The great Greek poet Hesiod once said: “If you add a little to a little, then do it again, soon that little shall be much.” If you aren’t up on Greek poetry- that is ok. I am here to decipher what it is he meant and selfishly relate it to health and fitness.
The general idea is that when it comes to exercise and health, less is more and small steps are best. Unless you are going on the Biggest Loser and your weight loss is supervised by trainers, doctors and TV producers- big changes in your routine and diet are just not sustainable. The biggest reason I get from clients who are unable to keep up good habits is that they have poor self discipline. I challenge that sentiment though and believe that most of us (me included, I have many stories!) try to do too much too fast and end up falling off the proverbial fitness wagon.
So here is the deal- small steps can net a much bigger fitness gain than a complete overhaul on your habits that seem to start every Monday morning. That means if you don’t exercise- just aim to exercise 2 days a week to start. You can take a walk, go for a swim, walk up and down the stairs in your house, throw a workout DVD in the player- just do something for about 15 minutes twice a week. After that feels normal, then you increase from there.
If you aren’t too keen on eating tons of veggies everyday or drinking lots of water- then going on restrictive types of diets are going to spell disaster for you sooner than you intend. Instead, aim to add one veggie a day to a meal or an extra glass of water before dinner. Soon your extra veggie will be routine and you can start to add more. Same with that glass of water.
I have found for myself I succeed more often when I just do a little bit more than what I normally do. In my workouts I often ask myself if I can eek out just a little more (push-ups, one minute longer of running, extra burst up the hill to finish)… and 9 times out of 10 succeed. I have seen success in my running recently by just doing a little bit more- that little bit more is challenging but the finish is that much sweeter.
Weigh in here- is there a goal you have met or a healthy habit you have created by taking small steps? Share here, I am hoping to hear great stories of health and success!