Now that the weather is about to take a turn for the better and many of us are heading into warmer months ahead, thoughts can often drift toward exercise. Activity. Getting moving! Exercise is one of the seven pillars in The Engine 2 Seven-Day Rescue Diet. And with good reason: Exercise isn’t just good for you, it makes you feel better! Combine how great exercise makes you feel with how awesome sunshine and warm weather feel, and more activity is a no brainer.
You don’t need highly tuned genetics to be an athlete. Our ancestors were constantly trekking across land and climbing up hills to stay alive – we are
built to move. But most of us get up in the morning and go sit at a desk for eight hours instead. We get home and watch TV. Then we go to bed, get up and do the same thing all over again.
You may have heard this before but it bears repeating: Sitting is the new smoking. Sitting is killing us – and there is a host of research going back decades to prove it!
You (yes, YOU!) can set fitness goals and get moving today!
If you haven’t been active in awhile or are new to exercise, it can seem all too easy to let fear get the best of you and stay safely seated on the couch. Skip the couch and get moving – setting (and reaching) fitness goals is within reach for everyone. You CAN get active and be that person who walks or runs laps around the rest of the crowd at home sitting on the couch. Start with these 5 goals and you’ll be in great shape:
1. Getting started. Sometimes the hardest goal is the first one – don’t let a fear of the unknown keep you from getting started on your fitness journey! I will share with you the biggest “secret” I know to overcoming your fears and getting started on your plant-strong fitness journey: Be active today. Right now! Don’t start tomorrow. Don’t start next week. Start today. Actually, if you have clearance from your doctor, stop reading this blog and do 20 jumping jacks right now (or however many you can do). You will feel great! And guess what? You will have officially gotten started on your plant-strong fitness journey – check that one off the list!
2. Being active every day. When the alarm clock goes off, it can be awfully tempting to hit that snooze button once or twice (or, let’s be honest, three or four times). During our Seven-Day Rescue programs in the red canyons of Sedona, Arizona, our participants are required to participate in an hour-long morning walk, an hour-long beginners’ yoga class or an hour-long CrossFit-type class with resistance training. Every day, these folks are getting active – a notion that was once unimaginable for many of them. And believe me, I’ve heard some real whoppers of excuses from those people who want to get out of it. But once they get moving that first day, it seems that much easier the next day. By the third day, most are hooked, and they can’t wait to get home and continue their new habit.
What’s the best way to be active every day? Get moving right now (see #1!). Then, set your alarm for tomorrow and do it again the next day. And the next day. And the next… Before you know it, you’ll have been active more days in a row than you ever thought you could be.
It doesn’t have to be an hour-long, beginners’ yoga class. Go for a walk around the block. It will feel GREAT, and you’ll be bursting at the seams with excitement to go for another walk tomorrow. Don’t believe me? Go ahead – try me! I DARE you to go outside for a walk around the block right now and NOT feel great!
3. Incorporating strength training. Depending on where you’re starting off on your plant-strong fitness journey, you may or may not have experience with strength training. This area of fitness can be especially intimidating for those who are just starting off. Images of professional bodybuilders in gyms and the idea that all eyes are on you can make even the most excited person hesitate a bit.
Plus, not everyone has a gym nearby. Or wants to pay to go to a gym. That absolutely makes sense! But I’ve got good news for you: You don’t need a gym. You don’t need to become a bodybuilder (but if that’s your goal, good for you!). To start building muscle, you just need…YOU!
Don’t sweat it by thinking you need to start lifting barbells or kettlebells or any of that stuff right now. If you’re just starting out, simple bodyweight exercises can be extremely effective to help you start toning up and getting stronger. Here are just a few bodyweight exercises you can do from anywhere to get started (with links that show you how to do them):
- Push ups (you can modify them and try from your knees, or even leaning against the wall)
- Walking lunges
You don’t have to start out doing 100 of each exercise – far from it! Try one “set” of 10 squats. Then try 10 push ups. Do walking lunges from one end of the room to the other. And try a 15-second plank. Then as these exercises get easier, try a few more. That’s it!
4. Fueling your fitness. If you know me and you know Engine 2, you know that we are about plant-strong living. Fueling your body with the power of plants! So you’re no stranger to how and why the Standard American diet is not only hurting your health, it’s hampering your fitness. But sometimes even plant-strong folks veer off course and have one too many cupcakes or beers. Or they skip out on important plant-strong foods like kale, spinach and other whole, plant foods. The best way to prime your body for fitness is to fill it with premium grade plant fuel! And the easiest way to do THAT is by resetting and joining our Seven-Day Rescue Challenge.
We’re more than 17,000 strong already – people from around the U.S. (and around the world!) changing their lives and transforming their health by following the purest of plant-strong plans for seven days. The Challenge is free, and we’re gearing up to launch another Challenge in April (although you can register and get started any time!). I pop in to our private Challenge Facebook group from time to time to offer encouragement and our Engine 2 coaches are there every day to answer your questions. Plus, we bring in top plant-based experts a few times a year to provide you with even more insight, ideas and inspiration. We’ll have another great lineup in April (and you can catch the kickoff videos with our experts from the January 2017 launch in the group as well). Come join us!
5. Completing a 5k. I can’t already hear what you’re thinking. “Wait, Rip, I’m just getting started and now you want me to finish a race?! Is there something wrong with that kale you’re eating?!” Slow down one second and stick with me for a minute. Setting a goal can be a great motivator to keep you on track in your fitness journey. A 5k is a great goal to start off with – it’s typically the shortest “race” out there, and on a nice spring or summer day, I’ll bet many of you are walking a 5k and don’t even realize it (really!)!
I’m not saying you have to go out and walk or run a 5k right now – far from it. But when you get out there and take that first walk today, keep in the back of your mind that you’re also literally taking the first steps toward finishing a race. Earning a medal. Checking another super exciting fitness goal off the “completed” list.
You’ve got this.
Peace. Engine 2. Plant-Strong.