while watching Netflix” session and spend those 20-30 minutes doing some kind of exercise. You’ll feel better having exercised for 20-30 minutes than you will having spent that time “unwinding” in front of a screen.
Now, I’m off for a training session on bike (session #209 of the year).