Exercise: 20 Minute Challenge

Why do so many of us give up when it comes to taking care of our bodies with a steady exercise routine?

I discovered my answer to this question, which has drastically changed the way I live my life and the amount of energy I have. So many of us fail at sticking to an exercise routine because we make things more complicated than they should be.  After a long day of work, the thought of going home, getting on workout clothes, driving to the gym, spending an hour on a machine, driving back home, taking a shower, cooking dinner, and THEN having free time, can be overwhelming.

On the other hand, if I challenged you every day for one week to walk 50 steps outside your house then turn around and come back, would you do it? Traveling for the long -term, I don’t have the luxury I once had of going to the gym.

Changing cities every four days and having no gym membership COULD be a perfect excuse to let myself go.

Many travelers do just that when they are in long-term travel.  However, I asked myself the exact same question I am asking you, “Why do so many of us give up when it comes to keeping a steady exercise routine to take care of our bodies?”  I believe the answer is a lack of simplicity.

I knew I needed to be proactive about my health and fitness, especially given my living conditions on the road, so I decided to use the idea of simplicity.

I started what I call “The 20 Minute Challenge”. For 20 minutes a day, I focus all my energy into a variety of exercises: Abdominals Lunges Planks Pushups Lifting weights Running in place Exercise videos on YouTube For these 20 minutes, I set an alarm on my phone and do 50 seconds of one exercise followed by a 10 second break.  In order to multi-task, I listen to a motivational speaker, a TED talk, or depending on what time I exercise, I make a 20-minute phone call to someone.

After I complete my 20 minutes, I hold myself accountable by recording my exercise time and type on a chart in Google Drive. When I first decided to commit to exercising while traveling I thought, “I should do more than JUST 20 minutes a day.”  This set me up for failure.  I started with unrealistic expectations and would then skip one or two days of exercise, I always ended up back at square one.  However, when I saw my pattern of overdoing then skipping exercise, I decided to try out this idea of simplicity.

I decided to take a simple, single step towards being proactive in my health.

It takes only 20 minutes out of my day and yet it benefits me so much.  Thanks to simplicity and my 20-minute challenge, in the month of July I have now accumulated a total of 780 minutes of exercise.  Some days I exercised more and that total does not include walking or running I did.

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How can you become more proactive in your health using the idea of simplicity?  Share your thoughts and stories below!

Sarah - thenomadicdreamer.comExercise: 20 Minute Challenge