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One Small Change

Start an Exercise Streak


Although he did a lot of work with heavenly bodies, I never pegged Sir Isaac Newton as a fitness trainer. But then I happened across his First Law of Motion. If, like me, you never paid attention in high school physics, it goes like this:

An object at rest tends to stay at rest,
while an object in motion tends to stay in motion.

Think of yourself as the “object” in this equation, and you’ll have the premise for our next One Small Change experiment. This month’s challenge is to start and sustain an exercise streak. The plan is to commit to working out every single day for the next 30 days in order to test Newton’s First Law—namely, once we get our bodies in motion does it get any easier to vanquish inertia and sustain that motion?

Since you’re reading CorePerformance.com, you’re probably already fairly active. But I’d be willing to bet that you probably only exercise 3 or 4 days per week, or otherwise work out in spurts when time and responsibilities allow. But this month our goal will be to make exercising a daily priority. The intent is not to neglect rest and recovery nor push our bodies to the limit, but rather to see what effect cultivating a simple habit like that can have on our fitness, health, and overall well being.

Before you say you don’t have the time or energy to commit, consider this statistic from the U.S. Census Bureau: American adults and teens spend approximately 3,500 hours annually watching television, surfing the Internet, reading newspapers, and listening to personal music devices.

Is it so unrealistic then to take 365 hours of that squander—just one hour per day—and devote it to something with the potential to alter your life in even more profound ways than the final season of Lost or the latest album from the Black Eyed Peas? No doubt there is something in your day that you can forgo.

So let’s start right now. Choose one activity you love, one sport you want to excel at, one thing you can realistically do every day. Walking, running, cycling, swimming, weight training…it doesn’t matter. This is an experiment in discipline, momentum and personal potential. It’ll help if the exercise can be done indoors and out, and if it’s something you’re already accustomed to that won’t beat you up. Commit to doing it for as long as it takes to get your heart rate up and feel like you’ve had a workout—for seasoned cyclists that could be an hour; for runners, maybe only 20 minutes. Me? I’ll be doing at least 60 minutes of daily yoga. It’s something I’ve always wanted to try, something I know my mind and body needs, but yet something I keep excusing away. This month, though, I’ll make it a priority and see where it leads.

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of this experiment is that it will help you gauge your potential in your chosen activity. If you’ve ever wondered how good you could be at something, daily practice is the start.

For extra inspiration and education, in future blog posts I’ll introduce you to a guy who has ridden his bike at least an hour on 5,921 consecutive days (and counting). That equates to nearly 17 years! Plus, you’ll meet a medical doctor and sports scientist with more than 40 years of experience, who claims that daily training in a single sport is the best kind of training—if you know how to do it right. And along the way, we’ll also delve into the fascinating psychology of the streak exerciser and learn what drives him. For now, though, it’s time for just one thing—our daily workout.

Do it, then pat yourself on the back. That’s one.

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About The Author

Joe Kita – Joe Kita is a noted writer, editor, motivational speaker and teacher. He authors the blog "One Small Change" for CorePerformance.com.

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Tags: Goals, Training, Motivation, Energy