Start Today: EPIC START to Fitness Strategy #5

A little movement goes a long way, so definitely start today!

Why start TODAY?

1. The most important step is the first one.

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”~Lao Tzu

You know you want to be on that fitness journey, so there is no better day than today to take that first step!

So really, why put off until tomorrow what you can do today?  The more we delay, the more likely we will delay longer; the longer we delay the more we have to do to achieve our goal.  Do you see the snowball effect happening in this scenario?  Don’t have an exact goal yet?  No problem.  Start with a walk, preferably outdoors. Add all those little tricks you hear about such as park further away from the office door, take the stairs instead of the elevator.  Movement clears our brain from clutter and gets the creative juices flowing so we can figure out what we really want in terms of a fitness goal.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.  LaoTzu

A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. LaoTzu

2. Sitting is bad for you.  The majority of us sit the majority of the day and if you fit into this category know this:  sitting is bad for you. There are many health conditions exacerbated by sitting for long periods of time. At the very least, research shows links between sitting and these diseases.  Among the ill-health effects are:

1. Decreased brain function (due to lower blood flow)

2. Increased neck and back pain (with and increased risk of herniated disks)

3. Decreased circulation (increasing the risk for edema, varicose veins, and osteoporosis)

4. Increased muscle atrophy in the legs, abdomen and back (which leads to increased pain and immobility thereby decreasing overall health and fitness)

5. Increased risk of cancer (colon, breast and endometrial)

6. Increased risk of heart disease.

You’ve probably heard that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death and yes, sitting contributes to heart disease too. Sitting the majority of the day increases cardiovascular disease risk, with a 54% likelihood of dying from a heart attack [1].  So, to start moving that body today will combat the new health enemy that has overthrown smoking, you guessed it:  sitting.

3. A little bit vs. nothing at all.  It’s no secret that even small amounts of increased physical activity results in an increase in our health and fitness.  It’s sort of like recycling, small amounts over time add up to a large amount. Every little bit counts towards better health and fitness!

4. Fitness is not only about the body.  The mental health benefits of exercise are tremendous!

Aerobic exercises, those activities that increase your heart rate, actually reduce anxiety and depression. Researchers propose that mood improvements in mood are due to increased blood flow to the brain which positively affects the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis.

Mental health benefits from regular exercise include [2]:

1.   Improved sleep

2.   Increased interest in sex

3.   Better endurance

4.   Stress relief

5.   Improvement in mood

6.   Increased energy and stamina

7.   Reduced tiredness that can increase mental alertness

8.   Weight reduction

9.   Reduced cholesterol and improved cardiovascular fitness

5. Avoid opportunity lost. In science there is something known as energy of activation.  It’s basically the energy required to get the ball rolling.  Mel Robbins speaks of this as the action potential in her Ted Talk.  She explains action potential as a physical force required to get out of bed or go take a walk.  Furthermore, the force required to go take a walk is equal to getting out of bed or doing anything else that you don’t feel like doing.  And as Robbins points out, you’re never going to feel like it.  Therefore, just do it.  Provide yourself the gift of action potential today—just do it!  It’s the best way to build a new and better habit and avoid losing that moment of opportunity, because once it is gone, it is gone.



1. Journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise

2. Sharma, et. Al, Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry. 2006; 8(2): 106.