Having chosen to swallow the red pill...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

More on exercise, timed perfectly to fit into your coffee break

The Rule of Three

The Rule of Three, it takes 3 weeks to form a pattern and 3 months to see the proper results. Your body takes a while to adjust , both physically and psychologically to a new exercise pattern. A lot of times it is easy to start of too enthusiastically and then you end up doubled over with soreness and stiffness the following day and it takes double the motivation to get things going again after that.

30 minutes, 3 times a week is a great place to start. Keep it regular, week in, week out and start easy. 30 minutes, 3 times a week is only 1 1/2 hours a week and that goal is manageable for everyone. The secret is to keep it ticking over, 3 times 30 minutes per week.

You choose your days to fit in with your own schedule and the beauty of the 7 day week is that you alsways have a rest day between each training day and you also have a flexi-day which enables you to fit your exercise around you. If you were meant to exercise on Wednesday night but want to meet friends instead, simply shift Wednesday's exercise to Thursday and Friday's exercise to Saturday and you still make your 3 x 30.

Sticking to the 3 x 30 and taking it easy in the beginning and breaking that 3 week barrier, after that, some important changes happen. Suddenly you find that you don't need that inner drill sergeant driving you out to run. You want to go out yourself, in fact you have been looking forward to it all day. During the afternoon you have been shaking out your legs in preparation and once you are home from work, you pull on your jogging clothes and you are buzzing and full of energy. Of course, not all days are like that, there are the bad days too, when you are not motivated, everything aches and you are out of breath within 100m. It doesn't matter, do the exercise anyway, just slacken the pace. You'll always feel better afterwards.

Once you have made it through the first 3 weeks, you work through your bad days and you enjoy your good ones and you will hopefully cross an important line. Here you don't loose sight of your goals as such but you move on to a more profound understanding of your exercise where you realise that the journey is the goal.

It is easy to become disheartened when all that effort you are putting in doesn't seem to result in tangible goals. Here is when the final part of the rule of 3 comes in. It usually takes 3 months before the results of your hard work really shows through, even though the internal benefits begin almost immediately. Just doing the work, 3 x 30, week in, week out, will bring results. Guaranteed!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Reducing my footprint

This weeks addition to reducing my footprint is the installation of a compost bin in our garden. Now we can recycle all of our household 'green' waste without just throwing it away, which reduces transportation emisions as it is a lighter load for the bin lorry to carry. It also means that our green waste and general garden waste completes the circle and next spring goes back on the garden, providing essential nutrients and making healthier soil for both our plant life and our vegetable growing.. In addition to that, the garden bin what we have rented from the council up until now can go back, saving us money and meaning that the council has one less bin to pick-up, one less trip to make, one less set of waste to process.

Ok, a bit overboard maybe, but the thing is that you have got to believe that every little bit counts; I was talking to my Grandad when I was in UK the other day and he asked me how many plastic bags I thought were consumed in England each year. I had no idea, but the answer was 1,8 billion, all of which end-up on landfill sites. Now, back to 'every bit counts' if everyone re-used those plastic bags just once, took them with them to the supermarket and used them again, then that small and simple act would reduce consumption to 0,9 billion.