It is so easy to make excuses when it comes to exercise but becoming too sedentary can be harmful to us. Think of a time when you have been sitting for a long time and when you stand up your legs feel stiff, and you might feel slightly lethargic. We need to move and work our bodies even though that first step might be difficult for us. This is what the doctor of my neighbor Jim told him. I run in our cul-de-sac every day and one day Jim came out and said, “My doctor said I have to start walking.” It was obvious how unhappy he was about this, but he knew he had to do it for his health, so he took those first steps. I watched him shuffle around the neighborhood with unsteady legs. Each lap is 1/10 of a mile and the first time he came out he made it three laps and headed back inside. Over the next few weeks, I watched him become stronger until he made it to walking a mile. Even better than making that milestone, he was so much stronger, and he seemed happier. I asked him if he saw the difference and he told me how much better he felt. Yesterday I asked him when he was going to try for two miles. At first, he said, “Oh!” as if that was unthinkable, but several minutes later he said, “You know, I could do it if I split it up to ten laps in the morning, and ten in the afternoon.” That’s what taking the first step and gradually improving can do for you. You start to see the possibilities.
Taking that first step is easier if you make some goals. Write out what you would like to achieve, make it achievable and then find a way to measure your progress. My friend Jess had a baby seven months ago and she is ready to take the first step towards better fitness. She told me she needed something to make her take that first step, so she asked me to sign her up for a 5K (3 mile) race several months from now. She said if there was a date that she could see on the calendar, it would help her to stay motivated.
You don’t need to run a three-mile race but find something that will keep you moving. You could walk, swim, bike, work in the yard, take a class at the gym, or anything else that will keep you active.
Take the first step out of your comfort zone and do whatever you need to be the best you. The first step is the most difficult, but it can lead you to some amazing possibilities.